The Art of Seeing Nature: Masterpieces from Tate Britain was presented at Sayyid Faisal bin Ali Museum, Muscat from 30 November 2010 – 25 January 2011. The exhibition was organised as a pioneering collaboration between the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Oman and Tate. It was conceived by Tate and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in Oman as a British contribution to the 40th National Day of the Sultanate of Oman

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  • Thomas Gainsborough, 'Sunset: Carthorses Drinking at a Stream' circa 1760

    Thomas Gainsborough
    Sunset: Carthorses Drinking at a Stream circa 1760
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1435 x 1537 mm
    Presented by Robert Vernon 1847

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  • George Stubbs, 'Mares and Foals in a River Landscape' circa 1763-8

    George Stubbs
    Mares and Foals in a River Landscape circa 1763-8
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1016 x 1619 mm frame: 1229 x 1815 x 64 mm
    Purchased with assistance from the Pilgrim Trust 1959

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  • John Constable, 'The Grove, Hampstead' circa 1821-2

    John Constable
    The Grove, Hampstead circa 1821-2
    Oil on canvas
    support: 356 x 302 mm frame: 550 x 495 x 65 mm
    Presented by Miss Isabel Constable 1888

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  • Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'The Golden Bough' exhibited 1834

    Joseph Mallord William Turner
    The Golden Bough exhibited 1834
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1041 x 1638 mm frame: 1455 x 2046 x 110 mm
    Presented by Robert Vernon 1847

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  • Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, 'Dew-Drenched Furze' 1889-90

    Sir John Everett Millais, Bt
    Dew-Drenched Furze 1889-90
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1732 x 1230 x 27 mm
    Presented by Geoffroy Millais in memory of his late father, Sir Ralph Millais Bt 2009

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  • John Singer Sargent, 'The Mountains of Moab' 1905

    John Singer Sargent
    The Mountains of Moab 1905
    Oil on canvas
    support: 654 x 1111 mm frame: 960 x 1409 x 90 mm
    Presented by the heirs of Mrs Ormond 1957

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The Art of Seeing Nature: Masterpieces from Tate Britain showed six masterpieces by six great artists born or working in Britain, the first time these works have been shown in the Middle East. The pictures were:

  • Thomas Gainsborough Sunset: Carthorses Drinking at a Stream c.1760
  • George Stubbs Mares and Foals in a River Landscape 17638
  • John Constable The Grove, Hampstead 18212
  • Joseph Mallord William Turner The Golden Bough 1834
  • Sir John Everett Millais Dew-Drenched Furze 188990
  • John Singer Sargent The Mountains of Moab 1905

The paintings represent highlights of Tate’s unrivalled collection of historic British art, and of the development of painting in Britain as it depicted landscape and the natural world. The exhibition drew attention to the diverse sources of inspiration for this tradition – Dutch painting, classical myth and history, and also to the disparate landscapes depicted – Constable at Hampstead Heath, Millais on a sporting estate in Scotland and Sargent in the Middle East. Stubbs’s horses were evidently of Arab blood, specimens perhaps of the bloodstock exported to England from the region during the 18th century.

The exhibition was accompanied by a bi-lingual publication, and a film exploring themes in the paintings with contributions from a number of people including Ali b. Abdullah al-Habsi, the renowned goalkeeper of the Omani national football team, who knows the British and the Omani landscape. The exhibition was accompanied by an outreach programme including school visits and lectures and activities for young children in the exhibition.

In partnership with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Oman

Project Information

Project type: 
Lead department(s): 
Project leader: 
Caroline Collier
Project team: 
David Brown
Kate Parsons
Kate Vogel
Anne Lyles