The Victorian Era (1839-1901)
The Victorian era corresponds with the reign of Queen Victoria in England from 1839 to 1901. The period is beloved for its attention to high morals, modesty and proper decorum, as inspired by the Queen and her husband, Prince Albert. The Victorian era was also an optimistic time in which scientific and industrial invention thrived. Developments in printing produced a proliferation of Victorian scrap art, cards, and magazines. The importance placed on civic conscience and social responsibility engendered notable developments toward gender and racial equality, such as the legal abolishment of slavery in America. In addition, humanitarian and religious organizations such as the Salvation Army reflected the Victorian concern for the poor and needy of the period.
Avant-garde artists banded together with the common vision of recapturing the style of painting that preceded Raphael, famed artist of the Italian Renaissance. They rejected the conventions of industrialized England, especially the creative principles of art instruction at the Royal Academy. Rather, the artists focused on painting directly from nature, thereby producing colourful, detailed, and almost photographic representations. The painters sought to transform Realism with typological symbolism, by drawing on the poetry and literature of William Shakespeare and their own contemporaries.
Extracted from Eras of Elegance
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