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Visualising Jane Austen / Reading JMW Turner

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  • Entry to this exhibition included within general admission or Harewood Membership.


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Friday 23 May – Sunday 14 September 2025

In 2025 and marking the 250th anniversary of their births, we present an extraordinary exhibition that brings together the work of landscape painter JMW Turner (1775-1851) and novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817).

This groundbreaking exhibition illuminates the work of these legendary artistic figures whose work was defined in relation to English country houses and landscapes at a time of great social change.

A speculative encounter between Turner and Austen at Harewood House will be brought to life through interventions and works by contemporary artists, alongside rarely seen cultural artifacts from the period including period costume, party invitations and rare illustrated books and prints. The exhibition includes celebrated works by Turner including rarely seen paintings depicting views of Harewood commissioned by Edward Viscount Lascelles in the 1790s. 

The country house is often depicted in art and literature as a site of creative and social encounter. Harewood has an assumed role in Austen’s 1814 novel Mansfield Park. Turner painted Harewood, its landscapes and its people. 

This exhibition traces the radical changes in depictions of country life in the eighteenth-century, using the Harewood references as a starting point. It will examine Turner’s depiction of the inner lives of figures in his landscapes and Austen’s characters, bringing to life the social and cultural conventions of the Regency Period. 

We will ask visitors to read Turner’s paintings and visualise Austen’s novels and the attitudes to society, Empire and the Picturesque, that are revealed within.

The exhibition shows the continued relevance for contemporary audiences, in the works of two of Britain’s best known artistic and literary figureheads, alongside works of their contemporaries including Thomas Malton, Humphry Repton and Thomas Girtin.

JMW Turner and Jane Austen is curated by The Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York in collaboration with Harewood House, Leeds.

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