Victorian Treasures brings together more than 60 outstanding Victorian paintings and watercolours from the art collections of National Museums Liverpool. The exhibition explores the work of leading 19thcentury classical artists such as Frederic Lord Leighton, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Edward John Poynter. It also showcases work from pioneering Pre-Raphaelite artists including John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt.
The Victorian period marked an important change in the way people used and viewed art. Painters focused on the imagination of the spectator and began exploring new, challenging subjects. They explored the fundamentals of human existence and painted emotional scenes inspired by legend and mythology. Artists were also interested in classification, documentation, and enlightenment and freely experimented with new ways of representing the physical world.
Painters also adapted to the expectations of the rising middle class. The new rich merchants and industrialists could afford to become art collectors. A commercial art world developed and painters began making work that would tempt and interest potential buyers.
Victorian Treasures was organised and selected in partnership with the exhibition agency Artis Inc and the art historian Christopher Newall. This hugely popular exhibition toured four major cities in Japan during 2015 and 2016 and was seen by over 150,000 visitors.