The Keats-Shelley House is proud to host Gusto, an exhibition of new work by British artist Nancy Cadogan inspired by the romantic poets and named after William Hazlitt’s 1817 essay ‘On Gusto’ (1817).
Gusto opened on 31 October 2020 and has been extended till 31 May 2021.
In 1820 the British poet John Keats spent 10 days quarantined in the Bay of Naples as typhus raged, an enforced stillness mirroring today’s Covid crisis. With his artist friend, Joseph Severn, Keats settled in the harbour, tied down by the country’s rigorous quaranta giorni – the origin of our word quarantine – before setting off for Rome, his final resting place. Keats and Severn’s journey across Italy bears an unsettling coincidence with the creation of Gusto, an exhibition of new work by British artist Nancy Cadogan.
As Cadogan stepped into her studio to make the new work, the world plunged into lockdown. It became an unbearingly poignant process for Cadogan, making work in the best of circumstances and the worst of circumstances. However, what emerged was a body of work that strives to give hope out of the global health and economic crisis. Covid has been catastrophic for Italy with the country recording one of the highest number of lives lost. It has taken resilience, courage, perseverance and a steely determination to get this show on the road.
What has emerged is a deeply thoughtful and considered series of oil paintings, referencing her learned knowledge of Keats’s work and grounded in symbolism and hope for an uncertain future. Cadogan presented Gusto in Tier 2 London, and at the end of October finally travelled to Rome to open the exhibition at the Keats-Shelley House.
The ehibition features sixteen new oil paintings inspired by the great Romantic poets and is named after William Hazlitt’s essay ‘On Gusto’, written in 1817. It is a body of work that strives to give hope out of the global health and economic crisis, and it was described by The Evening Standard Magazine as “heaven on canvas”.
If you are unable to travel to Rome to see these paintings on display at the House, we invite you to enjoy this virtual exhibition.
(CLICK ON THE IMAGE AT THE RIGHT TOP TO SCROLL THROUGH THE PHOTOS, OR CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE EACH PAINTING SEPARATELY AND ENLARGE IT)
1. Full of Sweet Dreams
2. A Realm of Gold
3. An Airy Citadel
4. An Endless Fountain of Immortal Drink
5. Back to Books
6. By Night
7. Dreaming of Rome I
8. Dreaming of Rome II
9. My Anchor
10. Small Thought I
11. Small Thought II
12. Small Thought III
13. The Light is Outside I
14. The Light is Outside II
15. The Light is Outside III
16. The Light is Outside IV
17. The Progress of The Day
18. Ways To Tell a Story