Monday, June 6, 2011

Something of an Introduction

Welcome, Dear Readers,

After long-weighing the merits of dipping my toe into the ever-advancing sprawl of the Blogosphere, I have decided to take the proverbial plunge. I am currently a graduate student in the United States and hold a Bachelor's degree in the Fine Arts. Ever since I was dragged to my first antique stores as a child by relatives, I have been fascinated by the artistic vision, creative mindset, and exploratory nature of centuries past; in particular, the Victorian Era.

The Neo-Victorian Aesthetic will be my personal attempt to chronicle and expound upon aspects of the Victorian mindset in art and life; both exhibited by history and re-interpreted by modernity.

Perhaps it may be best to begin things with what I believe to be the definition of what is 'Victorian'. To me, the Victorian Era is best described as an age of Curiosity, which was manifested in two distinct paths. There was, among the citizenry with the time and means to engage in such pursuits, a great interest in the wonders of the scientific and natural worlds, and exotic lands and peoples. By contrast, there also existed a parallel interest in the macabre, the supernatural, and a preoccupation with the rituals of death.

These contrasting paths, the sublime and the surreal, were manifested in the way in which people lived. Middle and upper-class Victorian households were often cluttered and crammed with every imaginable ornamentation and device; fine statues of mythic heroes and gods, wild animal mounts from every continent, carved and brocaded furnishings, leather-bound books regaling the travels of explorers of the day, intricate mechanical contraptions rendered in brass, and gloriously gloomy memento mori to name a few.

Of course, the Victorian Aesthetic did not begin and end within the home. This vision of exploration and inspiration permeated every aspect of Victorian life, from architecture, to literature, to the fine arts, and even academia.

It is from this point that I invite you to join me on this journey.

Madame Curatrix

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