During the Victorian period there developed a new anxiety about male-female relations and roles in modern society, as described by a member of the Athenaeum in 1858, ’the distinction of man and woman, their separate as well as their joint rights, begins to occupy the attention of our whole community, and with no small effect’. These essays examine Victorian painting in the light of this 'woman question' by analysing the change in representation of the family, romance, social issues such as emigration and colonialism, the use of the female nude and the traditions of portraiture, history-painting and still life. The art and artists are considered in a socio-political context, and the connections between Victorian sexism, racism and classism are examined. These essays bring to light much previously unknown work (especially by women) and reappraise many well-known paintings.
Contents: List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Gentlemen, geniuses and interlopers; ’Delightful but limited’; Trouble in paradise; Broken blossoms; The Domestication of history; ’Look homeward, angel!’; In Venus’ train; Bibliography; Index.
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