Study Day: European Paintings Before 1900


At the end of the morning and afternoon sessions, there were opportunities to ask questions and engage in debate.


  • ‘The Sacred Made Real’ exhibition at the National Gallery: did it draw on the huge audience who attended the ‘Seeing Salvation’ exhibition at the National Gallery in 2000?
  • How important was the local link for the ‘John Martin: Heaven & Hell’ exhibition at the Laing Gallery?
  • Discussion about the importance of design and lighting for both the ‘Sacred Made Real’ and ‘John Martin: Heaven & Hell’ exhibitions
  • Discussion about the extraordinary costumes worn by the figures in the Zurbáran series


  • There was some discussion about returning picture galleries to their original designs and the complications involved, particularly with the need to introduce modern technology
  • Some questions were asked about the National Gallery’s post-1800 collection. Why was the date 1900 chosen as a cut-off? What is the relationship of British painting to the National Gallery Collection?  And have the new acquisitions in this area affected public taste?
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