Ageing Royally: Artistic Visions of the Elderly Queen Victoria

 
  5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

'Writing in May 1897, Margaret Oliphant declared, ‘If ever old age could be in fashion, it would be now, when all of our thoughts are concentrated on the celebration of a great life, which has already passed the limits traced for mankind’.

The ‘great life’ that Oliphant was referring to is, of course, that of the then seventy-eight-year-old Queen Victoria, a figure who at this date was garnering even more public attention than usual due to her impending Diamond Jubilee.

It is interesting to consider the idea – suggested in part by Oliphant’s observation – that Victoria’s heightened visibility in her later years in turn increased the visibility of old age itself. This paper will consider the effects Victoria’s advanced age had on the creative output of her subjects, focusing on visual works of art produced between the Golden Jubilee in 1887 and 1900, the year before Victoria's death.

The paper will explore the role age played in the evolution of Victoria's portrait image, with particular attention given to the following questions: Could artists successfully reconcile the dualities generated by a sitter who was simultaneously a stout, elderly widow and one of the most famous and influential human beings alive at the time?

The gender of a sovereign typically raises questions about power and aptitude: did Victoria's advancing age exacerbate this questioning of suitability, or did age actually come to "solve" the problems that gender was perceived to raise?

Did having the aged queen-empress as their subject matter encourage artists to push at the limits of their chosen medium (sculptures, paintings, photographs, prints)?

And, finally, an overarching question: who ultimately controlled the construction of Victoria's visual identity in old age?'

Cost: Free of Charge


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2021-02-09 17:30 2021-02-09 17:30 Europe/London Ageing Royally: Artistic Visions of the Elderly Queen Victoria A talk about how the increased visibility of an ageing Queen changed society's views of ageing itself. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2021/02/09/ageing-royally-artistic-visions-of-the-elderly-queen-victoria-251244 ,,,

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

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