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A man in 18th century dress leans on a spade looking down at a tortoise in a garden, with a small greenhouse behind him.

Drawn to Nature: Gilbert White and the Artists

Help us bring the writings of Gilbert White to life in a brand new book.

Discover the natural world through the eyes of Eric Ravilious, John Nash and more.

Since its publication over 200 years ago Gilbert White’s The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne has inspired generations of naturalists, writers and artists. Now a new book will explore White’s life, his writings and the incredible artistic output his work inspired.

In 2020 we celebrated the tercentenary of Gilbert White’s birth with an exhibition exploring his book’s incredible artistic legacy. For 200 years, White’s descriptions of the South Downs and Hampshire countryside have enthralled artists, including Thomas Bewick, Eric Ravilious, John Nash, Gertrude Hermes, and many more.

Drawn to Nature: Gilbert White and the Artists continues our celebration of this artistic legacy. Written by Gallery Director Simon Martin it will include a host of gorgeous prints from a variety of modern and contemporary artists, as well as essays on the life of Gilbert White.

In order to bring this book to life, we asked for your help. We put together two tiers of giving with rewards – we are thrilled to say that all reward levels have been filled!

Thank you to everyone who was able to support us. We will be in touch again later in the year to fulfull the rewards. If you have any questions, please contact Leo Powell, Development Officer (

Want to know more about Gilbert White and the artists he inspired?

Thanks to a generous gift by the South Downs National Park Authority we have made a fascinating short film  featuring Hugh Bonneville as the voice of Gilbert White.