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Victorian women artists’ works are often omitted from accounts of 19th-century art, leaving an incomplete and damaged picture of artistic developments. This virtual exhibition, and related talks, offers a rare opportunity to engage with Victorian women artists’ paintings, sculptures, textiles and costume designs together, and in relation to, works by their male counterparts.
In the paradigmatic cases of Marie Spartali Stillman (1843-1927), Maria Zambaco (1843-1914) and Aglaia Coronio (1834-1906), Victorian women artists’ works variously developed, critiqued and enabled that of their male predecessors and contemporaries - Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and Ford Maddox Brown - , and vice versa. This talk is supported by a Virtual Exhibition in the 3Sixty offers spectators a rare opportunity to engage with Victorian women artists’ paintings, sculptures, textiles and costume designs together and in relation to works by their male counterparts.
The study of the artworks included in this exhibition and the artistic practices associated with them demonstrates that men were not necessarily leaders and women followers, but that artworks by practitioners of both genders were linked through complex, cross-generational, pedagogical, often competitive, but always productive and frequently reciprocal artistic relationships. Furthermore, the examination of the highly individual outputs and diverse media employed by this intimate group dispels any notions that women artists’ work is homogenous or generalizable. Nineteenth-century women’s artworks and artistic interactions were are as complex as, and intersected with, those of their male counterparts, which makes it essential to pay equally concerted attention to their work.