Toronto Metropolitan University
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The Semi-Nude and Collapsing Female Figure: Sexuality in the Aesthetic Paintings of Albert Moore and Edward Burne-Jones

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posted on 2021-06-08, 09:20 authored by Meaghan Collins
The female nude has been researched extensively over the history of Art, and continues to fascinate researchers and art enthusiasts alike. However it is difficult to find information on female figures who are semi-nude: one who is not fully clothed nor entirely nude. The Victorian period in England was a very conservative time, especially for women. Influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, Aesthetic painters Albert Moore and Edward Burne-Jones depicted women in a peculiarly sexual manner, one that encapsulates the struggle with sexual acceptance of the era. Women are often shown wearing loose, transparent fabric and often asleep or in languid, weary poses. These weary poses are what I refer to as “collapsing women.” In this visual analysis I take a close look at these female figures, and examine them using the terms “semi-nude” and “collapsing female,” in order to determine the meaning behind their dress and body language.





  • Master of Arts


  • Fashion

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis

Thesis Advisor

Kimberly Wahl