A Studio Of One's Own: Fictional Women Painters And The Art by Roberta White

By Roberta White

"A Studio of One's personal: Fictional girls Painters and the artwork of Fiction" is a serious examine of the portrayal of girls artists in 19th- and twentieth-century novels in English, together with British, American, Irish, and Canadian ladies writers. This e-book strains the sluggish development from beginner parlor painters within the novels of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and others, to the intense specialist painters depicted by means of modern writers comparable to Margaret Atwood. Mary Gordon, and A. S. Byatt. In fiction as in historical past, the girl artist's operating area enlarges via time - via asymmetric steps - from a portfolio in a cabinet to a studio or atelier the place paintings might be accomplished and ready on the market or exhibition. This operating area is a degree of the declare that the artist makes upon the realm.

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Extra resources for A Studio Of One's Own: Fictional Women Painters And The Art Of Fiction

Example text

In the courtship scenes in Anne Bronte¨ and Phelps, art is compromised just as it was in Emma, by being coopted for erotic uses, an occasion for flirtation rather than aesthetic contemplation. But the misuse of their art is more grievous in the case of women characters who intend to paint professionally, since the work of art itself is made to be the instrument of its own defeat by acting as an erotic attraction to the suitor. And in instances where the woman paints the man who courts her, her own sense of aesthetic distance is lost as she becomes amorously engaged with the beauty of her subject.

Although Helen appears to be serious about her art, admitting enjoyment in what she does and lamenting, like Jane Eyre, that she can never exactly produce ‘‘the various brilliant and delightful touches of nature’’ (104), her art is invaded at every turn by the distractions of courtship.

Championing Austen, Woolf praises her for having a mind that, like Shakespeare’s, ‘‘consumed all impediments’’ and, conceding that Bronte¨ possibly ‘‘had more genius in her than Jane Austen,’’ Woolf goes on to criticize ................. 16 While more recent studies of Bronte¨ ’s novel have revealed its artfulness and structural sophistication, Woolf has a point: in comparison to Jane Austen’s novels, Jane Eyre’s wider and wilder emotional range and its curious fusion of realism and Gothicism, of fairy tale and moral fable, make for an uneven if exhilarating narrative.

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