27 January - 7 May 2017Victorian Treasures at Walker Art Gallery William Brown St, Liverpool L3 8EL
Victorian Treasures brings together more than 60 outstanding Victorian paintings and watercolours from the art collections of National Museums Liverpool. The exhibition explores the work of leading 19th-century classical artists such as Frederic Leighton, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Edward John Poynter. It also showcases work from pioneering Pre-Raphaelite artists including John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt.
The Victorian period marked an important change in the way people used and viewed art. Painters focused on the imagination of the spectator and began exploring new, challenging subjects. They explored the fundamentals of human existence and painted emotional scenes inspired by legend and mythology. Artists were also interested in classification, documentation, and enlightenment and freely experimented with new ways of representing the physical world.
Painters also adapted to the expectations of the rising middle class. The new rich merchants and industrialists could afford to become art collectors. A commercial art world developed and painters began making work that would tempt and interest potential buyers.