Susan Owens is an art historian and curator. She is the author of ‘The Ghost: A Cultural History’ (Tate Publishing) and co-author of ‘Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art’ (Yale University Press)

Photograph taken at Balmoral in 1893/94 by Charles Albert Wilson. Ethel Cadogan, Lord William Cecil and Dr Alexander Profeit re-enact a scene from Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott in which Rebecca and a page kneel over Ivanhoe. Royal Collection Trust/© HM Queen Elizabeth II 2020

Making a scene – how the Victorians brought the past to life

Recreating scenes from famous paintings has been all the rage of lockdown, but it’s the Victorians who first played make-believe in earnest

7 May 2020
In the Bezestein, El Khan Khalil, Cairo (1860), John Frederick Lewis. Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

Cairene conversions – the adopted identities of John Frederick Lewis

The Victorian painter certainly had a penchant for play-acting, but his depictions of Egypt remain something of an enigma

2 Oct 2019