This exhibition explores the sinister implications of a popular theme in 19th-century painting: the depiction of the interior as a ‘gilded cage’ where women are ornamental objects.
Iconic Pre-Raphaelite paintings by artists such as Edward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt are shown alongside works by their female peers such as Emma Sandys and Evelyn De Morgan, who challenge and subvert the idealisation of women as captive damsels or passive beauties.
Meanwhile, installation and moving image work by contemporary artists such as Mona Hatoum and Fiona Tan highlight the duality inherent in the interior, as a site that can be a sanctuary or a threat.
The Enchanted Interior includes 84 oil paintings, watercolours, sculptures, films, installations, photography, prints and decorative art by 60 artists – almost half of which are women – including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Frederic Leighton, John William Waterhouse, J.A.M Whistler, Walter Crane, Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning and Hayv Kahraman.
This exhibition is supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.