Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Part of the Fine Arts Court

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1851 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Michael, J (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and gouache over pencil on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with Art Fund support and assistance from the Friends of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case WD, shelf 215, box B

The Great Exhibition of 1851 took place at Hyde Park in a revolutionary glass and iron building known as the 'Crystal Palace'. It included over 13,000 exhibits and was the first international exhibition of manufactured products.

The exhibition attracted more than six million visitors, equivalent to a third of the population of Great Britain. This watercolour is from a group of images reproduced as colour lithographs in Recollections of the Great Exhibition, a lavish contemporary souvenir guide. The profits from the Great Exhibition were used to fund several science and art initiatives in South Kensington. They included what is now the Victoria and Albert Museum, whose earliest surviving building was erected in 1857.

This view of the Fine Arts Court shows a display including examples of both secular and religious virtuoso carving. It is centred around an ornamental neo-Gothic font that was probably made by J. Castle of Oxford. The pair of mounted jug-shaped vases flanking the Crucifixion are by a London manufacturer called Egisippo Norchi.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing

Place of Origin

London (made)


1851 (made)


Michael, J (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and gouache over pencil on paper

Descriptive line

Interior view of the Great Exhibition - 'Part of the Fine Arts Court', by J. Michael, 1851

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Julius Bryant, ed. Art and Design for All. The Victoria and Albert Museum London: V&A Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 9781851776665.


Watercolour; Gouache; Paper


Watercolour drawing


Paintings; The Great Exhibition


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.