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This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

The Age of Exhibitions

The reign of Queen Victoria saw a great increase in the popularity of exhibitions of all kinds. The Queen and Prince Albert attended the annual shows of the Royal Academy and made numerous purchases. Frederic Leighton’s Cimabue’s Madonna, exhibited in 1855, was the most spectacular, and resulted from a desire to help a promising artist at the beginning of his career.

The scale of some works exhibited at the Society of Painters in Watercolour, including two examples by the royal favourite Edward Corbould, suggests a conscious ambition to rival the work of painters in oil.
No paintings were displayed in the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851, but its successor and imitator in Paris in 1855 included a Fine Arts pavilion, at which Meissonier’s La Rixe was judged the star. These exhibitions promoted the application of art and design to industrial production, especially in metalwork, ceramics and glass, a subject of particular interest to Prince Albert.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.