KS4, KS5/Art: Victorians Decoded Resources for GCSE and A-level Art

Graham Ribbed Paled 1884

To accompany our exhibition Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy (at the Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London until 22 January, 2017) we have created a set of free teaching resources for GCSE and A-level art teachers to use with their classes.  The resources (below) are organised around the four themes of the exhibition: distance, transmission, coding and resistance.

Informed by our exhibition catalogue, they provide materials to use in the classroom for a selection of the Guildhall Art Gallery's nineteenth-century paintings from each of the themes. They come as four-slide powerpoints.  Each resource starts with 'Look' introducing the painting to your class.  The next slide, 'Think', encourages them to practice and develop their critical analysis of art, asking them a range of questions in order to explore the paintings more deeply.  They then move on to 'Try' where sketchbook activities are suggested to allow an exploration of the ideas and techniques through their own art work. Finally the 'More' slide makes suggestions for next steps in exploring a theme in more detail.

Tissot, 'The Last Evening'These resources can be used stand-alone or clustered together to explore one of our themes. We are delighted to be able to provide these as a virtual visit to the exhibition for those who are unable to bring their classes to the gallery and after the exhibition has closed. They will also complement a class trip to the exhibition, which is also free. If you would like to visit, contact the Guildhall Gallery. All the resources can be used for free in your classroom, and we expect you might pick and choose what will work with your classes, but we do ask that the resources retain their current form. The images and text cannot be reproduced without permission.

Ingram Evening 1898

We hope you enjoy exploring these wonderful paintings with your classes.  We would love to hear from you if you do use them and to see any resulting work.  To do this, or if you have any questions regarding the resources, please email Anne Chapman: anne.chapman@kcl.ac.uk

Created by Anne Chapman and based on catalogue essays and entries by Caroline Arscott, Anne Chapman, Natalie Hume and Clare Pettitt.

Click on any of the links below to download the Powerpoint


Distance Hook Word resource James Clarke Hook, Word from the Missing (1877)
Distance Ingram Evening resource William Ayerst Ingram, Evening (1898)


Transmission Leighton Music resource Frederic Leighton, The Music Lesson (1877)
Transmission Hook Caught resource James Clarke Hook, Caught by the Tide (1869)
Transmission Logsdail Ninth resource William Logsdail, The Ninth of November, 1888 (1890)


Coding Gilbert Ego resource Sir John Gilbert, Ego et Rex Meus: King Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey (1888)
Coding Tissot Last resource James Tissot, The Last Evening (1873)
Coding Watts Ariadne resource George Frederic Watts, Ariadne on Naxos (1875)


Resistance Graham Ribbed resource Peter Graham, Ribbed and Paled by Rocks Unscalable and Roaring Waters (1885)
Resistance McLachlan Isles resource Thomas Hope McLachlan, The Isles of the Sea (1894)
Resistance Mogford River resource John Mogford, River Scene (before 1885)

Explore our other teaching resources