Definition of Victorian Art

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Victorian art's vibrant colors represented the high society of the picture of England which was shaped by the 64-year reign of Queen Victoria in the 19th century. Queen Victoria's reign saw a great expansion of the British Empire, which led to a high level of prosperity and social and fashion finery which was recorded in bright, emotional color. Though the Victorian Era of art began with a return to the classic realism which was popular during the height of ancient Roman and Greek societies, the many technological advances made during that time caused changes in the way scientists, artists and the public viewed art and aesthetics.


Time Frame

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Victorian art is a name derived from time-period and encompasses the styles of art that were produced during the Victorian Era, a period identified as the time of Queen Victoria's reign. This reign extended from June, 1837 to January, 1901, and yielded an era which marks the time when the British Empire was at its most powerful.

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Movements of art covered during the Victorian period include the Classicism era, followed by the Neoclassicism movement and includes Impressionism and Post-Impressionism as well. As a result, the Victorian art period began focused on a realism-centric style which hearkened back to classic art style used in ancient Greek and Roman pieces. The Classisism period then went through a series of influences which brought in the use of brighter colors and more emotional strokes, which replaced an attention to realistic detail in shadow and form, leading to the post-impressionism which ended the era of Queen Victoria's reign.



Victorian art was produced by a series of artists who were mainly focused on the popularity of England's high-fashion and modern elegance, which was inspired by the British Empire's growth during the era. This popularity and the elegant artwork which depicted it rendered England to be considered by the world at large a picture of modernity, finery and and elegant etiquette. As a result, Victorian art often portrayed exciting and high-class events in bold colors to express the emotional energy of the situation in the paintings.



Art styles varied somewhat during the Victorian art period because of the huge advances made in photographic and architectural technology during the reign of Queen Victoria. Both architecture and visual arts showed changes in form and decorum as a result of the changing viewpoint on aesthetics, which was caused by the developing technologies.



In addition to popular high-class social events, many paintings during the Victorian era were of the countryside of England. The countryside was the point of view for most of the common people of England, and the emotional tendencies of the painting styles of the Victorian era also made appearances in the art that became popular in the rural areas. The pictures of the English countryside depicted emotional renditions of the work fields and gave brilliant color representation to the common garments of the working class.


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