Art - Collections - Jersey Heritage

Jersey’s natural beauty and distinct character has long inspired local and visiting artists to capture the essence of the Island.


Jersey’s natural beauty and distinct character has long inspired local and visiting artists to capture the essence of the Island. John Le Capelain portrayed Jersey’s Romantic landscape through his atmospheric watercolours. Jersey has always been a popular destination for visiting artists, attracted by the Island’s varied landscape, rugged coastline, historic buildings, picturesque landscape and lush valleys.

Jersey’s maritime history is accurately portrayed by ship portraitist Philip John Ouless, who excelled at depicting Jersey ships with tremendous technical efficiency.

With his paintings of vraicing, farming and horses, Edmund Blampied captured the rural idyll of Jersey in bygone days.

Lillie Langtry is one of the Island’s most renowned daughters. She was painted in 1878 by Pre-Raphaelite great Sir John Everett Millais in her trademark plain black dress. Sir Edward Poynter painted her in a much more sumptuous golden dress.

Claude Cahun created some of the most startlingly original and enigmatic photographic images of the twentieth century. Prefiguring by over seventy years many of the concerns explored by contemporary artists today, the importance of her work is increasingly recognised. The Jersey Heritage Trust collection represents the largest repository of the artistic work of Cahun who moved to the Jersey in 1937.

Maritime Art

Maritime Art -›

Jersey has a long maritime history which is reflected in the strong tradition of marine painting, particularly of ship portraiture. Owners and masters were very proud of their ships and often commissioned artists to paint them, giving details of the masting, the rigging and the sails as well as the size and sturdiness of the vessel.

Lillie Langtry

Lillie Langtry -›

Perhaps the best known portrait in the JH collection is A Jersey Lily a portrait of Jersey- born Lillie Langtry by Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896), whose family came from Jersey. Crowds thronged to see the portrait when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1878.

The Rural Idyll

The Rural Idyll -›

Edmund Blampied captured the spirit of the Jersey way of life and people, particularly in his rural scenes. He is probably the artist whose work has most influenced the idea of what Jersey is about. He produced many images of people at work - collecting vraic (seaweed) from the seashore or driving cows home in the rain. He depicted scenes of island life as many would like to remember it, often concentrating on images of country people at work.

The Lure of the Land

The Lure of the Land -›

The Channel Islands have always been a popular venue for artists, particularly landscape artists. During the Victorian era the development of the railways and fast steamship links to the mainland made the journey to the Island quick and convenient and the Channel Islands really took off as a destination. Visiting artists found ideal subject matter in the island’s coastal fortifications, its rugged coastline and lush interior.

Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun -›

Claude Cahun created some of the most startlingly original and enigmatic photographic images of the twentieth century. Prefiguring by over seventy years many of the concerns explored by contemporary artists today, the importance of her work is increasingly recognised.