the cult of beauty in the v&a {london tales}

frederic leighton
the aesthetes lived at the early turn of the 19th century. as a reaction to all things victorian (and restrained), beauty as such became an essential component in english art. first declining the pioneering movement, then, in a matter of months reckoning it as the latest craze, the english bourgeoisie bought themselves into beauty. which succombs the visitor to the cult of beauty, when a museum such as the victoria & albert focuses on the subject.

frederic leighton
the countess brownlow
as usual i came unprepared, but was overly glad to catch the exhibition by its tale. it's a glorious feeling to come right out in the open with aestethic beauty too, and consoling to observe how many people think likewise. yes, it got a little crowded at times, for absolute beauties by a.o. frederick leighton, edward burne-jones, dante gabriel rossetti, georges frederic watts, albert moore and james whistler did lure the crowd in. 

edward bawden
wallpaper 'church and dove'
, 1930
(not in the exhibition)
interior design & textiles (william morris co.), cartooning and literature, the latter offered by someone as notorious as oscar wilde, got its very own spotlight in a movement in which the bringing together of things, e.g in a room, came to be pure expression of taste and cultivation. the house beautiful, in other words, a vision to keep close at heart, whilest painstakingly stripping paper from those walls in our own sweet little dwelling (*vintage wallpaper musings* coming up soon! ☻).
{more london photos here.}


  1. looking forward to your musings on wallpaper...
    it must be pretty special to see paintings like these in the flesh...sometimes I am moved to tears at our Art Gallery, which is a bit embarrassing to say the least.

    hope your well etc. Nadine x

  2. What beautiful ladies.I have a thing for lady portraits and have a few I have on my walls

  3. i like that edward bawden wallpaper the best... although i am a fan of whistler...

  4. I bet it was an interesting exhibition. I studied Jane Burden Morris for a bit, particularly interested in her affair with Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

  5. what and interesting exhibition ... thanks for sharing :)