Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The central problem around which artistic discourses circulated was the status of the artist. Artists’ professional standing reflected changes in ideas about gender, class, education and money. Victorians reinterpreted the commercial success of artists as a sign not of their greed but of their unity with the British public, their work ethic, and their domestication as responsible citizens and normal paterfamilias. During the century the Victorian art world expanded far beyond early societies, or elite Academicians, and the topic of professionalism affected art as it did other fields, including literature. Art unions’ contests, awarding prints of popular paintings, contributed to the mass dissemination of Victorian art from the 1840s to the 1860s. Women’s educational, ideological, social, and economic difficulties were complicated by the ways in which gender inflected and exacerbated, the ambiguity, inconsistency, and suspicion that, as this chapter has shown, haunted Victorian notions about the “artist” and the “professional.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA New Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118624432
ISBN (Print)9781118624494
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Artists
  • Professionals
  • Victorian art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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