Tate Britain


Main Floor
Henry Wallis, ‘Chatterton’ 1856
Henry Wallis, Chatterton 1856. Tate

Recapture the feel of a Victorian exhibition gallery, with artworks from 1840–1890

A number of artists in the mid-nineteenth century wanted to use their artworks to address topical social and political issues. Curator Alison Smith

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Please note that some artworks featured in this video may not be on display

The artworks in this room were produced during the reign of Queen Victoria. Her reign, the longest of any British monarch, saw dramatic changes in industry, science, politics and culture. Works range from genre scenes of everyday life, in which artists address topical issues, to Pre-Raphaelite paintings and works by British impressionist artists.

The Victorian era was also the time of the Great Exhibitions, and images were disseminated through reproductive media, initially as engravings, but later as photographs.

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was the great artistic event of the time, a vast exhibition where art was displayed alongside industrial technology, design and objects from around the world. The exhibits were packed in tightly, like in art exhibitions of the period, a style reflected in the hang of this gallery.

Feeling creative?

Pick up a pencil and draw, doodle or dream within the gallery. We provide the easel, pencil and paper. You just need to bring your imagination. Available daily in the 1840 display.
Please note Ophelia and The Lady of Shalott are touring and will not be on display until October 2019.


Tate Britain
London SW1P 4RG
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