Picturing Deviance in Neo-Victorian Visual Art

  • Saverio Tomaiuolo


This final chapter treats the idea of ‘visual deviance’ as an aesthetic and thematic principle in selected neo-Victorian works of figurative art, so as to show that the notion of ‘Making It New (by Making It Old’)—a misquotation from Ezra Pound’s famous phrase—is also one of the standpoints of neo-Victorian culture. After an extensive treatment of the subject of ‘visual art’ in the Victorian age (with a reference to the famous case of the Benson’s ‘queer’ family), the chapter deals with selected works by Anthony Rhys, Dan Hillier and Colin Batty. In his oil paintings Rhys depicts the Victorian dejected, the criminals, the mad, and all those individuals whose story has been neglected. As for Dan Hillier, he portraits late-Victorian gentlemen and gentlewomen hybridised with monsters, whereas Colin Batty, in his photomanipulations of ‘real’ nineteenth-century cabinet cards, turns Victorian anonymous individuals, couples or family groups into the protagonists of disquieting visual narrations.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saverio Tomaiuolo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Cassino and Southern LazioCassinoItaly

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