Victorian Contexts: Literature and the Visual Arts by Murray Roston

By Murray Roston

Examines how either artist and author within the Victorian period replied to the shared demanding situations, assumptions, and dilemmas in their time, usually unaware that a similar difficulties have been being faced within the kindred media. The putting of such writers as Dickens, G.Eliot, Hopkins, and Henry James in the context of Victorian portray, structure, and inside layout deals clean insights into their works, in addition to reassessments of such issues because the mid-century illustration of the Fallen girl or the impression of commodity tradition upon modern aesthetic standards.

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Victorian Contexts: Literature and the Visual Arts

Examines how either artist and author within the Victorian period replied to the shared demanding situations, assumptions, and dilemmas in their time, usually unaware that an identical difficulties have been being faced within the kindred media. The putting of such writers as Dickens, G. Eliot, Hopkins, and Henry James in the context of Victorian portray, structure, and inside layout bargains clean insights into their works, in addition to reassessments of such subject matters because the mid-century illustration of the Fallen lady or the impression of commodity tradition upon modern aesthetic criteria.

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53 That Turner had cause to be of a melancholy turn of mind as a result of his filial suffering is certainly true, but there is no solid evidence to support the claim that he was in fact melancholy, and psychoanalytical deductions can be notoriously misleading. It is, for example, a platitude of critical history that the darker elements in Byron's personality are to be attributed in large part to his physical disability, the club foot with which he was born; but it is rarely noted that Sir Walter Scott suffered from a similar malformation, and yet was of a genial and optimistic disposition.

Since Carlyle had distinguished between the prophet as the preacher of morality and the poet as the servant of beauty, that latter definition, embracing all aesthetic pursuits, extends his remarks on literary creativity to apply to the painter too, even though Carlyle himself seems to have evinced little interest in the visual arts. Neither Leonardo nor Michelangelo nor any other great painter is included in his gallery of heroes as counterpart to his beloved Dante and Shakespeare; and, on the few occasions when he does mention painting, he appears content to rely on hearsay rather than personal knowledge.

The vortex does represent the ephemeral and uncontrolled, whether it be the confusion and savagery of conquest in his Hannibal, the advent of typhoon and storm in his sea-scapes, or the distorted passions of human greed and viciousness expressed in the powerful canvas dating from 1840 of Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying in the Turmoil of an Approaching Typhoon, with the frail ship tossed helplessly in the blackening Carlyle's 'Fire-Baptism' 33 waves, human limbs torn apart by predatory creatures, and the sky a mass of whirling movement in warning of the oncoming storm.

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