Visual Arts Overview
Our fine visual arts collection includes paintings, drawings and sculptures as well as contemporary digital works.
The Herbert's visual art collection consists of approximately 6000 items including oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, sculpture, photographs and digital works. The earliest oil painting in the collection is a fine Elizabethan portrait attributed to Lucas de Heere, while other notable items include the huge painting of Bacchus and Ariadne by Luca Giordano.
One of the most significant aspects of the visual art collection is the British Life and Landscape collection, started by the gallery's first Art Director, John Hewitt, in the late 1950s. This includes works by major artists, such as LS Lowry, Stanley Spencer, David Bomberg and Paul Nash. We recently acquired a view of Tile Hill by the Coventry artist George Shaw, painted in 2003.
The Herbert's watercolour collection contains many fine topographical views of Coventry and Warwickshire dating from the 1770s to the 1990s. There is also a strong collection of figure drawings including works by Richard Hamilton, Henry Moore and David Hockney.
Since it was founded the Herbert has always tried to reflect developments in contemporary art by collecting new and recent works in a variety of media and styles. These include works by Prunella Clough, Cornelia Parker and Mona Hatoum. We are currently developing a collection of art on the themes of conflict, peace and reconciliation.
The visual arts collection is featured in three permanent galleries: Old Masters, Sculpture and Art Since 1900. We also display artworks alongside other collections in Discover Godiva, the Peace and Reconciliation gallery and What's In Store.
You can see the Herbert's collection of oil paintings on the Your Paintings website here.