Historic Galleries

We are best known for our Victorian paintings, especially the world famous Pre-Raphaelites. But our historic galleries also display masterpieces of art and design from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Home, Land and Sea: Art in the Netherlands 1600-1800

Aelbert Cuyp, River scene with a view of Dordrecht and a windmill

Home, Land and Sea Art in the Netherlands 1600-1800 brings together over 50 paintings from Manchester City Galleries’ exceptional 17th and 18th century Dutch and Flemish collection, one of the most important in the country.

18th century - Portraiture, landscape and the Grand Tour

Peasant Girl in a Wood Gathering Faggots (detail) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1782
Introducing the paintings of Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and their contemporaries. An age of aristocratic patronage, European travel and classical influence.

Early 19th century - Romanticism and the Industrial Revolution

The Good Samaritan (detail) by GW Watts, 1850
A period which produced some of our best-loved artists – Turner, Constable and William Blake. The spread of the Industrial Revolution and its influence on artists and the growing art market.

Pre-Raphaelites - Our pre-eminent collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings

Work (detail) by Ford Madox Brown, 1852-65
Sumptuous colours, lavish patterns and tales of seduction, religion and mid-Victorian morals. Paintings by Ford Madox Brown, Holman Hunt and Millais, craft and design by William Burges and William de Morgan.

Victorian drama, beauty and landscape

A Spate in the Highlands (detail) by Peter Graham, 1866

The wealth and opulence of the High Victorian era. Dramatic episodes from history, literature and mythology including work by William Powell Frith and Lord Frederic Leighton. The beauty of late Pre-raphaelite art by Edward Burne Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Romantic views of Scotland.


The Sirens and Ulysses (detail) by William Etty, 1837

Find out more about the restoration of William Etty’s The Sirens and Ulysses, our most ambitious conservation project ever.

Using the Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery floorplan (detail)

Get the most out of your visit with our floor plans, audio guides and information in other languages.

Collections events

Events at Manchester Art Gallery
Use the events calendar to find out about talks, tours and workshops that explore our permanent galleries.

Search the collections

Collections search screen
Want to know more about specific works on display? Search our online collections database.