The Wye Valley has provided inspiration to artists for centuries and contributed to some of the finest British landscape traditions
Home of Watercolour
This area was home to the influential Victorian water colourist Joshua Cristall (1767 – 1847), who lived at Goodrich, Herefordshire. His younger contemporary, the distinguished landscape painter David Cox (1783-1859) was another prominent figure in watercolour painting. He lived and taught in Hereford for thirteen years. His interpretation of nature’s moods drew comparison, at the time, with Constable. Joseph Murray Ince, (1806 – 1859) was a pupil of Cox's at Hereford. His work included a number of watercolour landscapes of mid Wales and the Wye in the 1830s. All three contributed to Herefordshire’s reputation as the place where the great artistic tradition of watercolour was born, and the collection in Hereford City Art Gallery bears witness to this. Works by Cox are also in the collections at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Turner and Tintern Abbey
The soaring arches and elegant gothic windows of Tintern Abbbey, set against the wooded Wye Valley provided inspiration for WM Turner. He visted on two of his tours in 1792 and 1798 and painted the site several times.
Nowadays artists and writers are taking the influence of the Wye Valley into their work. There is a great arts heritage to be found with art groups and individual artists working from studios throughout the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. The Wye Valley Art Society in partnership with the Wye Valley AONB produced a stunning exhibition Landscapes of the Wye Tour in 2006 and a book by Susan Peterken was published 2008 and can be obtained from Logaston Press. Further details on the Wye Tour can be found here.
Wye Valley Arts Society, meet at the Old Court Hotel, Whitchurch Tel: 01600 890400 for information
Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Open Studios - open during July/August demonstrating a variety of artists and makers working in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean
The Guild of Herefordshire Craftsmen - a group of skilled artists and craft workers who earn a living by their craft and live or work in and around the county of Herefordshire.
A partnership between the AONB Unit, Ross-on-Wye Town Council and Natural England have started tree management work on the banks of the Wye where it passes through Ross, to benefit biodiversity and create river views.
If you are 14-18 years old and love exploring the countryside of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, then the Wye Valley AONB Youth Ranger programme is looking for you! Come along to our Taster Day on September 30th.