Edward Matthew Ward

The South Sea Bubble, a Scene in ‘Change Alley in 1720

1847, exhibited 1847

In Tate Britain
Artist
Edward Matthew Ward 1816–1879
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1295 x 1880 mm
frame: 1820 x 2410 x 170 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Robert Vernon 1847
Reference
N00432

Display caption

The South Sea Bubble was a brief period of wild financial speculation in Britain. It was centred on the fortunes of the South Sea Company, which supplied slaves to plantations in Central and South America. Aristocrats and leading politicians were shareholders, which gave a legitimacy to the company and its slave trading activities. The shares were extremely popular and rose rapidly in value. Many other companies, some fraudulent, issued stock. When the stock market collapsed in 1720 a large number of people were financially ruined.

Gallery label, August 2018

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

You might like