The Great Exhibition of 1851

Digital Scholarship from English 480/580 at Oregon State University



Dublin Core




Designed by Joseph Nash, this is a set of views published with accompanying text as Dickinson’s Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition, exploiting the newly available technique of colour lithography. Nash was one of the more prolific artists working with this medium, whereby a picture is made by printing from a flat surface (traditionally stone, now often a metal plate), on which the artist draws or paints the original design with a greasy substance. The surface is then prepared, moistened and inked; the greasy printing ink adheres to the design, which is then printed onto a sheet of paper.

This view of the colonial exhibits shows that, as well as works of art and manufacture, a large number of natural resources were on display at the Great Exhibition of 1851, including minerals, fruits and vegetables. The aim was to impress the visitor by with the quality of colonial produce. The comparatively few artefacts on display emphasised the importance of these countries to Britain as sources of raw materials and as new markets for their own manufactured goods. The official catalogue described Australia, for example, as ‘the most extensive wool-producing country in the world’, with valuable exports to Britain. This print shows the Greek pavilion, with a national costume on display in a glass case.


Nash, Joseph, born 1808 - died 1878 (artist)
Dickinson Brothers (publisher)


Image from: Dickinsons' comprehensive pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851, volume 1


1854 (published)


Lithograph on paper with watercolour


The Victoria and Albert Museum
Special Collections


Nash, Joseph, born 1808 - died 1878 (artist) Dickinson Brothers (publisher), “Greece,” The Great Exhibition of 1851, accessed January 23, 2019,

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