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Victorian fairytale illustration analysis
August 23, 2010 9:24 PM   Subscribe

Victorian fairytale illustration analysis
For the past six months or so I have been blogging for tor.com on Victorian Illustrations. It's only three posts so far, but that are pretty substantive essays - >1000 words each on various facets of Victorian illustration, and how they might influence us today, with a plethora of links to other resources, images, and analysis.

Purity, Passion & Profanity - on Pre-Raphaelite illustrations, religious ikons, and some little known Victorians.

No Beast so Fierce - on the different ways we have visually represented Beauty and The Beast, and what that says about our culture's ideas of beastliness and beauty.

From a Land, From a Faraway Place - on Orientalism in illustration & painting, and how these images titillate, offend, and intrigue us.
posted by smoke (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by The Whelk on September 3, 2010: [Warning—painted Victorian bosom below]

These are wonderful essays. I read all the way through the Orientalism one and enjoyed the combination of art history talk with the idea of how the same themes, if you know what to look for, are running through a lot of these otherwise disparate images. So great.
posted by jessamyn at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2010


Thanks very much Jessamyn! That means a lot coming from you. :)
posted by smoke at 8:44 PM on August 24, 2010


I pretty much collect this stuff, so this is awesome.
posted by The Whelk at 6:31 PM on August 25, 2010


You must have some deep pockets, Whelk! I have a few collections: Dore, and a really fabulous book called Fantasy Art by Brigid Peppin, reprints of coloured Fairy Books, some W. Heath Robinson, Rackham and others, but the only half-way original I have is an old (but not first, I *think* 20s) edition of Dulac's/Fitzgeralds Omar Khayam. I would love to have some earlier editions, but perhaps I wouldn't be so eager to rifle through the pages if that was the case!

I thought about memailing you because I'm aware of your interest, but it seemed a bit forward!
posted by smoke at 8:30 PM on August 25, 2010


I collect the much cheaper reproductions and odd estate sales and bad copies in illustrated books, so I'm not hurting too much.
posted by The Whelk at 9:17 PM on August 25, 2010


I wouldn't know what I'd do with an actual original, not keep it on a bookshelf... and where is the fun in that?
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 PM on August 25, 2010


Art history is an interest of mine so I was eager to read your essays. I started with the Purity, Passion, and Profanity. You have an interesting premise (woman as subject vs. object) and for the most part very compelling arguments. Unfortunately I kept stumbling over the casual, slangy language ("the Mediterranean witch who got jiggy with Odysseus at one point") and this usage made me feel less inclined to take you seriously.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:43 AM on September 1, 2010


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