Art of colour celebrated at autumn exhibition at Tennants in Leyburn

George Leslie Hunter (1877-1931) “Still Life with Fruit and Black Fan, lent by Sheffield Museums.

The art of colour will be celebrated in Tennants Auctioneers’ third major loan exhibition, which opens next month.

Visitors will discover a vivid collection of paintings and sculptures, on loan from public institutions and private collections, which celebrate the rich use of colour in art from the 16th century to the present day and include important works rarely, if ever, on public display.

Cambridge art historian, writer, and broadcaster Dr James Fox, who has written the foreword for the exhibition catalogue, said: “Colour has played a pivotal role in human culture for hundreds of thousands of years, and has been a defining feature of visual art since our ancestors first started painting on cave walls.

“Over the last five years, Tennants has built a reputation for its intelligent and exciting exhibitions. This one is no exception.

“It delights the eye and stimulates the mind, reminding us not only of the beauty of art, but the irresistible power of colour.”

The artists represented in the exhibition are all known for their masterly use of colour, and will include such greats as George Romney, Joseph Wright of Derby, Anish Kapoor, William Nicholson, Bridget Riley, and Pierre-August Renoir.

Important works include an iconic self-portrait by Wyndham Lewis, one of the most significant British artists of the 20th century, on loan from the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, ‘Central Australia’ by Sidney Nolan on loan from the University of York and rarely on view to the public, and ‘Picking Flowers’ by Yorkshire artist Mark Senior, with provenance from the artist’s private collection.

The exhibition will be held in The Garden Rooms at Tennants and is free for the public to visit.

It is open daily from Friday 14th – Tuesday 18th October.

Viewings are strictly by pre-registration, and to register contact The Garden Rooms at Tennants on 01969 621146 or email

Specialist Talks and Tours

In addition to public viewings there will be a series of talks, which include:

Monday 17th October, 11am-12pm: A Talk by Helena Cox, Curator at The University of York, on their Collection

Monday 17th October, 3pm-4pm: A Guided Tour of the Exhibition by Guy Cooper

Tuesday 18th October, 11am-12pm: A Talk on Dame Laura Knight, William Powell Frith and Atkinson Grimshaw by Jane Sellars MBE

Tuesday 18th October, 3pm-4pm: A Guided Tour of the Exhibition by Guy Cooper

Places on Talks and Tours are limited.

Tickets are £10 each and can be purchased by calling The Garden Rooms at Tennants on 01969 621146 or emailing

For more information, click here.