Victorian Source, The Victorian Era

The Victorian Era



THE VICTORIAN ERA

Periods in the Victorian Era

The Victorian era includes the years from 1837 to 1901, which was the reign of Queen Victoria. The Victorian age included Gothic Revival, the cluttered look that we normally think of as Victorian, Aestheticism (Japanese influence, ebony wood, blue and white porcelain, and strong influence of nature), Art Nouveau (flowing lines, and use of women and flowers), Japonisme (high interest in things Japanese), the Arts the Crafts Movement (simplicity and craftsmanship), and Celtic Revival (Irish influence). Many of the fashions we think of as Victorian are actualy Edwardian, which ranged from 1901 to 1910.

Victorian Style

The ornate clutter of Victorians was due to several things. One was because new materials allowed it. The other was to show their new wealth, gained from the Industrial Revolution. The wealthier they were, they more things they could obtain and show off. The more wealthy could afford to travel and brought back things from other countries. The wealthier they were, the more ornate their furniture, dress, and decoration could be. There was fabric everywhere. With it came new dyes and, hence, new bright colors: peacock greens and blues, magentas, violets, and pinks. The colors even spilled into the glass. Everything was highly decorated, and all the decorations were taken to the extreme. The deep color of the wood was masculine, the fretwork was feminine, and there was a special box or container for everything.

Victorian Women

The role of Victorian women and girls had changed. They had servants to do the dirty work, and their main role was to create. They tatted lace, embroidered, burned designs into wood, wrote letters, and played music. Appearances were also very important, and they spent a lot of time entertaining, visiting others, and dressing. Wives and daughters were treated as fragile and helpless, and their job was to make sure the man's household ran smoothly and was comfortable. They were moral, domestic, feminine, and passive - even in the bedroom. It was not polite for women to discuss these things or think about them, even in the bedroom, so it was also common for men to have mistresses. Is it any wonder that the 1920's were roaring?

Victorian House Styles

Houses during the Victorian era also included several styles. These include Italianate, Second Empire, Stick Eastlake, Queen Anne, and Gothic Revival. Italianate consisted of flat roof lines, corniced eaves, angled bay windows, porches with Corinthian columns, and symmetrical lines. Stick Eastlake structures include square bays, flat roof lines, free-style decorations, and lots of spindles and brackets. Queen Anne houses have a gabled roof, insets with textured shingles, angled bay windows under the gable, wrap-around porches, and sometimes a round tower or two. Gothic Revival houses are distinctive with their arched window mouldings.

Victorian House Colors

Some Victorian house colors are striking, while others are subtle. Colors include reddish brown, terra cotta, olive-yellow, Indian red, olive, buff, dark slate, blue-green, and bronze-green. Some include wilder colors in a mix of lavender, pink, Chinese red, and lime green. Some color schemes include three colors, but most ornate houses have at least six colors. Each color might be used to highlight a different part of the architecture. The Octagon House in Irvington, New York, was said by its owner to include, ''Two shades of red for the columns and windows, a dusty rose for the body of the house, two grays for the trim and gutters, light blue for receding elements, blue under the porch, tan on the porch ceiling, light tan on the steps, two shades of violet for scrollwork, bright red for circular decorations and white on the flowers.'' The house can be seen at Upstatehouse.com.



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