The Elizabethan Country House And The Cult Of Sovereignty

From 1570 – 1620 one can chart the ‘Elizabethan building boom’[1]. Here, we see an unprecedented rise in the building of ‘proud, ambitious heaps’[2] and the beginnings of the ‘architect’ as an entity in the cultural, economic and social landscape. Architectural historian Sir John Summerson credits ‘the most daring of all English buildings’[3] as the … Continue reading The Elizabethan Country House And The Cult Of Sovereignty

The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in Landscape Gardening – Introduction

The ‘Picturesque’ figures predominantly in 18th century British landscape debate. In terms of gardening and design theory, the ‘Picturesque’ evolves from the transition in the formal gardens of earlier Renaissance and Baroque landscapes[1] to greater informality and natural characteristics, evidenced in the British countryside and merited for its own distinctively rugged beauty. Christopher Hussey defined … Continue reading The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in Landscape Gardening – Introduction

Prince Albert: Patron & Collector – Museums and Education in Victorian England

Albert’s German background, educational pursuits and patronage efforts accumulated in his aims for permanent museums as places of learning and leisure. Albert had a desire to reform deign and art education via a Kultuforum[1] in South Kensington, given the progressive, intellectual and reformative climate of the nineteenth century. Socially, the government had passed the Reform … Continue reading Prince Albert: Patron & Collector – Museums and Education in Victorian England

The Impressionists – Putting Women in the Picture

A note on the text: I've been writing on Impressionism in 19th century Paris through a mini-series. If you haven't already, it might be beneficial to read the first two introductory parts before delving into this article. To contextualise The Impressionists, please read here... To discover Le Flâneur, please read here... In relation to men, … Continue reading The Impressionists – Putting Women in the Picture

Women’s Literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – Killing the Angel in the House (2)

'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman overturns the reader's expectations of a 19th century wife and mother. The narrator's 'descent' into madness is an evocative commentary on the powers that be - a troubling psychosis which reads as an early psychological horror story. In the first part of this series, we referred to Virginia Woolf … Continue reading Women’s Literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – Killing the Angel in the House (2)

Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) writes Kubla Khan (1816) in a mode of escapism which was compatible with the Romantic attitude in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Kubla Khan is composed with allusions to the exotic, foreign and erotic, all which are elements of the poem’s pervading Orientalism. Drawing on connotations of “Otherness”, the … Continue reading Romanticism: Women and Sexuality in ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Impressionists – Introducing ‘Le Flâneur’

We've explored how painters like Renoir and Degas concerned themselves with capturing scenes of the capital by day and by night, an occupation which stemmed from Paris opening like a cultural flower in the mid-19th century - its new environs practically buzzing with diversions to catch the eye. The monolithic intentions of city planner Baron … Continue reading The Impressionists – Introducing ‘Le Flâneur’

Prince Albert: Patron & Collector – A Curatorial Character

Prince Albert had quite the curatorial character, something expressed through the fervor of his collecting habits and especially when outfitting an estate. In the management of art works belonging to the royal households, Albert proved himself to be meticulous, a factor which Lucy Whittaker examines when writing on his ‘systematic approach to art and frames’1. … Continue reading Prince Albert: Patron & Collector – A Curatorial Character

Toxic Renaissance Relationships in Literature: Beatrice-Joanna and De Flores (The Changeling) and Doctor Faustus and Mephistopheles (Doctor Faustus)

Doctor Faustus (c. 1592) by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) and The Changeling (c. 1622) by Thomas Middleton (1580-1627) and William Rowley (c. 1585-1626) are concerned with human nature, gulling and sin. The relationship’s of Beatrice-Joanna and De Flores in The Changeling and Doctor Faustus and Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus are founded on arrangements which entail the … Continue reading Toxic Renaissance Relationships in Literature: Beatrice-Joanna and De Flores (The Changeling) and Doctor Faustus and Mephistopheles (Doctor Faustus)