Art in the victorian era

In broad terms, the period was marked by sudden and unexpected breaks with traditional ways of viewing and interacting with the world. Experimentation and individualism became virtues, where in the past they were often heartily discouraged. Modernism was set in motion, in one sense, through a series of cultural shocks.

Art in the victorian era

The omissions were indeed striking. He even claimed that Gibbon would have desired "nothing more ardently" than to see his work improved in this way.

Art in the victorian era

But Bowdler was not quite what he seemed, or posterity, which invented the word "bowdlerize" to denote a foolish or misconceived editing of a text to remove contentious passages, has depicted.

To begin with, he did not actually edit Shakespeare and Gibbon at all. The task was actually carried out by his sister Harriet, who was well enough known in society circles to have her portrait painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence 3.

Bowdler himself, in any case, was not a Victorian at all, but died in Life was not a task to him, but a sinecure: As the journalist W. Greg wrote admiringly of the great Victorian headmaster of Rugby boarding school, Thomas Arnold, 4 after his death inincidentally illustrating how much the values he described were shared across Europe: The predominant characteristic of Dr.

Life, in his view of it, was no pilgrimage of pleasure, but a scene of toil, of effort, of appointed work - of grand purposes to be striven for - of vast ends to be achieved - of fearful evils to be uprooted or trampled down - of sacred and mighty principles to be asserted and carried out.

In architecture, Classical ideals of proportion dominated, derived from the Roman writer Vitruvius; in sculpture, the ideal form was considered to be embodied in Classical works such as the Apollo Belvedere 5.

Artists like Constable and Turner, for all their later departure from Classical principles, went through this training, which left its indelible mark on their work. As Dr Arnold remarked: It has always seemed to me one of the great advantages of the course of study generally pursued in our English schools, that it draws our minds so continually to dwell upon the past.

Every day we are engaged in studying the languages, the history, and the thoughts of men who lived nearly or more than two thousand years ago; if we have to inquire about laws or customs, about works of art or science, they are the laws, customs, arts, and sciences, not of existing nations, but of those whose course has been long since ended.

Arnold saw this study as a kind of moral and mental discipline that would equip boys with the sound principles needed for adult life. This, indeed, was for many Victorians a touchstone of literary and historical value.

They were, in fact, among the first characteristic literary products of the dominant cultural movement of the first half of the nineteenth century, Romanticism, and Romanticism was itself not least a reaction against the rationalist and materialist spirit of the Enlightenment.

If the Enlightenment had stressed the need to subordinate the emotions to the intellect, Romanticism took the opposite line and stressed instead the emotions as the fundamental source of truth, authenticity and their expression in art.

The emergence of Romanticism reflected widespread European revulsion against the excesses of the Revolution and Terror in France, a revulsion shared in full measure in Britain, and widely ascribed to the hegemony of abstract and rigid conceptions of how human happiness was to be achieved.

At the same time, however, Romanticism was also a revolt against the social hierarchies and rigidities of the eighteenth century. Often the artist himself was depicted as an isolated individual fighting against the world and defying convention: Beethoven rather than Haydn, for example.

The idea of the tortured genius was central to the Romantic ideal of art. So too was the revival of interest in the Middle Ages, seen not as a dark period of credulity and superstition, but as an era of great deeds and deep emotions, far away from the prosaic and mechanical world of early industrial society.


Romantic groups such as the Pre-Raphaelites sought to return to a world not just before the Enlightenment but also, as their name deliberately proclaimed, the Renaissance, or at least its later phases.

The language of the Romantic poets emphasized its roots in ordinary speech, rejecting the artificiality of Classical metre and rhyme. Romantic art aimed at arousing strong emotions, not just happiness and sadness, but particularly in its choice of subjects, awe, terror, even revulsion: Byron and Shelley were rebels against conventional morality, just as Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites used working-class girls and even prostitutes as models.

Yet Romanticism also contained within itself the seeds of a very different kind of aesthetic moral code.

Antique Dining Room

By emphasizing the primacy of the emotions in the human spirit, it opened the way for religion to escape the scorn of Enlightenment rationalists and to come back into the cultural mainstream. A return to the Middle Ages for inspiration could not avoid taking up the religious subjects that were central to the aesthetic of the era.The Victorian era brought new quilts styles including the Crazy Quilt, Charm Quilts, Redwork and Puff Quilting yet ordinary pieced quilts were still made.

Art in the victorian era

The opening of the Tate Gallery in , opened to display sugar merchant Sir Henry Tate's collection of Victorian art, proved the last triumph of Victorian painting. Leighton and Millais had died the preceding year; Burne-Jones died in , followed by Ruskin in and Victoria herself in Victorian art is a name derived from time-period and encompasses the styles of art that were produced during the Victorian Era, a period identified as the time of Queen Victoria's reign.

This reign extended from June, to January, , and yielded an era which marks the time when the British Empire was at its most powerful. The Victorian era is generally agreed to stretch through the reign of Queen Victoria ().

It was a tremendously exciting period when many artistic styles, literary schools, as well as, social, political and religious movements flourished. In the meantime, Queen Victoria was on the throne and the Victorian Era (–) was in full swing.

This was a period of relative peace and prosperity in Britain, and with it came advancements in .

Gothic Revival | architectural style |

Welcome to my shop! We appreciate your visit. We sell a variety of original Victorian and vintage jewelry, from costume to fine, as well as original Victorian accessories and sundries, and meticulously researched reproduction 19th Century clothing.

Modernism - Literature Periods & Movements