Reader event: The Golden Age of English Portraiture

PUBLISHED: 13:26 03 January 2015 | UPDATED: 13:26 03 January 2015

: Sarah, John and Jane Pratt, children of 1st Earl Camden, Sir Nathaniel Dance, 1767

: Sarah, John and Jane Pratt, children of 1st Earl Camden, Sir Nathaniel Dance, 1767

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Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery is offering an exclusive afternoon on Sunday 25 January, 2.30-4pm for Kent Life readers to enjoy outstanding portraits of the Camden family by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Lawrence and other leading artists

Join Kent Life Editor Sarah Sturt at this exclusive reader event on Sunday 25 January, 2.30-4pm: The Golden Age of English Portraiture

Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery is offering an exclusive afternoon for Kent Life readers to enjoy outstanding portraits of the Camden family by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Lawrence and other leading artists.

The paintings, on loan to the Museum, are considered to be as fine a collection of English portraits that one could hope to find outside London. They are displayed in one intimate room, emphasising the family relationships between the sitters and giving visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy the works close up, one that cannot be afforded in a historic house, or even in a larger gallery.

Dr Ian Bevis, the curator, who has unrivalled local knowledge, and was responsible for this magnificent loan, will give an introduction to the portraits, talking about each sitter in detail. The 5th Marquess Camden Will Trust chose to place these paintings here because of the family’s historically close connections with the area, and because of the impressive way in which the Museum interprets its collections.

Three generations of the Camden family, who owned the Bayham Abbey estate from 1714, are represented, including remarkable individuals: 1st Earl Camden, Charles Pratt, who became a popular hero through his defence of John Wilkes; and Charles’ son, John Jeffreys Pratt who, as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, received a letter (now in the Museum) from Admiral Nelson on board the Victory.

The women of the family are depicted in stunning fashionable costumes, and the portraits of the children are enchanting. Everyone will receive a postcard pack of the splendid portraits.

● To book your FREE place contact: Jeremy.kimmel@tunbridgewells.gov.uk / 01892 554171, by 16 January 2015 – don’t forget to quote ‘Kent Life Art Event.’

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