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Art inspired by literature, theatre, and music

A new exhibition drawn from the Guildhall Art Gallery's permanent collections will examine 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 will include 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 will be reassessed and re-interpreted alongside rarely-seen artworks from the archives, revealing the vital interplay between all branches of The Arts.

Guided tours

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

  • 1 June
  • 6 July
  • 3 August
  • 7 September

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

Book your tickets now and sign up to our quarterly newsletter to receive updates on what's on at Guildhall Art Gallery.

Tickets are currently available to book until 3 July 2022. Tickets for later dates will be available to book from late May. You can sign up to our exhibitions email alert to receive updates when more tickets become available.

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