The wealth and opulence of the High Victorian era is illustrated through dramatic episodes from history, literature and mythology.
To coincide with the run-up to the Scottish referendum, we present some of our most popular 19th century paintings and works on paper by Scottish artists. These are on show alongside depictions of Scotland by artists from England, which together will be used to explore how ideas of Scotland and Scottishness have changed over the last two centuries.
The Victorian period was Manchester’s heyday, a time of great affluence. People had more time to read and to travel - stories from history and literature became popular subjects in art and design. The display Victorian Dramas highlights some of our most dramatic paintings, from a fanciful recreation of Ancient Rome to a fiery Viking funeral.
Towards the end of the 19th century there was a move away from narrative painting. Artists grew increasingly inspired by Ancient Greek and Roman style and the exoticism of the Far East. Paintings, sculpture and design emphasised colour, design and harmony as qualities to be appreciated for their own sake.
Key works usually on display in these galleries include:
If you are coming to see a particular work please contact the gallery in advance to ensure it is on display.