‘In the landscapes he renders precisely the darkness and illuminated splendour of the countryside, its curious and lovely melancholy and the occasional rage of it, ' wrote Osbert Sitwell of the work of painter John Piper (1903-92) at the former's Derbyshire seat, Renishaw Hall. Such was Sitwell's admiration for an artist credited with representing ‘the true vision of England in the mid-twentieth century' that his patronage extended to more than seventy paintings. This year, Osbert's nephew Sir Reresby Sitwell, has organized a third exhibition of Piper paintings from his unrivalled collection, entitled John Piper Elsewhere. Among the views are neighbouring Derbyshire houses, such as Sutton Scarsdale, above, ruined churches and the Sitwells' Italian castle, Montegufoni.
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May 30 to September 26, The Stables Gallery, Renishaw Hall, Renishaw, nr Sheffield (tel: 01777-860755), Friday to Sunday, 10.30am-4. 30pm; admission, £1.50. Well floored House & Garden readers are offered two tickets for the price of one (£7) to this year's Hali Antique Carpet and Textile Fair at Olympia 2 from June 10 to 14, on presentation of this issue of House & Garden. Offered for sale at the fair will be antique carpets, tapestries and embroidery from China, Tibet, Korea and Persia, and France and Germany.
The tickets also allow entry during the fair to The Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fair, which continues next door in the Grand Hall at Olympia, until June 13. For further information, call 0181-995 0090. Flowers from the Sea, the fourth exhibition of shell works of art created by former antiques dealer Peter Coke – including this sailor's valentine, right – is at the O'Shea Gallery, 120a Mount Street, W1 (tel: 0171-629 1122) from May 14 to 28, Monday to Friday, 9.30am-6pm, Saturday, 9.30am-1 pm.
BRIGHT BULBS The TuiiP, a selling exhibition of antique tulip prints, is at Bernard J Shapero Rare Books, 32 St George Street, W1 (tel: 0171-493 0876) from May 12 to 22. Monday to Friday, 9.30am-6. 30pm, Saturday, 11am-5pm. Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows.