Victoria Art Gallery

Coordinates: 51°22′58″N 2°21′31″W / 51.38265°N 2.35860°W / 51.38265; -2.35860
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Victoria Art Gallery
Victoria Art Gallery is located in Somerset
Victoria Art Gallery
Location within Somerset and the United Kingdom
LocationBath, Somerset
Coordinates51°22′58″N 2°21′31″W / 51.38265°N 2.35860°W / 51.38265; -2.35860
Visitors92,000 per year[1]
WebsiteMuseum website

The Victoria Art Gallery is a public art museum in Bath, Somerset, England. It was opened in 1900 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is a Grade II* listed building and houses over 1,500 objects of art including a collection of oil paintings from British artists dating from 1700 onwards. The ground floor was at one time a public library.

The gallery[edit]

The building was designed in 1897 by John McKean Brydon, and has been designated as a Grade II* listed building.[2] It originally was partly used as a public library but was converted in 1990 to house and display only art works. The building is constructed of limestone ashlar rendered in its upper half and occupies a corner site. It is a two storey building with an attic tower with a lead-covered dome. There are nine bays on Bridge Street and one on Grand Parade and each floor consists mainly of one large rectangular room. A flight of stone steps rises to the circular entrance hall which leads to the former library. The main stair is approached through an arch and is a seventeenth century revival stair made of mahogany with bulbous balusters. The ceiling is barrel-vaulted. The upper landing has Ionic marble columns and a coffered dome, embossed with signs of the Zodiac in relief. The Upper Gallery is lit by a range of skylights and has a coved ceiling, a copy in plaster of the Parthenon frieze, and a panelled dado with triglyphs.[2]

The exterior of the building includes niches, the central niche being larger and flanked with Ionic columns and pilasters, holding a statue of Queen Victoria, by Andrea Carlo Lucchesi, and friezes of classical figures by George Anderson Lawson on either side.[3] The council offices, the Guildhall, continue the building to the south-west.

The Gallery was named to celebrate Queen Victoria's sixty years on the throne. It is run by Bath and North East Somerset council and houses their collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts.[1] There are two main galleries, the Upper Gallery and the Lower Gallery, linked by an imposing marble hallway and grand staircase.[4]

The collection[edit]

The collection includes over 1,500 decorative arts treasures including a display of British oil paintings from 17th century to the present day including works by Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Jones Barker and Walter Sickert.[5] Other items on display include sculptures, glassware and decorative artistic objects.[4]

Cuts to funding from central government now mean that it has introduced charges for entrance to temporary exhibitions for the first time since the gallery was opened.[6] Either of the two galleries are available for hire as venues for wedding ceremonies or drinks receptions.[4]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Temporary exhibitions at the gallery have included:



  1. ^ a b "Welcome to the Victoria Art Gallery". Victoria Art Gallery. Retrieved 28 October 2007.
  2. ^ a b "VICTORIA ART GALLERY AND LIBRARY, Non Civil Parish - 1394957 | Historic England". Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  3. ^ "The Victoria Art Gallery, Bath". The website of Bob Speel. Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 28 October 2007.
  4. ^ "Victoria Art Gallery, Bath". Culture24. Retrieved 28 October 2007.
  5. ^ "Council says charges at Victoria Art Gallery would only be for exhibitions". Bath Chronicle. Northcliffe Media. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences". The Victoria Art Gallery. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  7. ^ "James Tower Ceramic Artist: A centenary celebration". The Victoria Art Gallery. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre". The Victoria Art Gallery. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Freud, Minton, Ryan: unholy trinity". The Victoria Art Gallery. 17 March 2021. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  10. ^ "From Hogarth to Hodgkin: Our Best Prints". The Victoria Art Gallery. 29 November 2021. Retrieved 2 February 2022.

External links[edit]