Living in the Past.

Living in the Past. How artists, architects and designers re-imagined the Classical and Mediaeval to transform 18th and 19th century Britain.

The Classical Revival.

In the 18th century, artists and aristocrats made Grand Tours of southern Europe. Inspired by the art, architecture and archaeology of classical Greece and Rome they set out to redefine the visual and intellectual culture of Britain.

The Gothic Revival.

Reacting against the ordered purity of neo-classicism, and led by Pugin’s obsession with the middle ages, 19th century Britain saw its public buildings and interior decoration reshaped in romantic and fantastical ways. From Windsor Castle, to the Houses of Parliament to village churches, the mediaeval became modern.

The Arts and Crafts Movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement began as a response to the soulless and conformist mass production of the Industrial Revolution. It rapidly influenced architecture, interior and furniture design, printing and the making of jewellery and pottery. Arts and Crafts artists aimed simultaneously at reviving the past and shaping the future.