Charting a new kind of beauty, art and aesthetic

Examining the middle class Victorian approach to a new kind of femininity and beauty that sees romance as the new chic
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Lord Leighton Frederic, Pavonia (1858-59)

1 / 18 Lord Leighton Frederic, Pavonia (1858-59)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Veronica Veronese (1872)

2 / 18 Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Veronica Veronese (1872)

Sir William Blake, Mrs Luke Ionides (1882), Richmond, London

3 / 18 Sir William Blake, Mrs Luke Ionides (1882), Richmond, London

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Edward Burne-Jones, Ladies and Animals Sideboard (1860), London

5 / 18 Edward Burne-Jones, Ladies and Animals Sideboard (1860), London

Jacques-Joseph James Tissot, Young Women Looking at Japanese Articles (1869)

6 / 18 Jacques-Joseph James Tissot, Young Women Looking at Japanese Articles (1869)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Bocca Baciata (1859)

7 / 18 Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Bocca Baciata (1859)

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Elkington & Co, Tea service (1886), Birmingham

11 / 18 Elkington & Co, Tea service (1886), Birmingham

Designed by Edward William Godwin and printed by Jeffrey & Company, Sunflower wallpaper (1872)

12 / 18 Designed by Edward William Godwin and printed by Jeffrey & Company, Sunflower wallpaper (1872)

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Christopher Dresser, Teapot (c.1879), Sheffield

14 / 18 Christopher Dresser, Teapot (c.1879), Sheffield

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Thomas Armstrong, The Hay Field (1869)

17 / 18 Thomas Armstrong, The Hay Field (1869)

James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 3 (1865-1867)

18 / 18 James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 3 (1865-1867)


Paintings such as Albert Moore's An Open Book (1883-84) and Whistler's Symphony in White No 3 (1865-67) are on display at the V&A as part of The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900, and exhibition which deals with several areas of late nineteenth century design, including dress, as part of an examination of a new culture, art and aesthetic (2 April - 17 July).

At the end of the nineteenth century, while Paris was famed for the perfect and precise, Colin McDowell comments, that was absolutely not what London's artistic middle classes required. (A difference between the two cities that is still true today). As women took more control of their lives, including how they chose to dress, England's individuality asserted itself - and continues today.

 

For a further exploration of this influential art movement in late nineteenth century England, order your copy of The Aesthetic Movement while stocks last.


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