100 years of Norman Thelwell at Mottisfont

Test Valley


Mottisfont National Trust, Mottisfont Lane, Nr Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0LP

Tel: 01794 340757

100 years of Norman Thelwell at Mottisfont


Mottisfont celebrates the legacy of one of Britain's most popular cartoonists with a new, major exhibition for his centenary year. Over 70 works include Thelwell's trademark ponies and other humorous illustrations, local landscapes, and sharp satire. Drawing on Thelwell's autobiography, Wrestling with a Pencil, the exhibition will provide an intimate look at his artistic life, with early drawings and extracts from diaries on display for the first time.

Childhood drawings, illustrations from student days and preliminary sketches begin a journey of artistic development, while paintbrushes and other items add a personal touch. Norman Thelwell is best known for illustrating the antics of iconic characters Penelope and her mischievous pony, Kipper, first created for Punch in the 1950s. He also demonstrated a talent for quick-witted commentary with astute observational cartoons and social satire inspired by country life. His enduring love of the countryside is evident in all his work, and many of the cartoons reflect deep environmental concerns.

Comic works will be displayed alongside richly-detailed landscape paintings, many of which depict south Hampshire. Thelwell settled close to Mottisfont, in the Test Valley village of Timsbury, and captured the local countryside in exquisite watercolours. Mottisfont's exhibition will celebrate this extraordinary breadth of work.

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