The 19th century tells a long and extraordinary story. Change is afoot in all walks of life. It is a whirlwind of productivity and creativity but also of shocking drama. In this series, Rose Balston will dive deep into the lives and works of just a few artists practicing in this tumultuous time: among others Vigée Le Brun, Canova, Goya, William Blake, the Pre-Raphaelites and Whistler. Through their art, Rose will explore the social, political, economic and religious upheaval that challenged every sector of society.
This was an age of revolution, war, thrumming industry, colonialization and Darwinism. Grappling to come to terms with these unprecedented cultural shifts, artists fought for change – armed just with a brush or chisel and hope for a better future. As they sought out new forms of expression we will witness heroic, disturbing, visionary, melancholic, bold, innovative and dazzlingly modern paintings and sculpture. And as ideas bounced back and forth between England, France, Italy and Spain, we’ll see how this thoroughly exciting period of art completely reinvigorated the role of the artist in the modern world.