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