Department of Arts and Cultural Studies
Karen Blixens Vej 1
2300 København S
The Italian Renaissance gained a large and widespread popularity in Victorian England. This interest manifested itself in the visual arts of the period where artists affiliated with The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood often imitated and paraphrased works by Renaissance artists.
Simultaneously, the Pre-Raphaelite art often gave visual form to many of the big changes regarding gender norms and identities that took place in the Victorian era. My PhD project wishes to investigate connections between these seemingly opposite tendencies in Pre-Raphaelite art: the backward-looking and the progressive.
The project's hypothesis is that imitation in many cases was used as an artistic means of reproducing new and non-traditional representations of gender in art, by drawing, for example, on the sensuality of Michelangelo's sculptures to reassess the Victorian ideal of masculinity, or the “captivity” of Florentine 15th century female portraits to express suffrage messages of women’s liberation.