THE importance of Teesdale in the development of landscape painting in Britain will be highlighted at a new exhibition which opens this weekend.

Rokeby: (Poetry & Landscape) Walter Scott & Turner in Teesdale, is being staged at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, from Saturday (January 26).

It coincides with the bicentenary of the publication of Scott’s epic poem, Rokeby, and examines its role in attracting artists such as Turner, Atkinson Grimshaw, and the Pre-Raphaelite Alfred William Hunt to the region.

The exhibition includes loans from the British Museum, Tate, and regional galleries as well as paintings from the Bowes Museum’s own collection.

Scott penned Rokeby following several visits to John Morritt’s country estate, Rokeby Park, having taken inspiration from the surrounding scenery.

The Bowes Museum is situated a mile or so from the estate, at the centre of the landscape brought to life in the poem.

Originally published in 1813, it placed Teesdale firmly on the tourist map as well as drawing a succession of artists to the region, including Turner.

The exhibition, which runs until Sunday, April 28, will be supported by a full programme of events.

Walking tours and newly published leaflets will encourage visitors to explore the region’s attractions and viewpoints.

A further programme of painting, photography, textile and writing workshops will encourage participants to produce their own works of art inspired by the landscape.

Dora Frankel Dance will perform a newly choreographed piece – The Unfolding Sky: Turner in the North – based on Turner’s landscape paintings and there will also be an opportunity to take part in a dance workshop.