The painting collection comprises some 500 works dating from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries.
Many major British artists from the eighteenth century onwards are represented, including portrait painters of the 1700s such as Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and Francis Hayman. Holdings of eighteenth and early nineteenth century landscape art are particularly strong with works by Richard Wilson, J. M. W. Turner, Thomas Girtin, John Constable and the Devon-based watercolourists Francis Towne and John White Abbott.
Key Victorian genre paintings include those by William Powell Frith, Frank Holl, Edward Poynter and Benjamin Robert Haydon. The Camden Town Group and their associations with Devon are a highlight of the Museum’s twentieth century collection and works by leading members such as R. W. Sickert, Frederick Spencer Gore, Robert Bevan and Lucien Pissarro continue to be acquired. The RAMM holds several hundred representations of the Devon landscape and is particularly strong in late eighteenth and nineteenth century works. In recent years our acquisitions policy has sought to extend this strength to the modern era with important works by Edward Burra and David Bomberg.