The years 1785-1865 were the era of the ‘statement picture’. Spectacular paintings of a colossal size were created with educated and cultured audiences in mind. Some, including the works in this display by were private commissions made on a royal scale which presented family history as national propaganda.
The Royal Academy of Arts, founded in London in 1768, and the Royal Scottish Academy, established in Edinburgh in 1826, provided a prominent stage for exhibiting such theatrical blockbusters.Certain entrepreneurial artists, including John Singleton Copley and Samuel Bough, produced celebratory modern history paintings as commercial speculations, dealers and publishers collaborating with artists by issuing reproduction prints of these epic works for the popular market.
In order to protect our vulnerable works of art from any kind of accidental damage we kindly ask all visitors to either carry their rucksack/backpack by hand or place it in a locker.
We are currently working on improving our galleries. During this time some rooms will be closed and there will be limited disabled access to some areas. Some facilities will also be temporarily removed.
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