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The Painting of Modern Life

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Abstract

It has long been recognised that French Impressionism was in some ways a response to the economic, political and social upheavals of Second Empire Paris. But although the links between the Victorian novel and the city have received extensive critical attention, treatments of Victorian painting have largely failed to consider why, despite radical changes in London comparable in scale to Haussmann’s remodelling of Paris, no developments in English art occurred comparable to French Impressionism.1

Keywords

Modern Life Royal Academy Sexual Double Standard Protestant Work Ethic Picture Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    For surveys of Victorian representations of London, see Victorian Artists and the City, ed. Ira Bruce Nadel and F.S. Schwarzbach (New York, 1980); Google Scholar
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  5. 5.
    Donald J. Olsen, The Growth of Victorian London (Harmondsworth, 1979); and The City as a Work of Art (New Haven, 1986). Google Scholar
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    ‘The Boiled Beef of New England’ (1863), in Dickens, Dent Uniform Edition of Dickens’s Journalism, ed. Michael Slater et al. 4 vols. (1994–2000), IV, p. 279.Google Scholar
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    Henry C. Selous’s painting of the opening ceremony is reproduced in Felix Barker and Peter Jackson, London: 2000 Years of a City and its People (1983), p. 283. Google Scholar
  10. Thomas Colman Dibdin’s Crystal Palace in Hyde Park (1851) is cat. no. 90 in Galinou and Hayes, London in Paint. The two royal commissions by James Duffield Harding and William Wyld are cat. nos. 300 and 1050 in Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen (Cambridge, 1992).Google Scholar
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  14. 11.
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  26. 24.
    An exception to my generalisation is G.F. Watts’s The Seamstress (c. 1850), pl. 5 in Helene E. Roberts, ‘Marriage, Redundancy or Sin: The Painter’s View of Women in the First Twenty-Five Years of Victoria’s Reign’, in Suffer and Be Still, ed. Martha Vicinus (Bloomington, 1973), pp. 45–76. Google Scholar
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  29. 26.
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  37. 52.
    The Diary of Ford Madox Brown, ed. Virginia Surtees (New Haven, 1981), p. 144.Google Scholar
  38. 53.
    See Richard Wollheim, Painting as an Art (1987), pp. 342–7 and pls. XXV, XXVI.Google Scholar
  39. 56.
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  40. 57.
    Alan Bowness and Anthea Callen, The Impressionists in London (1973), p. 13.Google Scholar
  41. 61.
    Conversely, Frith’s panoramic canvases were themselves translated or ‘realized’ into tableaux vivantsin popular melodrama. See Martin Meisel, Realizations (Princeton, 1983), pp. 380–2.Google Scholar
  42. 62.
    Mary Cowling, The Artist as Anthropologist: The Representation of Type and Character in Victorian Art (Cambridge, 1989).Google Scholar
  43. 64.
    ‘Conventionalities’, Saturday Review, 9 December 1865, p. 723, quoted in Mary Poovey, Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England (Chicago, 1988), p. 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 65.
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  46. 69.
    Keith Thomas, ‘The Double Standard’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 20 (1959) 195–216; pp. 209–12; CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  49. 73.
    Jan Marsh, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood (1985), pp. 37–42.Google Scholar
  50. 79.
    The studies for Found (c. 1858–9) are discussed in Virginia Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882): A Catalogue Raisonné, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1971), no. 64 and pls. 65–76.Google Scholar
  51. 80.
    Marsh, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, pp. 32–3. On the female model, see Paula Gillett, The Victorian Painter’s World (Gloucester, 1990), pp. 155, 182–5.Google Scholar
  52. 82.
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  53. The Unknown Mayhew: Selections from the Morning Chronicle 1849–1850, ed. E.P. Thompson and Eileen Yeo (1971), pp. 120–5, 147–52, 178–80.Google Scholar
  54. 85.
    By contrast, the socioeconomic determinants of prostitution are emphasised in Augusta Webster’s dramatic monologue of a defiant courtesan, ‘A Castaway’ (1870), in Nineteenth-Century Women Poets, ed. Isobel Armstrong and Joseph Bristow with Cath Sharrock (Oxford, 1996), pp. 602–17.Google Scholar
  55. 87.
    See Brown’s 1865 exhibition catalogue in Kenneth Bendiner, The Art of Ford Madox Brown (University Park, 1998), Appendix 3.Google Scholar
  56. 88.
    Helene E. Roberts, ‘Exhibition and Review: The Periodical Press and the Victorian Art Exhibition System’, in The Victorian Periodical Press, ed. Joanne Shattock and Michael Wolff (Leicester and Toronto, 1982), p. 91; Wood, Victorian Panorama, p. 176.Google Scholar
  57. 89.
    See Robert L. Herbert, Impressionism: Art, Leisure and Parisian Society (New Haven, 1988), pp. 68–9.Google Scholar
  58. 90.
    Bracebridge Hemyng, ‘Prostitution in London’, in Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, 4 vols. [1861–2] (New York, 1968), IV, pp. 234–5.Google Scholar
  59. 91.
    See two studies by Paul Hogarth entitled Arthur Boyd Houghton (1975) and (1981).Google Scholar
  60. 94.
    Osborn’s painting is discussed in Deborah Cherry, Painting Women: Victorian Women Artists (1993), pp. 78–81.Google Scholar
  61. 97.
    See Kirk Varnedoe, Gustave Caillebotte (New Haven, 1987).Google Scholar
  62. 98.
    Two notable exceptions are George Clausen’s Schoolgirls (1880) and A Spring Morning, Haverstock Hill (1881), which juxtapose middle-class girls and women with working-class flower-sellers, a milk-seller, and street pavers. For reproductions, see Casteras, Images of Victorian Womanhood, fig. 24 and plate; Wood, Victorian Panorama, pl. 161. Compare also Edward Clegg Wilkinson’s Spring — Piccadilly (1887), in Wood, pl. 160; and Logsdail’s contemporaneous painting (figure 38 infra). At a more facile level, Augustus E. Mulready’s mawkish paintings of the haves and the have-nots offer a trite moral commentary on social inequalities.Google Scholar
  63. 99.
    Hard Times: Social Realism in Victorian Art, ed. Julian Treuherz (1987), p. 83.Google Scholar
  64. 101.
    Fildes was joining an artistic colony in the Melbury Road area, including Leighton, Watts and Marcus Stone. See Mark Girouard, Sweetness and Light: The ‘Queen Anne’ Movement 1860–1900 (1977; New Haven, 1984), p. 92.Google Scholar
  65. 103.
    Alexander Robertson, Atkinson Grimshaw (Oxford, 1988).Google Scholar

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© Alan David Robinson 2004

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