Victorian Childhood

Susan P. Casteras, Author ABRAMS $14.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-8109-2340-9
This is a catalogue of a show at the Yale Center of British Art that features the Forbes Magazine Collection of Victorian Painting. Victorians had a passion for children, demonstrated, for example, in Charles Dodgson's famous obsession with the ""real'' Alice in Wonderland. Whatever psychosexual dimensions underlie the phenomenon, this study is a rather handwashed, sun-dried and starchy version of the period's art. It is reverential both in tone and in selection of works, although Casteras, assistant curator of paintings at the Yale Center, contributes a cogent essay. A typical painting is John Callcott Horsley's ``A Portait Group of Queen Victoria with Her Children'' that is marked by a sentimental, academic style. ``Worn Out'' by Thomas Faed features a working-class man asleep in a chair next to a sick boy. Colored primarily with oranges and russets, the picture has a tear-jerking effect. All in all, these are genre pieces, idealized to a fault, by artists whose works remain in oblivion. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1987
Release date: 03/01/1987
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