Visual History of the World

(CONTENTS)
 

 


HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION & CULTURE

From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Photography
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
Prehistory
First Empires
The Ancient World
The Middle Ages
The Early Modern Period
The Modern Era
The World Wars and Interwar Period
The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists

 




The Modern Era

1789 - 1914


In Europe, the revolutionary transformation of the ruling systems and state structures began with a bang: In 1789 the French Revolution broke out in Paris, and its motto "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite"—Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood—took on an irrepressible force. A fundamental reorganization of society followed the French Revolution. The ideas behind the revolution were manifest in Napoleon's Code Civil, which he imposed on many European nations. The 19th century also experienced a transformation of society from another source: The Industrial Revolution established within society a poorer working class that stood in opposition to the merchant and trading middle class. The nascent United States was shaken by an embittered civil war. The economic growth that set in following that war was accompanied by the development of imperialist endeavors and its rise to the status of a Great Power.
 

 


 


Liberty Leading the People,
allegory of the 1830 July revolution that deposed the French monarchy,
with Marianne as the personification of liberty,
contemporary painting by Eugene Delacroix.

 

 


Great Britain
 


1830-1914
 

 

England's economic development was almost half a century ahead of the Continent's due to its early industrialization, but the working conditions were devastating and led to impoverishment of the workers. This made worker protection laws necessary, along with the gradual extension of suffrage to ever-widening sections of the population, to alleviate the social tensions. Under Queen Victoria, whose reign began in 1837, the economy flourished at first, but social problems remained and the worker movement demanded further reforms. The British colonial empire was gradually restructured in the 19th century to become the Commonwealth of Nations.

 



Victorian era


 

 

CONTENTS:

Part I

Victorian era
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Victorian novelists, poets and philosophers
Victorian architecture, painters, book illustrations, photography

Part II

Fashions of the Victorian era
Victorian fashion in England Art

Part III

Victorian fashion in French Art
Victorian fashion in Italy

Part IV

Victorian fashion in German
Victorian fashion in United States
Victorian Design
Victorian Postcards

   

 

see also:
Pre-Raphaelites
Official Art (Academic Art)

Art, Technology and Industry
Furnishings and Fashions
Graphic Design a new History
Art Nouveau I: A New Style for a New Culture

 

 


Fashions of the Victorian era
 

 

Victorian fashion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Victorian fashion comprises the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and grew in prominence throughout the Victorian era and the reign of Victoria, a period which would last from June 1837 to January 1901. Covering nearly two thirds of the 19th century, the 63 year reign would see numerous changes in fashion. These changes would include, but not be limited to, changes in clothing, architecture, literature, and the decorative and visual arts.

Overview of women's fashions, 1794-1887The Great Exhibition of 1851 had a marked impact on fashion, especially home décor, and even social reform movements influenced fashion, through dress reform and rational dress.

Clothing in the Victorian times
Methods of clothing production and distribution varied greatly over the course of Victoria's long reign.

In 1837, cloth was manufactured in the mill towns of northern England, Scotland, and Ireland. But clothing was generally custom-made by seamstresses, milliners, tailors, hatters, glovers, corsetiers, and many other specialized tradespeople, who served a local clientele in small shops. Families who could not afford to patronize specialists, made their own clothing, or bought and modified used clothing.

By 1907, clothing was increasingly factory-made and sold in large, fixed price department stores. Custom sewing and home sewing were still significant, but on the decline.

New machinery and materials changed clothing in many ways.

The introduction of the lock-stitch sewing machine in mid-century simplified both home and boutique dressmaking, and enabled a fashion for lavish application of trim that would have been prohibitively time-consuming if done by hand. Lace machinery made lace at a fraction of the cost of the old, laborious methods.

New materials from far-flung British colonies gave rise to new types of clothing (such as rubber making gumboots and mackintoshes possible). Chemists developed new, cheap, bright dyes that displaced the old animal or vegetable dyes.

Home décor
Main article: Victorian decorative arts
Home decor started spare, veered into the elaborately draped and decorated style we today regard as Victorian, then embraced the retro-chic of William Morris as well as pseudo-Japonaiserie.

Charles Eastlake's Hints on Household Tastes in Furniture, Upholstery and other Details (1868) attempted to educate the middle class on the proper artistic decoration of homes, which required "taste" rather than lavish expenditure.

Victorian prudery

"The proper length for little girls' skirts at various ages", from Harper's Bazaar, showing an 1868 idea of how the hemline should descend towards the ankle as a girl got olderFor most, the Victorian period is still a by-word for sexual repression. Men's clothing is seen as formal and stiff, women's as fussy and over-done. Clothing covered the entire body, we are told, and even the glimpse of an ankle was scandalous. Critics contend that corsets constricted women's bodies and women's lives. Homes are described as gloomy, dark, cluttered with massive and over-ornate furniture and proliferating bric-a-brac. Myth has it that even piano legs were scandalous, and covered with tiny pantalettes.

Of course, much of this is untrue, or a gross exaggeration. Men's formal clothing may have been less colorful than it was in the previous century, but brilliant waistcoats and cummerbunds provided a touch of color, and smoking jackets and dressing gowns were often of rich Oriental brocades. Corsets stressed a woman's sexuality, exaggerating hips and bust by contrast with a tiny waist. Women's ball gowns bared the shoulders and the tops of the breasts. The tight-fitting jersey dresses of the 1880s may have covered the body, but they left little to the imagination.

Home furnishing was not necessarily ornate or overstuffed. However, those who could afford lavish draperies and expensive ornaments, and wanted to display their wealth, would often do so. Since the Victorian era was one of extreme social mobility, there were ever more nouveaux riches making a rich show.

The items used in decoration may also have been darker and heavier than those used today, simply as a matter of practicality. London was noisy and its air was full of soot from countless coal fires. Hence those who could afford it draped their windows in heavy, sound-muffling curtains, and chose colors that didn't show soot quickly. When all washing was done by hand, curtains were not washed as frequently as they might be today.

There is no actual evidence that piano legs were considered scandalous. Pianos and tables were often draped with shawls or cloths—but if the shawls hid anything, it was the cheapness of the furniture. There are references to lower-middle-class families covering up their pine tables rather than show that they couldn't afford mahogany. The piano leg story seems to have originated in Captain Frederick Marryat's 1839 book, Diary in America, as a satirical comment on American prissiness.

Victorian manners, however, may have been as strict as imagined—on the surface. One simply did not speak publicly about sex, childbirth, and such matters, at least in the respectable middle and upper classes. However, as is well known, discretion covered a multitude of sins. Prostitution flourished. Upper-class men and women indulged in adulterous liaisons. Then of course there were the artists and bohemians, as well as the lower classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victorian fashion in England Art

 


William Powell Frith
A Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881

A Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881, 1883, one of Frith's "panoramas", depicting the art-world of his day at a private view, and satirising the influence of Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetic movement. Wilde is the main figure at the right, behind the boy wearing green.

 


William Powell Frith
A Private View at the Royal Academy
(detail)

 


William Powell Frith
A Private View at the Royal Academy
(detail)

 


William Powell Frith
The Railway Station

 


William Powell Frith
The Marriage of the Prince of Wales, 10 March 1863

 


William Powell Frith
For Better, For Worse

 


 William Powell Frith
Life At The Seaside, Ramsgate Sands

 


William Powell Frith
Poverty and Wealth

 


William Powell Frith
Many Happy Returns of the Day

 

 

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