During the 19th century, illustrated periodicals spread considerably thanks to the possibilities offered by lithographic and xylographic techniques, which multiplied the creation and spreading of images. The exhibition will bring together almost four hundred images, generated by the romantic interest for monuments, but above all by the military operations around the Siege of Bilbao in the Second Carlist War, which ended on 2 May 1874, and by the industrialisation of the Town. These images appeared on the main periodicals of the period (1843-1900), such as La ilustración Española y Americana, El Mundo Pintoresco, The Illustrated London News, The Graphic and L’Illustration.
As a result of this modernisation, Bilbao awakened the interest of illustrated journalism, which would from then on show episodes of the new industrial landscape, mining development, the innovations in urban development and the current situation of the Town. The aim of the exhibition is twofold: firstly, to show the xylographic work of the best draftsmen and engravers of the period, which with its topicality and sequential nature preceded some of the best-known forms of expression of today, such as the cinema or the comic. Secondly, to give an extremely valuable testimony of the history of Bilbao in the second half of the 19th century.