For the first time in almost a century, the paintings of the pioneering Annie Swynnerton will shown in a major retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery entitled Painting Light and Hope. Inspired by her time in Italy, Swynnerton’s landscapes, portraits and allegorical works are full of sensitivity to light and colour, rivalling contemporaries Ford Madox Brown and John Singer Sargent. Coming in the 100th year since women were first able to vote, Painting Light and Hope highlights Swynnerton’s tireless support of women’s rights in politics and painting. Along with Susan Dacre, she co-founded the Manchester Society of Women Painters. She also famously authored a portrait of suffragist Dame Millicent Fawcett, which will be exhibited on loan from the Tate. A professional artist at a time when women in art were often sidelined, or even shunned, Swynnerton was a pioneering figure in the late 19th century art world. Auguste Rodin was said to have been an admirer of her work, and two of the sculptor’s pieces, Eve, and The Age of Bronze, will also be on display.

Fri 23 Feb 2018 – Sun 6 Jan 2019, Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL. Tel: 0161 235 8888, times vary, FREE,

Image: Annie Swynnerton The Sense of Sight, 1895 (detail). Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Courtesy National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery.

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Fri 23 Feb - Sun 6 Jan
William Felix Robinson
Published on:
Fri 21 Dec 2018