Sketch by Leighton

Desiring Women: Myth, Love and Victorian Painting

Speaker: Dr. Antonio Cartolano ( Dr Rosemary Barrow, the author of the paper was unable to deliver it through ill-health)

Recorded: Monday October 8, 2012

Themes from Greek mythology had dominated the painter’s oeuvre for centuries. Victorian artists departed from traditional notions of mythological painting. Avoiding the many-figured Renaissance canvases showing battles and triumphs, ardent lovers and exhausted revellers, they favoured more personal and intimate scenes of love, loss and regret. In many images it is women who are desiring as well as desirable and who often end up being the losers in love.


Dr Antonio Cartolano is a Visiting Lecturer in History at Goldsmith’s College, University of London and a teacher of Latin and Classical Civilisation at UCL Academy. He is a specialist in fifteenth-century Italian courtly culture. Dr Cartolano was Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Roehampton (2009-2012) where he taught a range of courses on Renaissance art and the classical tradition.

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