Title: 'Lady Butler at War': Painting Conflict from the Crimea to the First World War
Speaker: Dr Catherine Wynne, Senior Lecturer in English.
Elizabeth Butler, better known as Lady Butler, was Victorian Britain's leading war artist. She also has a strong connection with Hull. Butler's The Return from Inkerman (1877), her Crimean War painting, is in the Ferens Art Gallery. This is one of her most famous works and was painted at the height of her fame in the late 1870s. Butler (born Elizabeth Thompson) overcame the obstacles of gender to become an artist and she forged a career in an area (historical art) that was highly unusual for a woman. She revolutionised British war art by portraying the impact of battle on ordinary soldiers. She was loved by soldiers and championed by Queen Victoria. She also portrayed the effects of war on horses and in her early career she was compared with the French animal painter, Rosa Bonheur. It is fitting, then, that Bonheur's The Lion at Home is hung opposite Inkerman in the Ferens. This talk will focus on Butler's early career as an artist in the 1870s with The Return from Inkerman as a focal point of the discussion. It will then examine what happened to Butler's reputation and the art she produced during the First World War.
About Dr Wynne:
Catherine’s recent publication is a biography of the war artist and traveller Elizabeth Butler. Lady Butler: Painting, Travel and War is published by Four Courts Press. The book was supported by a grant from the Ferens Education Trust.
Cost: Free Admission – All welcome but booking is required in order to guarantee a place and to enable us to ensure we have an adequately sized room booked for the session.
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Telephone: 01482 466585
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