Brits lost communal access to live in nature less than 130 years ago. Isn't that incredible? Like a modern day twist on Eden, our great grandparents lost the land for inner city living.
"Inclosure" – the kettling of people into towns – lasted about 164 years, between 1750-1914. An alien colonisation of the land by crooked privateers. We were mugged by Acts of Parliament passed under the noses of legislators like rag-soaked chloroform.
"Inclosure came and trampled on the grave "Of labour’s rights and left the poor a slave," wrote John Clare.
The poetry of William Blake. The politics of John Ruskin and William Morris. The novels of Mary Wollstonecraft. They each tried to dismantle Inclosure by capturing the essence of nature. But it was EnglishSchool artists, led, perhaps unwittingly, by JM Turner, Constable and Gainsborough – who did it best.
The Stephen Neale Collection features some of the best EnglishSchool art for raising our faculties to pursue outdoor experiences, night and day; whether that's with gypsies round campfires and Bedouins on the move, to moated castles on the moorlands or cottage dells.