The Genius of Victorian Painting: A Reappraisal of Painting in England 1870 to 1890

179 TUTOR: Martin Beek (BA Hons)

This course examines the themes and preoccupations of late Victorian art, a subject which has regained notice in recent years. In Britain the work of many artists communicated the hopes and desires of a confident society at the height of its Imperial reach. We will look at depictions of the leisured middle class in the work of James Tissot, contrasted with paintings of the working poor by Luke Fildes and Hubert von Herkomer. We will examine the interactions between Classicism and Aestheticism, and the significance of the Whistler vs. Ruskin libel trial of 1878. The course will also focus on the work of Frederic Lord Leighton, John Everett Millais, John Singer Sargent, G.F. Watts and latter-day Pre-Raphaelites such as Evelyn De Morgan and Edward Burne-Jones.

4 PM
PM course

Course Notes

Day 1. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions 1870-90. Ten prominent works and their themes.

Day 2. The social realism of Herkomer and Fildes, the relationship between the graphic arts and painting in Victorian England.

Day 3. "Mere coloured photographs of vulgar society” (Fors Clavigera by John Ruskin). The leisured middle class and painting as a mirror of high society, 1870-80.

Day 4. The beauty and the beast. Victorian art and the Classical inheritance. Frederic Lord Leighton and G.F. Watts.

Day 5. Approaching the end of the nineteenth century: how contemporary artists and their work reflected the changing values, beliefs, anxieties of the period.

Course Tutor

Martin Beek

BA Hons

About Martin

 Martin has worked as an artist both here in U.K. and also for many years in U.S.A. He has taught digital and iPad art at The Ashmolean and other educational settings in Oxfordshire. Whilst his own work spans a wide range of media, he is passionate about exploring the possibilities of technology in personal creativity. Martin frequently exhibits his own work as well as organising group exhibitions and networking with others. Martin's work is widely available to view on social media. He also lectures on nineteenth century art history. He is currently based in Oxford.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM