The Walker Art Gallery is perhaps most famous for its collection of 19th century art. The gallery was founded in 1873 primarily to display and collect work of that period.
This policy resulted in a comprehensive and exceptional collection of high and late Victorian art.Liverpool also had a strong connection with the Pre-Raphaelite movement and this too is reflected in the gallery.
The works from this period in the collection illustrate the different approaches to painting during the 19th century. Paintings like 'And when did you last see your father?' by William Frederick Yeames (1835-1918) capture the Victorian taste for sentimental or moral narratives, while others reflect the High Victorian concept of 'art for art's sake', where formal concerns were more important than narrative or moral content.
Meanwhile, mainly on the continent, artists such as Cézanne were beginning to approach painting in a way that would have far longer reaching consequences.
Here are some highlights from our collection.