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Pre-Raphaelite favourite returns to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Pre-Raphaelite favourite returns to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

25th January 2013

One of the most famous and popular paintings at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Ford Madox Brown’s The Last of England, is back on display in Birmingham after a triumphant showing at Tate Britain.

The Last of England- short listed by Radio 4 in a survey to find ‘The Greatest Painting in Britain‘- was one of fourteen works from Birmingham Museums’ collections lent to Tate’s major exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, which closed on 13 January. During the show, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery borrowed 11 major late-Victorian paintings from Tate which were displayed alongside related works from Birmingham Museums’ own collections in the dramatic exhibition Love and Death: Victorian Paintings from Tate.  The centrepiece was John William Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott (1888), one of the nation's most famous and popular paintings, which rarely travels outside London.  It was seen by over 72,000 visitors during its showing at BMAG.

Birmingham Museums was the largest lender to the Tate Britain exhibition which attracted 242,957 visitors, making it the second most popular show in the gallery’s history.

Simon Cane, Interim Director of Birmingham Museums Trust said: ‘We are delighted The Last of England is back in Birmingham after its hugely successful showing at Tate Britain. Birmingham Museums Trust holds the finest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world, consisting of over 3000 drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, textiles and ceramics. Our links with Tate Britain have ensured some of these prestigious works are showcased to a wider audience and reinforced the Museum’s pre-eminence as a centre for collecting and studying Pre-Raphaelite art’.

Nine of the BMAG loans to Tate Britain – including Millais’s The Blind Girl (1854-6) and Holman Hunt’s The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple (1854-60) – will travel on with the exhibition to Washington, where it will be shown at the National Gallery of Art from 17 February to 19 May 2013, and four will be included at the final venue for the tour, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow (June-September 2013). 

A digitised online resource of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s collections of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, drawings, books and applied art can be accessed here: www.preraphaelites.org 

The Last of England by Ford Madox Brown

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