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Symbolism Gender Relationships Sexual Hypocrisy in Victorian Art An examination of William Holman Hunts The Awakening Conscience Flicien Rops Pornokrates Two works of art completed with in 25 years of each other but both portraying exceptionally different ideas and values of social morality and gender relationships By examining William Holman Hunts The Awakening Conscience and Flicien Rops Pornokrates in relationship to the social and moral issues of the Victorian era of which they were completed in this essay seeks to identify the reasons for the difference in gender relationships portrayed in these art pieces Sexual and moral values are always changing During the Enlightenment of the 1700s women enjoyed a time where they could attain power and property they were not thought to be the same as men they simply required that they be treated with the deference and respect that was their due as women As time wore on and the Victorian era came about there was an incredible and distinct change in morals and values towards women Women were now submissive and inferior to their male counterparts dependant upon men to the point where a woman was considered the property of man A popular subject that emerged across all art forms of this time was that of the Fallen Woman This is clearly represented in the abundance of literature produced at the time portraying main female characters as Fallen This view of women persisted until what is referred to by fashion historians as the late or high bustle period which began in the 1880s Of course we first see the change in these standards among the lower classes but by the early 1900s the idea of women as Femme Fatale had gained popularity to the point where even respectable women would be portrayed as having powerful seductive qualities William Holman Hunts The Awakening Conscience presents us with a narrative to show how the still small
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