Activities per year
The steadfast faith of its protagonist rapidly found its way into contemporary sermons, and was widely discussed in the Protestant press. One lengthy article on the painting in the evangelical journal Sunday at Home praised the ‘constancy of the Maiden Martyr’, but pondered whether nineteenth-century Christians in fact faced greater (although less obviously immediately life threatening) challenges to maintaining their faith. It dwells in particular on the importance of visual signs of faith and the facial expressions of devotion – in both the third and nineteenth centuries. Commentators focussed on the apparently virginal body of the young female martyr, who comes to embody – in her glowing white painted form – religious feeling, devotion through the theological (as well as art-historical and visual) valences of ‘inward light’. The religious feelings evoked by the painting were importantly gendered and racially specific.
Using Diana or Christ? as a case study, this article examines how visual culture contributed to the depiction, circulation and debate over feelings of religious doubt and certitude in late nineteenth-century Britain. It offers new understandings of Victorian historical painting, asking how immersive paintings set in the past fostered a transhistorical sense of Christian community and emotional connections across the centuries. Diana or Christ? found its way into both artistic and religious discourses in the 1880s and 1890s. This article questions what the visual in particular can bring to our understandings of Victorian religious feeling – but also what investigating these religious sentiments might tell us about Victorian visual culture.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||19: interdisciplinary studies in the long nineteenth century|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Dec 2016|
- Edwin Long
- Religious emotions
- Manchester Jubilee Exhibition
- Classical Reception
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Kate Nichols (Speaker)1 Jul 2016
Activity: Academic and Industrial events › Guest lecture or Invited talk
Kate Nichols (Speaker)2015
Activity: Academic and Industrial events › Conference, workshop or symposium