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Social Realism in Victorian Art

Victorian art: a hard-hitting way of engaging with issues of social injustice, economic distress and iniquities of the class system

In Victoria’s Britain, visual art could be a surprisingly hard-hitting way of engaging with issues of social injustice, economic distress and the iniquities of the class system. Working-class figures were not always reassuring stereotypes or contented peasants, and both the revolutionary theories of the Pre-Raphaelites and the influence of French Realist painting combined with fresh thinking about the subjects of art to provide a range of imagery sufficiently powerful to have inspired Van Gogh during his English sojourn. From the working conditions of the seamstress to the plight of the homeless, with strikes, unemployment, prostitution and drunkenness all making their appearance, this lecture will show the darker side of the Victorian world, discussing when and why such subjects make their appearance and whether they were ever popular.


Dr Gail-Nina Anderson | talks | www


Date and Time:

26 October 2011 at 6:00 pm


1 hour



University Gallery and Baring Wing
Northumbria University
Sandyford Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
0191 227 4424

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Available from:

Email andrew.etherington@northumbria.ac.uk or phone 0191 227 4424

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