Reading Paintings: The Victorians


Explore the links between art and literature, from The Angel in the House to The Death of Chatterton. Discover the stories behind famous paintings; meet Rossetti’s elephant; find out why Van Gogh loved the social realists.

A) Rossetti, Lizzie, and Fanny. Looking at Rossetti’s relationship to his models, the various ways he put them on canvas. Case study of the relationship between his poems and his paintings.

B) The Death of Chatterton. Adultery on canvas and in real life, as the artist paints his best friend (the writer George Meredith) then elopes with his wife.

C) The Lady of Shalott. Analyses Tennyson’s poem, the Tate’s most popular postcard, and the many other versions that have been painted since.

D) Painting the Poor. Analyses the relationship between Dickens and the Social Realists. Considers some of the most powerful paintings of the nineteenth century, paintings that really made a difference in social attitudes–not least their inspiration for Vincent Van Gogh.
Allan Phillipson

Course Details

This course finished on 17 February 2018