British life and culture during Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901 – in relation to art it usually alludes to the style of genre painting that predominated during the period

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  • Augustus Leopold Egg, 'Past and Present, No. 1' 1858

    Augustus Leopold Egg
    Past and Present, No. 1 1858
    Oil on canvas
    support: 635 x 762 mm frame: 801 x 925 x 85 mm
    Presented by Sir Alec and Lady Martin in memory of their daughter Nora 1918

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  • Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, 'Hearts are Trumps' 1872

    Sir John Everett Millais, Bt
    Hearts are Trumps 1872
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1657 x 2197 mm
    Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1945

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  • Sir David Wilkie, 'The First Ear-Ring' 1834-5, exhibited 1835

    Sir David Wilkie
    The First Ear-Ring 1834-5, exhibited 1835
    Oil on mahogany
    support: 743 x 603 mm
    Presented by Robert Vernon 1847

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The term Victorian when used to reference social behaviour and art and deisgn, carries connotations of stuffiness, repressiveness and rigid devotion to tradition.

In art specifically the term is perhaps exemplified in the genre painting which provides an extraordinary panorama of the life of the period, including rural naturalism and social realism, but Victorian genre is perhaps particularly associated with the sentimental and reassuring work of Sir David Wilkie and his followers.