John Crome and Robert Ladbrooke, the founding fathers of The Norwich Society of Artists, set up the group to explore the stunning landscapes of Norfolk.

The East Anglian artists held their first exhibition in 1805 and continued to exhibit together as the Norwich school until 1825. When co-founder John Crome passed away, John Sell Cotman took the helm. The group worked together until 1834, when Cotman left the East Anglian county for London.

0138_600x500 THOMAS LOUND (1802-1861) Beach scene with fisherfolk and fishing boat

0149_600x500 ARTHUR JAMES STARK (1831-1902) Sheep in a forest glade

Although a central part of British art - the watercolours of the Norwich artists anticipated French Impressionism - it was only in the early 21st century that the Norwich artists were celebrated.

Norwich-School-of-Artists Norwich Castle Museum

A large part of them missing from the pages of British history is that J.J. Colman, the founder of Colmans' mustard, collected the works of the Norwich School and housed them in Norwich Castle Museum since the late 1800s.

0152_600x500 OHN BERNEY LADBROOKE (1803-1879) Country road with cottage

0128_600x500 JOHN BERNEY LADBROOKE (1803-1879) Country lane with horse and cart passing a cottage

As well as Colman, the Norwich artists had the support of other such wealthy Norwich families, including the patronage of the Gurneys who founded Barclays Bank.

It was not until 2000, with the opening of the Tate Britain, that these artists were brought together for public viewing. The ''Romantic Landscape: The Norwich School of Painters 1803–1833'' at Tate Britain focused on the romantic landscape and marine paintings of this group of painters.

0111_600x500 OHN CROME (1768-1821) “Cottage scene at Drayton 1815

0137_600x500 ROBERT LADBROOKE (1769-1842) Wooded river landscape with distant village

The works were placed in the Clore Gallery, the home to works by J.M.W. Turner. The exhibition held these artists in the same regards as their contemporaries Turner and Constable, placing the Norwich painters in the British art canon.

All works featured will be part of Keys bi-annual East Anglian Art Sale taking place on 27th October, 2017. Check out more here.

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