Which Biblical scene is this? Take the great British art quiz

The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle sets today’s quiz, which enables you to look at the collections of galleries across the UK closed due to Covid-19 while answering a few fiendishly difficult questions

This quiz is brought to you in collaboration with Art UK, the online home for the UK’s public art collections, showing art from more than 3,000 venues and by 45,000 artists. Each day, a different collection on Art UK will set the questions.

Today, our questions are set by the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, home to an impressive collection of art and sculpture. Its exhibition programme brings the biggest names in historic, modern and contemporary art to the the north-east. The Laing’s collection includes landscapes by John Martin, sculpture by Henry Moore, wood carvings by Gerrard Robinson and works by Turner, Gauguin and Stanley Spencer.

You can see art from the Laing Art Gallery on Art UK here. Find out more on the gallery’s website here.

  1. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. ‘The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah’, 1852, John Martin (1789-1854), Laing Art Gallery

    Northumberland-born artist John Martin came from a poor family and started out decorating china cups and plates. By sheer determination and talent, he carved out a career to became one of the best-known – and most controversial – artists of the 19th century. Many of Martin’s pictures depict dramatic scenes of destruction from the Bible and literature. What event is seen in this picture?

    1. The Fall of Nineveh

    2. The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

    3. The Fall of Babylon

    4. The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum

  2. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. ‘Isabella and the Pot of Basil’, 1867, William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), Laing Art Gallery

    This painting by William Holman Hunt illustrates a poem by John Keats, based on a story in the 14th‑century Decameron by Boccaccio. The poem tells how Isabella’s two cruel brothers murdered her sweetheart. Finding his secret grave, Isabella takes her lover’s head and buries it beneath a basil plant in a pot in her bedroom. What was the name of Isabella’s lover?

    1. Pietro

    2. Stefano

    3. Lorenzo

    4. Carlo

  3. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle.
‘The Women’, c.1910, John Charlton (1849-1917), Laing Art Gallery

    This picture shows a lifeboat being hauled by villagers. The lifeboat was involved in a dramatic rescue on New Year's Day 1861, after a ship, the Lovely Nellie, had been wrecked in a snowstorm off the north-east coast. Villagers often helped launch and haul in lifeboats, to help fellow seafarers in distress – but from which seaside village was this rescue launched?

    1. Roker

    2. Cullercoats

    3. South Shields

    4. Seaton Sluice

  4. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. ‘Blinking in the Sun’, 1881, Ralph Hedley (1848-1913), Laing Art Gallery

    One of the most popular paintings in the Laing collection is this picture of a cat at a cottage window, appropriately enough known as Blinking in the Sun. It was painted by which north-eastern artist?

    1. Ralph Hedley

    2. Henry Perlee Parker

    3. Isa Jobling

    4. John Charlton

  5. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. ‘Lady with Fruit (Gladys Holman Hunt, b.1878)’, 1917, Dorothea Landau (1881-1941), Laing Art Gallery

    Dorothea Landau (1881-1941) studied painting with the artist Edward Robert Hughes. Landau exhibited her pictures at the New English Art Club and the Royal Academy, and established a career as a portrait painter in London – but who is the striking subject here?

    1. Evelyn de Morgan

    2. Emma Sandys

    3. Laura Knight

    4. Gladys Holman Hunt

  6. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. ‘The Escorial, near Madrid, Spain’, 16th-17th century, Louis de Caullery (before 1582-after 1621), Laing Art Gallery

    The Flemish artist Louis de Caullery (c1580–1621) painted this view of an imposing palace in the early 17th century. Which European palace does it depict?

    1. El Escorial, Spain

    2. Versailles, France

    3. Buckingham Palace, England

    4. Charlottenburg, Germany

  7. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. ‘Marine Set’, 1936, Edward Alexander Wadsworth (1889-1949), Laing Art Gallery

    Edward Wadsworth was a significant figure in British avant-garde art in the 20th century. Involved with the vorticist movement early in his career, he later developed a polished, almost surreal form of painting with a distinctly nautical theme – of which the Laing’s Marine Set is typical. The British electronic group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark named one of their albums after one of Wadsworth’s paintings – but which album?

    1. Architecture and Morality

    2. The Pacific Age

    3. Junk Culture

    4. Dazzle Ships

  8. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. ‘Twentieth Century’, 1932-1935, Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson (1889-1946), Laing Art Gallery

    In this imposing picture by Christopher Nevinson, a central figure inspired by Rodin's sculpture, The Thinker, is surrounded by the bayonets and guns of crowds and marching soldiers. Nevinson titled the picture The Twentieth Century, but in which year did he complete the painting?

    1. 1929

    2. 1945

    3. 1939

    4. 1935


1:B - In the Bible story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the two cities are destroyed as punishment for the immorality of their people. Only Lot and his daughters, seen hurrying away in Martin’s picture, were saved. Lot's wife disobeyed God's instruction not to look back and was turned into a pillar of salt. The fiery red colouring and whirling storm in the sky are characteristic of Martin's paintings. Image: The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (1852) by John Martin (1789-1854); Laing Art Gallery, 2:C - Holman Hunt painted Lorenzo’s name, as if embroidered, on the fabric beneath the basil pot. Holman Hunt was one of the founding members of the pre‑Raphaelite brotherhood of artists who frequently illustrated subjects from literature, worked in rich colours, and produced highly detailed pictures. This painting belonged to the Tynemouth art collector James Hall, a partner in the shipping business of Palmer, Hall & Co. Image: Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1867) by William Holman Hunt (1827-1910); Laing Art Gallery, 3:B - The picture shows the Cullercoats lifeboat, which was hauled three miles along coast to reach a safe launch site because of the storm. Cullercoats was host to an artists’ colony between 1870 and 1920; prominent members included the painter, John Charlton. Artists including the American painter Winslow Homer visited the village to capture the beautiful rugged coastline and its hardy and resourceful inhabitants. Image: The Women (c1910) by John Charlton (1849-1917); Laing Art Gallery, 4:A - Ralph Hedley made his name producing paintings of everyday life on Tyneside in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Alongside his career as a painter, Hedley ran a successful wood carving workshop in Newcastle. Image: Blinking in the Sun (1881) by Ralph Hedley (1848-1913); Laing Art Gallery, 5:D - Hunt (1876-1952) was the only daughter of the pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt and his second wife, Edith Waugh. Gladys assisted her father with his work. Image: Lady with Fruit (Gladys Holman Hunt, b1878) (1917) by Dorothea Landau (1881-1941); Laing Art Gallery, 6:A - De Caullery’s view of the Spanish royal palace of the Escorial demonstrates his interest in elaborate architecture and scenes of entertainment. However, he is not known to have visited Spain and may have based his composition on another artist’s picture. Image: The Escorial, near Madrid, Spain (16th-17th century) by Louis de Caullery; Laing Art Gallery, 7:D - During the first world war, Wadsworth had been involved with the painting of "dazzle camouflage" on British warships. OMD took the name of their album from Wadsworth’s 1919 painting, Dazzle-ships in Drydock at Liverpool. Image: Marine Set (1936) by Edward Wadsworth (1889-1949); Laing Art Gallery, 8:D - The painting is signed by the artist, "CRW Nevinson 1932-1935". Nevinson had served in an ambulance unit during the first world war and was horrified by the violence and destruction he witnessed. Nevinson has expressed the violent energy of the scene using a version of his fragmented futurist style, which he used earlier in his career for war subjects. Image: Twentieth Century (1932-1935) by Christopher Nevinson (1889-1946); Laing Art Gallery, 9:, 10:


  1. 6 and above.

    Ha'way the lads! This was a great result.

  2. 0 and above.

    Like the Tyne, you were a little foggy when it came to the right answers.

  3. 3 and above.

    This result was alreet, pet.

The GuardianTramp

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