Victorian artist loved painting domestic themes .There are paintings that show life in the Victorian’s houses like it should be ( Happy family all together). The woman was known as the Angel in the house. But Other artist painted what happened when things were wrong. Poverty, disease, the evil of drink, the shame of illicit sex, all the things that destroyed the proverbs : Home sweet home. Some artists painted Queen Victoria’s Life in a idealistic way ( she was represented as a beautiful mother and a wife) so Victorians wanted to imitate her life. But in society temptation was everywhere.
Governess and servants need the Book of House Hold Management, a sort of bible for them.(to be a perfect domestic).
Keeping out appearances was what it was all about. Rich families commissioned paintings to tell that they were upright ,content and respectable.
Happy family life, the public loved it. Pictures like this show how was wonderful life in the Victorian home.
But this pictures were lies. Home sweet home was just a dream. Respectable man with wife and children, have mistress and sometimes other illegitimate children in an other house to not let his wife to suspect something. Keeping mistress wasn’t unusual . Everyone knew what happened but they didn’t want to talk about. Artist wanted to show what reality was.
A married man with his mistress. The look in her eyes shows guilt but the face of the man shows only joy, no conscience.(dark-repulsive side of domestic life). Prostitution was common
In London in 1857 There was 1 prostitute for every 25 men and most of them were married. Because of this, sexual transmission of disease was common and lots of wives were infected . In many Victorian’s city anatomical museums provided public the effects of illicit sex. There were wax masks that showed Victorians common diseases.(syphilis, sores on skin).
The family formed one community the staff another (in a gentlemen house)
Separation of the classes(servants in a particular area and the family in a politer area)
men and women had separated rooms (the billium room was for male only).For the common places they had different accesses.Everyone had his own place in a Victorian home. Also the Governess, responsible for children’s education, better paid than servants