Art & Soul: Victorians and the Gothic
22 November 2014 – 12 April 2015
Paintings, tapestries, furniture, stained glass and metalwork reveal that the Victorian taste for Gothic style encompassed all areas of art and design.
Some of the most iconic art of the Victorian era draws its inspiration from the Middle Ages. From design and iconography to popular mediaeval myths and legends, the Gothic influence can be see in works by William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites as well as other leaders in the arts and crafts movement. Notable examples here include the series of Holy Grail Tapestries – one of the most ambitious projects by Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Based on Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, the tapestries tell the story of the Knights of the Round Table and their quest for the Holy Grail.
Charting the revival in the south-west, the display includes a range of 19th century furnishings and fittings from Devon churches, a bronze throne from Tyntesfield and mediaeval-design sculptures that were created by Exeter-based Harry Hems. There is special focus on on the Royal Albert Memorial Museum itself – one of the most important Gothic revival buildings in the region, designed by John Hayward and inspired by John Ruskin.