In the mid-nineteenth century, a desire to revive the decorative arts led artists to look for inspiration from the past (from antiquity to the late eighteenth century) and from distant regions such as the Middle East, where they found forms and decorations that they re-interpreted in new designs. This “eclecticism” – a blend of elements drawn from various sources – pervaded the second half of the nineteenth century. It developed in the inspirational context of the World’s Fairs, which encouraged the invention of new industrial design processes worldwide.

Part of the 19th-century galleries will be closed from 25 September to 30 November 2023 for renovation.

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