George Eliot and Pre-Raphaelitism: literature, painting, sculpture and photography

Sakoda, Maho (2016) George Eliot and Pre-Raphaelitism: literature, painting, sculpture and photography. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis explores the multi‐layered inter-relationships between the works of George Eliot and those of the Pre‐Raphaelites. Taking up the very different mediums of painting, sculpture, and photography as they emerge in Pre‐Raphaelitism, it assesses their relation to Eliot’s novels as reinforcing a web of Victorian visual art and literature.

The discussion begins by examining proximities between the paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Eliot’s Adam Bede and Daniel Deronda. I explore, in particular, their shared interest in dichotomies of female representation in the nineteenth century, and ways in which the opposing traits of the sacred and sexual are interwoven.

The second chapter reads Eliot in the context of writings by Walter Pater. Reassessing the prevalent perspective that Eliot was opposed to the ideas of Pater, I argue that, like him, Eliot passionately sought to elucidate the relationship between life and art through studies of the early Renaissance. In Pater’s Studies in the History of the Renaissance and Eliot’s Romola the authors are linked by their use of web imagery and their interest in the effects of music within the realms of literature and art.

In the third chapter, exploring elements of the New Sculpture movement in the late nineteenth century together with the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, I analyse ways in which sculptural representations are rendered in Eliot’s, Middlemarch, and the paintings of Edward Burne‐Jones.

The final chapter focuses on the nascent medium of nineteenth century, photography. By considering photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron in relation to The Mill on the Floss, I explore the way in which both Cameron’s and Eliot’s works embody a particular conception of childhood and the memory of childhood. My study concludes by re-visiting the phenomenon of the interweave of image and the text during the nineteenth century.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > English
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N5300 History > N6350 Modern art > N6447 19th and 20th centuries
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR4000 19th century, 1770/1800-1890/1900 > PR4650 Eliot, George
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2016 10:47
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:49

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