Fashioning the Viceroy: Portraits of Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton (1831-91)

Anderson, Tracy (2011) Fashioning the Viceroy: Portraits of Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton (1831-91). Visual Culture in Britain, 12 (3). pp. 293-311. ISSN 1471-4787

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This article considers the visual representation of Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, Viceroy and Governor-General of India from 1876 to 1880. In his photographic and painted portraits, as well as in his treatment by satirists, Lytton’s problematic gendered and imperial identities are seen to intersect awkwardly, reflecting and informing anxieties about late nineteenth-century forms of masculinity and colonialism. His perceived weaknesses were therefore visualized in terms of emasculation and feminization, in a manner which worked simultaneously to explain and to obfuscate his policy decisions as Viceroy. As a consequence, Lytton’s image became a vehicle through which broader failings of imperial policy could be projected. After his return from India, portraiture also became a vehicle through which Lytton could be inserted into the late Victorian canon of masculine examplars.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Art History
Depositing User: Tracy Anderson
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2012 12:03
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2012 12:05
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