Petworth was a haven for artists. Those who stayed there could use the Old Library, seen here, as a studio. Lord Egremont encouraged visiting artists to move works from his extensive collection to the Old Library, or even to their bedrooms, for study. Egremont’s collection included British artists like Thomas Gainsborough and William Blake alongside European Old Masters. In this watercolour Turner depicts two artists at work beneath a painting by US artist Washington Allston. On Turner’s later visits to Petworth, he claimed the Old Library for his exclusive use.
Gallery label, October 2023
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