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Harold Gilman: Beyond Camden Town

[ Exhibition )

Painting by British painter Harold Gilman showing women drinking tea in a domestic interior with blue patterned wallpapers

Harold Gilman, Tea in the Bedsitter, 1916

An 'English post-impressionist', Harold Gilman's portrayal of life in the early 20th century combined the gritty formality of the Camden Town Group with the vitality of post-impressionism.

British painter Harold Gilman (1876–1919) broke away from his contemporaries to produce a view of modern urban life in the early 20th century that was entirely distinct. He combined the gritty formality favoured by the Camden Town Group and his mentor Walter Sickert with the vitality of post-impressionism, with its thickly applied paint and vivid colours.

Gilman’s subject matter and manner of painting were unusual bedfellows. His paintings infused scenes of everyday domestic life with a vigour clearly influenced by Vincent van Gogh and Edouard Vuillard. His intimate depictions of domestic interiors captured a moment in time around the First World War when perceptions of gender, class and urban living were rapidly changing.

The exhibition of over 50 works includes several alternative versions and the famous ‘Maple Street’ interiors featuring Gilman’s charlady ‘Mrs. Mounter’. Within these scenes featuring heavily patterned wallpapers and female figures, he captured the essence of his subjects – an approach that led to him being called ‘the Vuillard of London’ and ‘the English intimiste’. The strong sense of development during the artist’s final years can only hint at what might have followed had Gilman not died during the influenza pandemic, aged just 43.

Discover how an artist whose career spanned fewer than 15 years became one of Britain’s most distinguished painters, in the first exhibition of his work in over 35 years.

The exhibition is curated by James Rawlin and Lara Wardle and tours from Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue (*now sold out).


Please note that photography is not allowed in this exhibition.  View our photography policy.


Download the press release

Discover the work of Harold Gilman

A painting by Harold Gilman showing a woman through a doorway, bent over her shopping list.

The Shopping List, c.1912

Oil on canvas, 61 x 51 cm, British Council

A painting by Harold Gilman of a domestic interior scene in which is landlady Mrs Mounter stands in the doorway through to the kitchen.

Interior with Mrs. Mounter 1916-17

Oil on canvas, 51 x 76 cm © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

A painting by British painter Harold Gilman showing a clothed woman sat on the edge of her bed, looking away.

Interior, 1917

Oil on canvas, 59.7 x 44.5 cm, British Council

A painting by British painter Harold Gilman of a canal bridge in Flekkefjord, Norway

Canal Bridge, Flekkefjord, c.1913

Harold Gilman, Canal Bridge, Flekkefjord, c.1913, Oil on canvas, 46.4 x 61.5 cm, Photo credit: Tate, London (2018)

A painting by Harold Gilman showing the interior of an eating house, in which three customers are sitting

An Eating House, 1913-14

Oil on canvas, 45.7 x 61, Private Collection

A painting by British painter Harold Gilman showing a woman in a smock standing demurely in the corner of a room, looking down at her hands.

Meditation, 1910-11

Oil on canvas, 62 x 46.5 cm, Reproduced courtesy of Leicester Arts and Museums Service

A portrait by British painter Harold Gilman of his mother relaxing in wicker chair and reading a book.

Interior with Artist’s Mother, 1917-18

Oil on canvas, 51.2 x 61.4cm, Manchester Art Gallery

A portrait by British Painter Harold Gilman of a woman in a chair wearing a hat

Mrs Victor Sly, 1914-15

Oil on canvas, 51.5 x 42 cm, The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection)

Sepia photograph of the painter Harold Gilman standing in front of his easel with paintbrush in hand, at his studio at Snargate Rectory in 1905

Harold Gilman in his studio at Snargate Rectory, c.1905, photograph, private collection