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Notes on video lecture:
Effeminacy and the Culture of Sensibility
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
1770s, pleasures, masculine, luxury, water, warriors, hardihood, gender, shoe, vices, 18th, cloth, sissy, urbanism, Bath, Lawrence, Shaftesbury, viewer, fox, anecdote, elaborately, grandeur, Buttall, statuary, effeminate, dog, popularity, feeling, neglecting
The Blue Boy
stands next to Thomas                 's Pinkie
achieved a level of                      rarely afforded to an academic painting
Pinkie and Blue Boy make an engaging pair
Jonathan                was thought to be the model for the Blue Boy
but Gainesborough's nephew is a more likely candidate
an example of costume and fashion in English portraits in the           
the blue suit
became a trademark which made Gainsborough famous into a broader, popular sphere
the move away from                    values towards a more feminized culture, which accompanied
mercantile capitalism
the emergence of                 
the arts of cloth-making, watch-making, ship-building, and the production of food went through a revolution over the          century
markets across Europe brought an increased level of prosperity
increased level of             
an embarrassment of riches
a skilled representation of the sitter's costume
one of the aspects that drew patrons to Gainsborough's studio in         
his father was a weaver and his sister a milliner
trained his eye to the materiality of           
enabling his extraordinary skill of rendering the appearance of fabrics
the Blue Boy's costume embraces the values of effeminacy
the new luxury provided by the unparalleled grown of markets in the 18th century
extraordinary                  of dress
a culture that more thoroughly embraced feminine values
men marked their apprehensions over relinquishing their older male ideals associated with classical                  and farmers
The Third Earl of                       
was concerned with what this meant for the morals, and the public behavior of both men and women
after the Blue Boy arrived at the Huntington
the American cartoon character Dennis the Menace pronounced the Blue Boy a           
this was what critics of sensibility were worried about in the 18th century
that men had so embraced feminine values in attempting to take on the culture of refinement, that they had become too feminine
it was believed that the more men refined their                   , the more humane they became
and the less susceptible they were then to indulge in            such as gluttony, drunkenness and whoring, thereby contributing to the improvement of public life
but it was afraid that they were                      their masculine side
the sport of fox hunting was suggested as an                 
Sir John Eardly Wilmot recommended the manly amusement of fox hunting as an entirely British antidote to effeminacy
"It's pursuit gives                   , and nerve, and intrepidity to our youth, while it confirms and prolongs the strength and vigor of our manhood. It is the best corrective to those habits of luxury, and those concomitants of wealth, which would otherwise render our aristocracy effeminate and degenerate. It serves to retain the moral influence of the high over the lower classes of society, promotes good fellowship among equals, and is one of the strongest, preservative of that national spirit by which we are led to cherish above all life of active energy, independence, and freedom."
Blue Boy is clearly not about to embark on a        hunt, but he still cuts a manly figure
the pose of the figure and the direct gaze to the viewer undermines the effeminacy that otherwise might have undercut the figure's masculinity
he firmly stands his ground as he looks straight at the             
his left hand rests on his hip is wrapped in more loose silk drapery
his right hand by his side holds a cavalier style feathered hat
he stands in the contrapposto pose, the classical                 
his ribbon          laces completing his study in blue
his stance is not that of a sissy at all
nor is he here represented as a man of               
x-ray photography shows that Gainsborough originally included a shaggy        in the right foreground of the picture
a            hound of the type seen in other works by Gainsborough
reasons Gainsborough may have removed the dog from the painting
the dog may have given the Blue Boy a more                      sense, as with some of Gainsborough's other paintings
it raised the issue of crossing              boundaries
perhaps Gainsborough was being witty by removing the dog
or perhaps he was conforming to aggressive gender codes of his day


######################### (1599-1641)
Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders
  • most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years
  • also painted biblical and mythological subjects
  • born to prosperous parents in Antwerp
  • at the age of fifteen he was already a highly accomplished artist
  • Rubens referred to the nineteen-year-old van Dyck as the best of my pupils
  • in 1620, van Dyck went to England for the first time where he worked for King James I of England
  • in 1621, he moved to Italy, where he remained for 6 years
  • since his accession in 1625, Charles I was trying to bring leading foreign painters to England
  • in 1632, van Dyck returned to London, and was taken under the wing of the court immediately, being knighted in July
  • was an immediate success in England, rapidly painting a large number of portraits of the King and Queen Henrietta Maria, as well as their children
  • in England he developed a version of his style which combined a relaxed elegance and ease with an understated authority in his subjects which was to dominate English portrait-painting to the end of the 18th century

Spelling Corrections:

Tiepolo´s Cleopatra: Agency in Paint
The Political and Sexual Agency of Cleopatra
Gainesborough and 18th Century Effeminism
Soldiers, Chivalry, and Men of Feeling
Gainsborough's Portrait of Karl Friedrich Abel
The Ligoniers: The Tensions of Gender in Paint
Effeminacy and the Culture of Sensibility
Gainsborough's Cottage Door: Charity and Sensibility
Seduction in Boucher's pastoral paintings
Boucher's Madame de Pompadour: Controlling the Gaze
Rococo Eroticism in 18th Century Popular Culture
John Lavery in Morocco: Orientalism and the Academy
Hazel Lavery and the Politics of Display
Hilda Rix Nicholas in Morocco
The Dream by Henri Rousseau
Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy
Restaging the Nude: Matisse's Dance
Cezanne’s Bather: Masculinity and Movement
Max Dupain (1911-1992): Australian Men on the Beach
Frida Kahlo's Fulang-Chang and I
Frida Kahlo: Self Portrait with Cropped Hair
Myth and Sexuality: Glyn Philpot's Oedipus
Australian Indigenous Visual Culture