Professor Landow (office: 338 Carr House; e-mail:; office hours: 10.00-10:50, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Class meets 2-2:50 AM, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the Multimedia Lab classroom on the first floor of the Graduate Center (door by the spiral staircase) Classweb: Victorian Web

Writing assignments

Note: Check this on-line reading list at the beginning of each week since assignments may change or be reordered.

Week 1 (23-25 January) — Introduction to the Course: The Young Art Revolutionaries and Learning to See

(1) Introduction to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: 1848, The Situation in Painting and Poetry. (2) The Two Ruskins — the Student of Nature and the Student of Iconology. (3) The Two Pre-Raphaelitisms — the examples of Millais and Burne-Jones

(1) Barringer, Introduction, Chs. 1-2; (2) Introduction to the PRB.The Situation in Painting — the example of Wilkie's The Blind Fiddler (3) Modern Painters, Volume 1, chapters "On the Truth of Color" and "On the Truth of Water" (at U.of Lancaster, UK) (4) Hard-edge realism: the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais) and associates (John Brett, Ford Madox Brown, Charles Collins, J. F.Lewis, Henry Wallis, Thomas Seddon, John Ruskin, W. B. Scott).

Suggested additional readings: Chapters 1 and 2 of Landow, Ruskin: "Ruskin the word-painter" and "Ruskin the interpreter of the arts." Additional passages from Modern Painters, vols. 1-5.

Week 2 (28 January through 1 February) — A Brief look at Tennyson, Browning, D. G. Rossetti and the poetry associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Alfred Tennyson", "Mariana" [text], "The Palace of Art" [text], "The Lady of Shalott" [text]; Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess," "Porphyria's Lover," "The Bishop Orders His Tomb . . . ," "Fra Lippo Lippi," Dante Gabriel Rosseti's early poems: "The Wodspurge," "My Sister's Sleep," "The Blessed Damozel," and "The Burden of Nineveh." illustrations by the PRB for the Moxon Tennyson

Suggested additional reading: Tate catalogue and Millais's Portraits. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1996. (on reserve)

Week 3 (4-8 February) Elevating Materialism (I) the Hogarthian Inheritance

(1) Hogarth's Influence: Social Commentary, Symbolism, Satire (example of Industry and Idleness) (2) Creating High Art out of Realism. (3) "The Influence of John Ruskin on the PRB;" (4) Ford Madox Brown, Augustus Egg, Arthur Hughes [Some other Pre-Raphaelite associates about whose works you might wish to write discussion questions: John Brett, Robert Martineau, and W. B.Scott (RISD has an important work of his). — Discussion Questions;

Week 4 (11-15 February) Elevating Materialism (II) Types, Shadows, and PRB Magical Realism

Reading and spcific works: Landow, "Christ in the House of His Parents;" Rossetti's The Girlhood of Mary Virgin, Ecce Ancilla Domini (The Annunciation), The Seed of David, Hunt's , The Fnding of the Saviour in the Tenple, The Scapegoat, and The Shadow of Death. Troy Town," and poems about paintings, including "Mary's Girlhood" and "The Passover in the Holy Family." [Discussion questions by members of this year's class and last year's]

Ruskin on Tintoretto — the passage Hunt read to Millais. Chapters 1 and 2 of Landow, Hunt: "To Elevate Materialism: Hunt's Search for a New Iconography" and "Typological Symbolism in Hunt's Major Works." Barringer, ch. 4. [Discussion questions by members of seminar the year before last; discussion questions by last year's class]

Suggested additional readings: Hunt, Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; Ladies of Shalott (Brown exhibition catalogue); "Thomas Seddon's 'Moriah' and His Jerusalem from the Valley of Jehosophat;" The Pre-Raphaelites. London: Tate Gallery/Allen Lane, 1984: to be consulted throughout course [Tate catalogue].

Week 5 (20-29 February) Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Painter, and the Two Pre-Raphaelitisms

Reading: Rossetti's poems (review those assigned earlier plus The House of Life); Lady Lilith, Beatrice, a Portrait of Jane Morris, Dante's Dream at the Time of the Death of Beatrice, discussion of "Passover in the Holy Family." Barringer, ch. 5. Victorian Web materials on Rossetti's paintings and watercolors; biography. [Discussion questions by members of this year's class — Outline of topics discused in class]

Suggested additional reading:"'Life touching lips with immortality': Rossetti's Temporal Structures" in Landow, Victorian Types. Tate catalogue and The Rossetti Archive (U.of Virginia)

Week 6 (3-7 March) Christina Rossetti

Readings: "Goblin Market," "Song," all poems in Victorian Web plus Monna Inominata; criticism and background materials in the Victorian Web. [Discussion questions by members of last year's class]

Suggested additional readings: Anthony H. Harrison's Christina Rossetti in Context, especially chapters 2-4.

Week 7 (10-14 March). Edward Burne-Jones

Reading: The Burne-Jones section of the Victorian Web: all works plus biographical materials. The Perseus, Pygmalion, and Cupid and Psyche cycles. [Discussion questions by members of last year's class — Outline of topics discused in class]

Week 8 (17-21 March) A. C. Swinburne. Sex and Politics, Sexual Politics

Reading: "Laus Veneris," "The Triumph of Time," "Dolores," "Hymn to Prosperine" [text], "Anactoria," "On the Russian Persecution of the Jews," and Dirae [text], "Before a Crucifix" [text], " "A Foresaken Garden," "Evening on the Broads" [text], "By the North Sea" [text]. Critical and contextual materials in the Victorian Web. Discussion questions.

Suggested additional readings: Chapter 1, Anthony H. Harrison, Swinburne's Medievalism: A Study in Victorian Love Poetry; Robert Buchanan's attack on Rossetti and Swinburne: "The Fleshy School of Poetry."

[Spring recess 22-30 March]

Week 9 (1-4 April). (1) William Morris, Poet, Designer, Political Activist (2) Pre-Raphaelites, Aesthetes, and the Reform of Victorian Decorative Arts

Reading: From The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858): "The Blue Closet" (Text), "The Defence of Guenevere" (Text), "Golden Wings" (Text), "The Haystack in the Floods" (TextDiscussion), "King Arthur's Tomb" (Text), "Near Avalon" (Text), "Shameful Death" (Text), "Summer Dawn" (Text), "Two Red Roses across the Moon" (Text), "The Tune of the Seven Towers" (Text). Works in design: stained-glass, furniture, textiles. Victorian design, especially furniture, ceramics, and jewelry. Discussion questions.

Suggested additional reading: William Morris. Ed. Linda Parry. New York: Abrams, 1996. Materials in the Victorian Web on design, furniture, metalwork, jewelry, ceramics, and textiles. Discussion questions.

Week 10 (7-11 April). The Later Pre-Raphaelites and the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood

Reading: Evelyn de Morgan, Atkinson Grimshaw, Sidney Harold Meteyard, Henry Ryland, Frederick Sandys , Emma Sandys, William Bell Scott, John Liston Byam Shaw, Bernard Sleigh, Simeon Solomon, John Rodham Spencer Stanhope, John Melhuish Strudwick, John William Waterhouse.

Discussion questions. Suggested additional reading: Jan Marsh and Pamela Gerrish Nunn, Pre-Raphaelite Women Artists. London: Thames and Hudson, 1998.

Week 11 (14-18 April). Constructing Decadence — Baudelaire, Huysmans, and Moreau

Reading: Selected poems of Charles Baudelaire; Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature (À Rebour) [text]; Gustave Moreau; Tennyson's "The Kraken," "The Palace of Art,"

Week 12 (21-25 April). British Aesthetes and Decadents

Reading: Aubrey Beardsley; Max Beerbohm, Rossetti and His Circle (caricatures); Sidney Sime; Max Beerbohm, "A Defence of Cosmetics," Ernest Dowson, "Nuns of the Perpetual Adoration" [text] and "Extreme Unction" [text]; Oscar Wilde, "The Decay of Lying," "Les Ballons ," "The Harlot's House ," "Helas! ," "Impression du Matin," "Pan — Double Villanelle ," "The Sphinx ," "Symphony In Yellow." — Discussion Questions

Week 13 (28 April-2 May). Continental Decadents

Works by Fernand Khnopff, Max Klinger. Gustav Klimt, Franz von Stuck, and others (to be added to VW). Otto M. Urban, In Morbid Colours: Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Bohemian Lands 1880-1914 (on reserve). — Discussion Questions

Suggested additional reading: Philippe Jullian, Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s. London: Pall Mall, 1971; Patrick Bade, Images of Evil and Fascinating Women. NewYork: Mayflower, 1979;

Final Projects by Members of Fall 2006 Seminar


Weekly discussion questions. The course relies heavily on student-centered discussion generated by the weekly writing assignments. These reading and discussion question have several required parts:

These exercises, which provide the basis of class discussion, should be e-mailed to me no later than 6 pm Monday before we begin discussing the reading. (You can skip a single set of questions during the semester, and we may not have one the final week of classes.) Follow for an example of a question set from an earlier iteration course.

Final Project. The final project, which takes the place of a final examination, should demonstrate your knowledge of the techniques and authors discussed during the semester. Your critical essay, can take various forms including an essay of 20 pages or group of short essays arranged in the form of a hypermedia essays [Projects from last year's class]

Some Easy Ways to Strengthen Your Writing

Mechanical Matters — Punctuation and Diction

  • If you havn't seen the Library's new story-based video tutorial, a series of six, brief, student produced modules on doing research, take a look at it..
  • Books Ordered

    Tim Barringer. Reading the Pre-Raphaelites. Yale UP paperback.

    Joris-Karl Huysmans. Against Nature (À Rebour) — aka Against the Grain). Penguin Classics paperback.

    C. Rossetti. Complete Poems. Penguin paperback.

    D. G. Rossetti. Collected Poetry and Prose. Ed. McGann. Yale UP paperback.

    John Ruskin. The Genius of John Ruskin. U. of Virginia paperback.

    A. C. Swinburne, Poems and Ballads. Penguin paperback.

    Last modified 16 March 2008