November 16, 2010 Leave a comment
The length of time for which Queen Victoria of Britain ruled makes the period too long to be studied in one uniform block in order to have a good look at the changes in the scenario of art, craft and culture with accompanying social evolution the world over. The Victorian era, as it is generally referred to, starts from 1830’s and lasts till almost the end of nineteenth century. It is difficult to find uniformity in any of the spheres society keeps interacting with. The fashion in dressing up, holding of social events, means of communications, recreation and entertainment, all provide enough scope for a separate study.
Apart from a large heritage of valuables preserved with care in various museums, even ephemera that survived, form a very reliable source for the researchers of history and sociology. These are profusely used to produce authentic reprints and replicas to offer us Victorian holiday cards, labels and scrapbooks, which give these items such a different collectible value apart from their historical worth.
With photography having been invented and developed somewhere during this period(did you know it was a victorian inventions?), one is thrilled to find real holiday cards and vintage posters, carrying actual vintage images that form a candid source of viewing the various ways lifestyle kept changing all along. These include vignette photo images that instantly attract curiosity for their sheer age. Just imagine how much a trade card, pamphlet, bookmark, catalogue or railway ticket printed during the era gone by, would interest any curious soul.
The period which is picked for a review here from a variety of angles corresponds to phenomenal developments in the field of technology. Electricity and its use in making the nights brighter as also leading to the epoch-making victorian inventions of telephony, recording and reproduction of human voice for posterity, were all achieved in the same era.
However, from the viewpoint of the world becoming increasingly informed about the happenings at far off places and making mankind exchange thoughts with far greater number of people, no individual technical advance comes even close to the refinement of printing technology. Thanks to this, we are today in a position to have access to umpteen printed documents both as texts and photos left behind by the yester generations that tell us quite visually all that happened.
Here the contribution of advancement of printing technology which make the printed matter far clearer, towards bringing art of illustrious artists like, Dante Rossetti, WH Hunt and Raphael, within the reach of common man, can hardly be overemphasized. To a great extent, artists of Vintage works owe their popularity to printed reproduction of their art. Else, how many people could afford a visit to Louvre just to have a glimpse of Mona Lisa! This is a little known Victorian Facts!
The tremendous boost, printed postcards have given to tourism, is known to us all. Even before we think of visiting America, the Statue of Liberty floats in our minds, like the Taj Mahal does in case of India. Exciting use of printing during the era made people grow so much familiar with vintage spots that it served to boost to their urge to make a trip to these places.
Although much later in the present times, the value of audio-visual media has completely swept man off his feet, it needs to be added that before its advent human history would have been far poorer without the blast of technological advancement the Victorian era saw. I hope you enjoyed these Victorian Facts!