The Pre-Raphaelites: Women in the Picture

18 September 2020 – 24 December 2023

Women were the heartbeat of the Pre-Raphaelite movements. If we imagine a Pre-Raphaelite work of art what often comes to mind is an extraordinary, androgynous-looking woman in a scene painted with jewel-like colours. The Pre-Raphaelite artists lived, loved, and worked at the cusp of change for women and, in many ways, this is reflected in their work. Yet these stories are rarely told.

Through Tullie House’s superb collections we explore how women were the objects of the artists’ gaze often becoming a symbol for morality. We consider the striking women who featured in the work, and the determined women who created their own. The women who collected and patronised these artists are celebrated along with their important acquisitions.

Featuring favourite works by Gabriel Dante Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal, Edward Burne-Jones, Phoebe Anna Traquair and Arthur Hughes, alongside works never before displayed in our galleries, we look at the pioneering nature of the Pre Raphaelites, asking the question: when before had gender been so central to art?


Caption: Proserpine, 1874, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Public Domain)


Further information:
  •  Monday – Saturday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm; Sunday – closed
  • Location:  Tullie House, Carlisle
  • Cost:  Adult £15 (lasts for 12 months); Children up to 17 years – free; tickets can be purchased online
  • Directions The gallery is close to the town centre and is within walking distance of the rail station and bus route
  • Contact: Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery,  Castle Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8TP. Tel: 01228 618718; email: