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Art inspired by literature, theatre, and music

A new exhibition drawn from the Guildhall Art Gallery's permanent collections that examines ways in which visual artists have taken inspiration from the literary arts – poetry, plays, novels, and also music.

Focusing primarily on Victorian storytelling, visitors will learn about literary references which may have been commonly understood to the original audience, but which fell out of circulation for modern audiences.

The exhibition includes paintings, drawings and sculptures which demonstrate the variety of inspirations and influences for artists from the 17th to the 19th century, including portraits of writers, actors, composers, and musicians.

Old favourites have been reassessed and re-interpreted alongside rarely-seen artworks from the archives, revealing the vital interplay between all branches of The Arts.

Don't miss the chance to visit this inspiring exhibition, that has now been extended to 23 December due to popular demand.

Guided tours

Free guided tours of Inspired! by Curator Katty Pearce will take place on the following dates:

  • 7 September
  • 5 October
  • 2 November
  • 7 December

These tours take place at lunchtime (1pm, approx. 45 mins) and admission is included in the exhibition ticket.

Watch the Highlights Video Tour of Inspired! for a taste of what to expect at these Curator sessions, book your tickets, and sign up to our quarterly newsletter to receive updates on what's on at Guildhall Art Gallery.

painting of Greek mythological woman hanging on a blue wall
Clytemnestra at Guildhall Art Gallery. Photography by ©Paul Clarke.