Manchester Art Gallery – Virtual Tour
The Manchester Art Gallery houses many works of local and international significance and has a collection of more than 25,000 objects.
The gallery has an excellent art collection consisting of more than 2,000 oil paintings, 3,000 watercolors and drawings, 250 sculptures, 90 miniatures, and around 1,000 prints.
It owns many decorative art objects, including ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork, arms, and armor.
Virtual Tour of the Manchester Art Gallery
- “Hylas and the Nymphs” by John William Waterhouse
- “The Death of King Arthur” by James Archer
- “The Funeral of a Viking” by Frank Dicksee
- “The Sirens and Ulysses” by William Etty
- “The Scapegoat” by William Holman Hunt
- “The Lady of Shalott” by William Holman Hunt
Highlights of the Manchester Art Gallery
“Hylas and the Nymphs” by John William Waterhouse portrays the abduction of Hylas by water nymphs. Hylas, according to classical mythology, was as a youth who served as Heracles’ companion and servant.
Hylas was kidnapped by nymphs of the spring, who had fallen in love with him, and he vanished without a trace. According to one ancient author, Heracles never found Hylas because he had fallen in love with the nymphs and remained “to share their power and their love.”
According to legend, the loss of Hylas extremely upset Heracles, and he searched for a long time for his companion. Heracles had recruited Hylas as his arms bearer and had taught him to be a warrior: “He taught him all the things which had made him a mighty man, and famous.”
“The Death of King Arthur” by James Archer depicts the death of the legendary King Arthur. Arthur is shown laid out; his wounded body and clothes reveal his battle scars.
He wears a suit of chainmail under a tunic, bearing the emblem of a dragon on the chest, and there is a fur blanket covering his legs.
Arthur’s head rests on the lap of Queen Guinevere, who is seated on a cushion on the ground as she strokes his brow. Seated at his side is another female figure, also wearing a crown, with an open book upon her lap, as she offers the King a drink from a tiny cup.
Kneeling at his feet is the third female figure who is weeping into her hands. The fourth female figure with a mournful expression is kneeling closeby and resting her head against the trunk of a tree.
“The Funeral of a Viking” by Frank Dicksee depicts the funeral of a Viking leader laid out in a boat that has been ceremonially set ablaze as it is being pushed out to sea with the tide.
The recumbent body of the dead Viking is fully armored and surrounded by flames as he lies on a burning pyre in a Viking Ship.
The Viking boat has a stern carved into the form of the head of a mythical beast. It is being hauled into the rough sea and pushed out to sea by muscular Vikings.
Standing on the shore are a crowd of Viking men and soldiers with arms and weapons raised as the burning ship is pushed out.
The most prominent of these figures is that of an armored man wearing a crested helmet and a breast-plate with raised ornamentation. With his right arm raised, he salutes his leader while holding a flaming torch in his left.
“The Sirens and Ulysses” by William Etty depicts a scene from Homer’s Odyssey. It shows Ulysses becoming bewitched by the song of the Sirens.
Ulysses was warned about the Sirens; however, he wanted to hear the song. So he ordered his ship’s crew to tie him up and to block their ears to prevent themselves from hearing the song and becoming bewitched.
Etty portrayed the Sirens as naked young women on an island strewn with decaying corpses.
“The Scapegoat” by William Holman Hunt is a vividly colored depiction of a reddish-brown colored goat on death’s brink. The goat stands with head lowered, haunches caving in, and tongue hanging out.
The desert landscape is barren, and in the distance is a range of hills in purple and pink, above which is a yellow and pink sky and almost black clouds in the right. In contrast to the dark clouds is a well-defined rainbow.
Hunt’s belief in direct observation for creating art led him to leave for Palestine in 1854 in search of biblical locations. Hunt wanted to experience the Biblical narratives’ actual locations and confront the relationship between faith and truth.
It was to the south of the Dead Sea, at Kharbet Esdun, which was then identified as the site of Sodom, that he painted the desolate landscape of his Scapegoat.
“The Lady of Shalott” by William Holman Hunt depicts a scene from Tennyson’s poem, “The Lady of Shalott.” Hunt shows the moment immediately after the Lady has looked directly out of her window at Sir Launcelot as her fate beings to unwind.
In Tennyson’s poem, the Lady of Shalott is confined to a tower on an island near Camelot, cursed not to leave the tower or look out of its windows.
She suffers from a mysterious curse and must continually weave images on her loom without ever looking directly out at the world. Instead, she looks into a mirror, reflecting the people of Camelot who pass by her island.
She weaves a tapestry, viewing the outside world only through reflections in a mirror behind her. The painting depicts the scene in which the Lady sees Sir Launcelot in her mirror.
The sight of the handsome knight and the sound of him singing draws her away from her loom to the window, yarn still clinging around her knees, bringing down the curse upon her.
Manchester Art Gallery
- Name: Manchester Art Gallery
- City: Manchester
- Country: England
- State: United Kingdom
- Established: 1823
- Location: Mosley Street, Manchester, England
Manchester Art Gallery Map
Insights into the Manchester Art Gallery
Explore Museums in the United Kingdom
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Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery After Hours / Museums at Night
“Great events make me quiet and calm;
it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.”
– Queen Victoria
Photo Credit: By David Dixon (From geograph.co.uk) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons