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In this programme Tim Benton, Lecturer in Art History, exanines a little known (and today unfashionable) area of Victorian art. He attempts to throw light on the attitudes of an industrial society ...towards questions of art, morality, propriety and the position of its wonen. He comes to the conclusion that at least for the first thirty years of Victoria's reign there was something not quite respectable about nudity as a subject for art - particularly if presented in a straightforward way. It was necessary to set nude figures in an historical or mythological context so that the figures need not be treated as hunan beings. He examines the historical fantasies of Dyce; the mythological figures of William Etty and the sculptors McDowall and Foley together with the final extension of "escapist" nude art in the work of the Scotsmen Noel Paton and Richard Dadd, who used the convention of painting their nudes as fairies. Tim Benton interviews Stella Mary Newton of the Courtauld Institute of Art about the position of Victorian women as demonstrated by their clothes. Two students from the Courtauld demonstrate the fashions of the 1850's and the 1870's: the crinoline and the bustle. Stella Mary Newton draws inferences about the state of female emancipation from these fashions. Later, with the arrival of the pre-Raphaelite painters, there were great changes: the female nude became much more masculine - nuch less mysterious. Tin Benton describes the nude painting of Burne-Jones, Walter Crane, Frederick Leighton and Lawrence Alma-Tadema in the later Victorian period.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A100, Humanities: a foundation course
Item code: A100; 34
Series: Industrialisation and culture
First transmission date: 13-10-1971
Published: 1971
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:36
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Producer: Peter Scroggs
Contributors: Tim Benton; Stella Newton
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Art (painting); Fashiion; Nudes; William Etty
Footage description: Tim Benton introduces the programme. Shots of William Etty's "Youth at the prow"(1" - 42") with contemporary criticism, (2'2" - 2'26") with Etty's own interpretation. Shot of portrait of Etty (1'48 - 2'1). Tim Benton shows and discusses paintings with classical or allegorical subjects. Shown are Etty' s ' Sleeping nymph ' (3'58" - 4'13"), Frost's 'Sea cave' 4'13" - 4'35"), Cupid & TT'52"), 'Allegro ' (4'52" - 4'57') and Dyce's 'Britannia' (4'57" - 5'55"). The second group of paintings, academy studies. Tim Benton shows and discusses Etty (3 drawings 5'38" - 6'02, 6'10" - 6'20"), Frost (1 drawing 6'20" - 6'32"), Mulready (2 drawings 6'32" - 6'50", 6'58" - 7 '08"). Tim Benson discusses the nude in sculpture and contemporary reactions. He shows the following: Foley's 'Innocence' (7 '20" - 7'38"), Baily's Eve"' McDowell's Nymph (8'21" - 8'38"), Bell's Dorothea (8'38" - 8'50"), Powers 'Greek Slave' (9'02-9'30) Monti' s Circassian slave' (9'30" -9'53) 'Chaired Andromeda' (9'53" -10'24). Tim Benton discusses the fourth group of paintings in which the nude appeared without too much critical and moral condemnation. He shows the following 'fairy paintings: Paton's Reconciliation of Oberon & Titania (10'58" - 11 '32"), 'Quarrel of Oberon & Titania' (12'02" - 12'20", 13'25" - 13'43), Huskisson's 'Titania's sleep' (12'20" - 12'50"), Dadd's 'Come unto these yellow sands' (12'50" - 13'12'). Tim Benton talks to Stella Mary Newton who describes the modest style of woman's dress of 1850's, the crinoline. Shots of girl modelling a Victorian crinoline and showing the limited movements possible. Tim Benton describes the change in attitude towards women with examples from the paintings of the 70's and 80's. Paintings shown are: Etty's 'Andromeda' (17'35" - 17'43"), Burne - Jones 'Andromeda' (17'43" - 18'14") and Crane's 'Venus' (18'14-18'40"). Stella Mary Newton describes the change in this attitude as examplified in fashion. Shots of model wearing the bustle. Tim Benton describes the reverential attitude to women with illustrations from Burne-Jones 'Pygmalion' (21 '08" - 21'45") Leighton's 'Psyche' (22'27" - 22'35"), Poynter's 'A visit to Aeseulapius (22'35" - 22'44") and Alma-Tadema's 'Tepidarium' (22 '44" - 22'49").
Master spool number: 6LT/10075
Production number: 00520_1334
Videofinder number: 2446
Available to public: no