Victorian Pictures at the Tate Britain Gallery

Because the Tate collection is so large, and changes around so much, here is a note on some of the chief Victorian pictures, only a proportion of which are likely to be on show at any one time.

We start with the Pre-Raphaelites. Rossetti has The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1848-49) and Ecce Ancilla Domine (Annunciation) (1849-50), but Beata Beatrix is not on show. Millais has several pictures - Christ in the House of his Parents (The Carpenter's Shop) (1849-50), The Knight Errant (1870), an excellent landscape called Flowing to the River (1871), The North West Passage (1874), and The Yeoman of the Guard. Holman Hunt has Claudio and Isabella (1850), and this picture, together with the similarly dated ones by Millais and Rossetti mentioned above, were among those that first drew the attention of the public to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Arthur Hughes has his typical April Love (1855-6) and Ford Madox Brown has Lear and Cordelia (1849-50), which contains several of the artist's favorite characters familiar from many of his pictures. Martineau has his most important work, The Last Day in the Old Home, and William Windus has Too Late.

The later Pre-Raphaelites are represented by Waterhouse's famous The Lady of Shalott (1888), and the beautiful Love and the Pilgrim by Burne-Jones, and by a small work by Strudwick, A Golden Thread (1885) - very Burne-Jonesish, but typically more decorated, more golden, more sweet.

Lesser names in the Pre-Raphaelite school include Henry Alexander Bowler, who has his only important picture, Can These Dry Bones Live?, and a very small Eve of the Deluge by W. B. Scott, a moralistic picture, showing a debauched Eastern king and retinue contrasting with distant saintlike figures going in to the Ark - very different from the work of the Orientalists. P. H. Calderon, who often showed Pre-Raphaelite tendancies, has his important St Elizabeth of Hungary. The proto-Pre-Raphaelite William Dyce has a Madonna and Child. Also in the spirit of Pre-Raphaelitism is W. B. Richmond's The Slave (1866), and this artist also has a good portrait of Emma Moon (1888).

The Classical painters are represented by Leighton's Bath of Psyche, and the only two statues in the gallery - The Sluggard (1885) and Athlete Wrestling with a Python (1877). G. F. Watts has two large pictures of Eve Tempted and Eve Repentent.

Love Locked Out is the principal picture by Anna Lea Merritt, bought under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest in 1889. T. C. Gotch has an excellent example of his pictures of children in Alleluia (1896). In his early days, Gotch was a Newlyn painter, and a work from that school is Stanhope Forbes's The Health of the Bride. William Logsdail, who recently reached a record in the auction room for a picture of the Bank of England, has a companion piece here showing St Martins in the Fields.

There are a few other Victorian paintings which must be mentioned. John Martin has an important The Great Day of His Wrath (1851-3). Augustus Egg has a popular threesome called Past and Present, showing the decline and fall of an unfaithful bride - it has the same sort of appeal as the Last Day in the Old Home mentioned above. Finally, William Maw Egley's small Omnibus Life in London (1859) is reckoned as one of the key pictures of contemporary Victorian life.

An adjacent gallery is devoted to 19th Century landscape painting, and this will be described in due course.

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Francis Chantrey // Royal Academy // Tate Gallery // Background Information