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Subversive Representations of Women and Death in Victorian Visual Culture:The M/Other" in the Art and Craft of George Frederic Watts and Mary Seton Watts.

Rose, L (2016) Subversive Representations of Women and Death in Victorian Visual Culture:The M/Other" in the Art and Craft of George Frederic Watts and Mary Seton Watts. Visual Culture in Britain, 17 (1). pp. 47-74.

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Abstract

This article explores the subversive representations of women and death – and specifically the ‘M/Other’ – by the eminent Victorian artist George Frederic Watts (1817–1904) and his lesser-known wife Mary Seton Watts (née Fraser Tytler, 1849–1938). Using a historicist-feminist approach which combines an awareness of historical context with an application of twentieth-century feminist theory to nineteenth-century visual texts, this paper explores: the neglected works of Mary Watts in relation to the more famous paintings of G.F. Watts; the Wattses’ conjugal creative partnership; their progressive socio-political positions; and their (proto-)feminist works featuring the mother figure. These are all understudied areas in existing scholarship on the Wattses. Through a comparison of Mary and G.F Watts’s visual works in relation to those of their contemporaries, this paper aims to show how the Wattses supported and promoted female emancipation and empowerment through their art, thus reclaiming them as early feminist artists. Central to the originality of this paper is the primary focus on Mary Watts, who has been historically overshadowed by the dominant critical focus on her husband, ‘England’s Michelangelo’; the socio-political (and specifically, feminist) influences, messages, subtexts and functions of her work have never before been explored in detail.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : subj_Language
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of English and Languages > English
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Rose, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2 March 2016
Identification Number : 10.1080/14714787.2016.1141061
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Visual Culture in Britain, and is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 18 May 2016 14:08
Last Modified : 22 Nov 2016 18:42
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/810752

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