Gunpowder, treason and plot: how artists have captured fireworks throughout history

It is Bonfire Night in the UK, an anniversary that marks the discovery of a plot organised by Catholic conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605. To celebrate, we have produced a bonus episode of The Art Newspaper Podcast taking a look at the history of pyrotechnics in art and wider visual culture. Below are the images discussed in the podcast.

In the episode, we talk to Simon Werrett, the author of the book Fireworks: Pyrotechnic Arts and Sciences in European History, and he tells our host Ben Luke about the variety of uses of fireworks over the centuries and the differing ways that artists have depicted them.

The Art Newspaper Podcast is available every Friday on our website and all the usual places where you find podcasts including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and TuneIn. This podcast is brought to you in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793 bonhams.com.

For more on this subject read Simon Werrett’s book: Fireworks: Pyrotechnic Arts and Sciences in European History, University of Chicago Press, 376pp, $58.





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