n contrast to her husband, Elizabeth Barrett Browning appears more obviously interested in contemporary Italian Risorgimento politics than in the Italian Renaissance painters. Criticizing medievalism and historical subjects, she advances an art theory that supports contemporary British and continental art's increasing use of modern subjects, and her presentation of these ideas in Aurora Leigh plays a far more fundamental role in work than it does in that of her husband, who often chose subjects set in the past. Again, like her husband, she advances a theory of symbolic realism that draws upon Evangelical habits of reading the Bible in terms of types and figures of Christ.

Aurora Leigh provides the subject of a painting by Arthur Hughes, but in general her work does not seem to have inspired illustration in the manner of works by Tennyson or Dickens.

Last modified 26 November 2004