Shapland’s Colossal Work on Display at Exeter Cathedral

18 June 2021
Exeter Cathedral viewed from the North East, by John Shapland (1865-1929)

For the weeks around St Peter’s Day, 29 June, Exeter Cathedral has been loaned the largest known painting of Exeter Cathedral. Measuring just shy of four metres high and two metres wide the painting will be hung in the presbytery near the High Altar.

This will be an opportunity rarely given to see a painting of Exeter Cathedral viewed from the North East by the Devon artist John Shapland (1865-1929). This very large work came from a series of paintings of Devon, originally hung in the Circle of Exeter’s Theatre Royal, which closed in 1962 and was subsequently demolished. The paintings were removed from the theatre for auction by Bearnes, and some were purchased by Robert Hough, Chair of Devon Opera, for his music room in Chudleigh.

These paintings are on a monumental scale and record some of the glorious scenes in Devon. John Shapland was a Devon artist and the Principal of Exeter School of Art from 1899-1913. He is listed in the dictionary of British Artists and exhibited in the Royal Academy, the Walker Gallery in Liverpool and in Paris and the USA.

Robert Hough has generously offered the loan of the painting to Exeter Cathedral, which will be on display from  Wednesday 23 June until 1 July – don’t miss this opportunity!

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