We will flow with the current of the river from its beginnings as a muddy puddle to its magnificent merging with the sea. Paintings by artists past and present will open our eyes to the beauty of the river.
As the river snakes its way towards the sea, the movement of the water and the shape of the landscape change. Individual artists are attracted to particular parts of the river because that place reflects a fundamental dream that they have about life. Constable exemplifies this with his love of the Stour Valley, and Stanley Spencer and Whistler for the Thames.
Some artists paint imaginary rivers inspired by English literature such as Millais and Waterhouse. Others are inspired by Greek myths in which Gods chase after river nymphs. Cecil Collins and Peter Doig are modern artists who imbue the river with a deep spirituality.
Where the river meets the sea our destiny is fulfilled. We pass from life to death and our personal dreams become universal ones. This idea is illustrated by the paintings of Michael Andrews who, in the final year of his life, painted the Thames Estuary.
Flow with the current of the river from its source to the sea.