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Dreams and nightmares, lovers' trysts and erotic encounters, the supernatural and the magical, the Romantic landscape and the modern cityscape. The night has long been a subject of fascination for artists and writers alike.

The effects of light can be simple to achieve, but darkness tests the artist's skill. The watercolour medium is, however, particularly suited to exploring the shadows and colours associated with the night, from watery blue reflections to the most opaque black. Advances in artificial illumination since the 18th century have changed the ways in which the night can be seen and visualised. The depiction of gas and electric lighting can offer as powerful an image as fire, torchlight and the moon.

Many of the works were inspired by poems and stories, others by historical events such as the Second World War, and others still by the artist's personal and emotional response to the night itself.

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International Training Course

The Victoria and Albert Museum welcomes applications for ‘Creating Innovative Learning Programmes’, its new one week intensive course. This is a unique training opportunity for museum professionals from overseas who are interested in attracting and programming for a range of museum audiences.

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