Thomas Guest and Paul Nash in Wiltshire: Two Episodes in the Artistic Approach to British Antiquity - Tate Research Repository
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Thomas Guest and Paul Nash in Wiltshire: Two Episodes in the Artistic Approach to British Antiquity

2005

Abstract

The artistic representation of British antiquity brings in its wake a problem of methodology: how are the working assumptions of artists and archaeologists to be reconciled? This paper looks at two examples of artists responding to the deep past, both concerned with sites in Wiltshire. Thomas Guest (1754–1818) painted the grave goods from two barrows at Winterslow excavated in the 1810s. His paintings survived and were rediscovered in the mid 1930s. In that same decade the British artist Paul Nash encountered Avebury for the first time and responded to the prehistoric site in his own terms. The paper considers the two approaches and what they may tell us about the relationship between art and archaeology.

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