Oscar Wilde portrait, prison cell door part of LGBT exhibit

Posted at 11:13 AM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 14:13:23-04

LONDON (AP) — A portrait of Oscar Wilde that once hung above the writer's fireplace has gone on display at London's Tate Britain gallery along with the door to Wilde's prison cell.

The full-length painting of a dapper Wilde by Robert Goodloe Harper Pennington was sold to pay debts as Wilde awaited trial for gross indecency. In 1895, Wilde was sentenced to two years in prison, a period that inspired his poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol."

The items are part of the Tate exhibition "Queer British Art," which charts work "that relates to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer identities" in the century before homosexuality was partially decriminalized in 1967.

The show opens Wednesday and runs until Oct. 1. It includes works by Duncan Grant, Dora Carrington, Cecil Beaton, Francis Bacon and David Hockney.