A nude female figure standing in front of a short tree stump. She stands with her body facing the viewer, her head turned in profile to the right. She leans her weight slightly over onto her right leg, her left leg slightly bent. Her right arm is bent upwards, her hand turned in towards her chest. Her left arm hangs at her side. She has long hair which has been twisted up onto her head.
Gallery text panel In Pursuit of Beauty Late Victorian Art and Design Improving the quality of British art and design had been a concern since the 1850s. The British Empire had expanded into new continents but it was the classical ideal of beauty, based on Ancient Greek and Roman culture that was still considered the model for serious art. The pursuit of beauty was a form of escapism from the mass-production of industrial Britain. As well as looking to the ancient world, artists and designers were delighted and inspired by the arts of Renaissance Italy, the Middle and Far East. Many of the paintings here feature a beautiful woman. Sometimes she is a passive, decorative form, but often she is a dark and brooding femme fatale, a symbol of seduction, deception and destruction. The 'fatal woman' may reflect late Victorian male fears as women campaigned for equal rights and new roles. The emphasis on colour, harmony and rhythm and simplifying the form of an object would become major concerns in the 20th century. They can be seen emerging here in the work of late Victorian artists and designers.
without base: 175.3cm
Place of creation
[G10] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 10
Presented by Lloyds Underwriters through the National Art Collections Fund.
© Manchester Art Gallery