The Art of the Empire: Three Centuries of British Art celebrates the evolution and vitality of three hundred years of British art, ranging from the 18th century to the present. The exhibition consists of paintings, sculptures, works on paper and illustrated books which are presented in four thematic areas: portraiture, landscape, religious painting and the Pre-Raphaelite vision. It also shows insight into the work of two followers: William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.
After two centuries of exploration and trade, in the 19th century the British Empire ruled over a quarter of the world’s population, from North America to India and Australia. However, for its artists this was a period of identity crisis and self-exploration. The country that had given the world William Shakespeare and Adam Smith was deeply immersed in the industrial revolution and was struggling to leave a mark in the fields of painting and sculpture. This exhibition shows how British artists during this period were finding their own voices while exploring their roots and paying homage to artistic expressions of different times and places. In addition, the works of contemporary art from Puerto Rican private collections offer insight into the reflections that have nourished British art since the second half of the 20th century. The radically changing social and cultural scenes transformed the expressions of local and international artists of all genres and media. All these works as a whole widen the artistic and historical spectrum of the exhibition.
Photos: John Betancourt & Santiago Porter.