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Savery not Swete

An appreciation of the watercolours of John Savery of Modbury
Dartmouth Castle by John Savery, July 1811
Our 2017 exhibition features the little-known watercolour sketches of John Savery (formerly of Shilstone in Modbury) from his travels through Devon, East Cornwall and Somerset in the early 19th century. Savery carried with him a small sketchbook in which he painted the buildings and landscapes he encountered as he visited his family and friends. The resulting images - like those of his contemporary, the Reverend John Swete of Traine in Modbury - offer a unique view of Devon and its neighbouring counties before the coming of the railway and mass transport. Each of the Savery pictures was accompanied by a handwritten description of the view with either his signature or initials. Whilst he did produce a few large pieces in oil, most of his work survives only in the sketchbook and this is the first time the images have been displayed. This exhibition is not only an appreciation of these watercolours from an aesthetic point of view but also because of their historical importance.

Open to view every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and 3pm
(Excluding Bank Holidays)