All roads lead to Rome: The Classical Revival in Victorian painting

There was an enormous revival of interest in Classical art from 1850 until the turn of the century. Archaeological discoveries in Greece and Italy fuelled the imagination of British painters and designers who saw in ancient Greece and Rome, a reflection of their own Empire.

The works of Lord Leighton, Alma-Tadema, Edward Poynter, John William Waterhouse and others reflected a nostalgic and idyllic attitude to Empire. But were the Victorians just painting their own people in togas?

The talk examines how the work of these painters, rather than expressing a realistic view of classical culture, was in fact a representation of very Victorian attitudes and ideas.