The Yellow Wallpaper: Fear, The Uncanny & The Female Gothic

'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 The Yellow Wallpaper: Fear, The Uncanny & The Female Gothic

Women’s Literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – Killing the Angel in the House (1)

Virginia Woolf’s instruction for the woman writer to kill the ‘Angel in the House’ underpinned the crux of her argument Professions for Women delivered in 1942 to the Women’s Service League. American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ predates the essays of Woolf in the 20th century, contemporary to the ‘Angel in the House’ … Continue reading Women’s Literature: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper – Killing the Angel in the House (1)

Musings: The Concept of “Femininity” and the Rococo Style

With the rococo, given the social climate contemporary to that time in history, you cannot help but notice that the scenes and embellishments demonstrate the nuances of taste, decoration and aesthetic influenced and informed by women. It was the Earl of Shaftesbury who, in, 1713 denounced the Rococo style as “a revolting form exalting Sensation … Continue reading Musings: The Concept of “Femininity” and the Rococo Style

Musings: Women, the Toilette and the Boudoir in Rococo Painting

Time for a little titillation: The Rococo's answer to pin-ups on cigarette cards, peep holes and voyeuristic fascination - let's step into the boudoir. Gentlemen getting hot under the dog collar at thoughts of 'walking in' on a lady in a state of undress, that glimpse of an ankle, a well turned calf, the cinching … Continue reading Musings: Women, the Toilette and the Boudoir in Rococo Painting

L’Amour Courtois: Courtly Love – Women in Medieval Art

Courtly love or l'amour courtois as the french called this poetic movement appears in Western European literary and artistic traditions between the 12th and 15th centuries. Beginning with the troubadour poetry of Aquitaine and Provence, a chivalric code of conduct was prescribed, between ladies and the men who vowed to serve them in a romanticised idyll. Stefan … Continue reading L’Amour Courtois: Courtly Love – Women in Medieval Art

Musings: Boucher, Women and Ownership in Rococo Painting

The open display of the female body in the private arts becomes synonymous with questions of ownership. Boucher’s painting of the nude is intimately bound with the patron. In the 18th century, sensual scenes involving European mistresses serve to demonstrate what Cavendish identifies as a “contemporary vogue for erotic intrigue among the French nobility”. Jean … Continue reading Musings: Boucher, Women and Ownership in Rococo Painting