A new exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery will offer visitors a fresh perspective on artists who were working during the Industrial Revolution.

Drawing on major works from museums and galleries across the UK, this exhibition puts side by side pre-Raphaelite artists and their French contemporaries. The free exhibition opens on Thursday 28 March.

Radical Landscapes: Pre-Raphaelites and Their French Contemporaries features thirty paintings from museums and galleries around the UK including Manchester Art Gallery, the Harris Museum & Art Gallery and National Museums Scotland. 

It is a rare opportunity to see Impressionist works by Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne alongside landscape works by Ford Maddox Brown, William Homan Hunt and John Everett Millais.

The Industrial Revolution brought about massive developments. Rapid technological advances changed how people saw and experienced the world. Artists were confronted with unusual new views whilst workers suddenly had leisure time and affordable rail travel offered everyone a way to see and visit more of a country.

Pre-Raphaelite painters avoided reflecting on their actual surroundings, choosing instead to focus on more traditional views and approaches to landscape painting. They sought to accurately represent the natural world and honour the ideal of ‘God’s Creation’ with paintings of traditional landscape scenes, despite many of these being swept away by industrial progress.

French artists on the other hand embraced progress and modernity. Challenged by new technology, including photography and printmaking, they sought to capture impressions and fleeting glimpses of the world around them and document the mundane and every day.

Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said “This exhibition is packed with inspiring works from major museums and galleries across the UK.

“It’s another great opportunity for the people of Wolverhampton to see world class art, right on their doorstep.”

Radical Landscapes: Pre-Raphaelites and Their French Contemporaries continues until Sunday 9 June.

The exhibition is part of a landscape season at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Lisa Hendserson Landscapes opened on Saturday, 9 March and features a range of works by the locally-renowned artist. The exhibition features a new series inspired by Canncok Chase as well as landscapes in Wales, Scotland, New Zealand and other ‘imagined’ worlds. 

Making an Impression: Prints by Manet, Pissarro and their Contemporaries opens on Thursday 28 March. A touring exhibition from The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, it features a range of prints by masters of French Impressionism Édouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and more.

Admission to all these world class exhibitions is free.