The exhibition will be arranged in four main chronological sections, charting the development of the Aesthetic Movement in art and design through the decades from the 1860s to the 1890s. As well as paintings, prints and drawings, the show will include examples of all the 'artistic' decorative arts, together with drawings, designs and photographs, as well as portraits, fashionable dress and jewellery of the era. Literary life will be represented by some of the most beautiful books of the day, whilst a number of set-pieces will reveal the visual world of the Aesthetes, evoking the kind of rooms and ensembles of exquisite objects through which they expressed their sensibilities.
Brooch and hair ornaments
Carved coral and enamelled gold
Museum no. Loan: AmericanFriends.448-2007
Lent by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Judith H. Siegel
The brooch in this set was probably a gift from the painter William Holman Hunt to his wife Edith.
Cartoons for the peacock frieze for the front drawing room, 15 Berkeley Square, London
Charcoal and white chalk on brown paper
Museum no. D.260-1905
The peacock frieze formed part of a decorative scheme designed by the architect George Aitchison for the home of the businessman and musical connoisseur Frederick Lehmann.
Design for 'The Sunflower' wallpaper
Bruce James Talbert
Made by Jeffrey & Co.
Watercolour and body colour
Museum no. E.37-1945
Given by Mrs Margaret Warner
The wallpaper manufacturer Jeffrey & Co. employed Aesthetic designers such as Bruce Talbert to bring 'art' to their products.
Made by James Dixon & Sons
Electroplated nickel silver with ebony handle
Museum no. M.4-2006
Purchased with generous support of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, the American Friends of the V&A and an anonymous donor, the Friends of the V&A, the J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust and a private consortium led by John S.M. Scott
Christopher Dresser embraced industrial production and new materials. The simple geometric forms of the teapots he designed for James Dixon & Sons were strikingly original.
'Mrs Luke Ionides'
William Blake Richmond
Oil on canvas
Museum no. E.1062-2003
Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund and the Friends of the V&A
The Anglo-Greek Ionides family were wealthy merchants and avid collectors of Aesthetic works of art.