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19th century collection

Painting of a banquet scene

Detail of 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais

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.

Please note that this is only a selection from our collection.

Collection highlights

Title: Break-up of the ice on the Seine, near Bennecourt
Artist: Claude Monet
Date: 1893

Title: Dante's Dream
Artist: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date: 1871

Title: Woman Ironing
Artist: Edgar Degas
Date: between 1892 and 1895

Title: Millie Smith
Artist: Ford Madox Brown
Date: 1846

Title: Ophelia
Artist: Henrietta Rae
Date: 1890

Title: The Stonebreaker
Artist: John Brett
Date: 1857 or 1858

Title: Isabella
Artist: John Everett Millais
Date: 1849

Title: Flower Sellers
Artist: Louis Christope Paul Gustave Doré
Date: about 1875

Title: The Murder
Artist: Paul Cézanne
Date: between 1867 and 1870

Title: Elaine
Artist: Sophie Anderson
Date: 1870

Title: And When Did You Last See Your Father?
Artist: William Frederick Yeames
Date: 1878

Title: The Eve of St. Agnes
Artist: William Holman Hunt
Date: between 1847 and 1857