Lady Butler: War Artist and Traveller, 1846-1933

ISBN: 9781846826498
Artist(s): Elizabeth Thompson Butler
Author(s): Catherine Wynne
Format: hardback
Year published: 2019
Publisher: Four Courts Press Ltd
Publisher Location: Dublin
Total Pages: 288
Illustrations: Illustrated in colour throughout


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A ‘recovery’ project drawing on unpublished letters and diaries, this is the first biography of Victorian Britain’s famous war artist, Elizabeth Thompson Butler. She transformed war art by depicting conflict trauma, decades before its designation as a medical condition. Married to an officer in the British army, she traveled with her husband’s military postings. Her art is prescient in its concern about the implications of foreign military intervention and champions the ordinary soldier and the dispossessed. Lady Butler is a story of travel and history, of war and conflict, of Italy of the Risorgimento, of the London art world where she achieved celebrity and negotiated the difficulties of being a female artist in a male-dominated domain, and of imperial travel. Her biography reveals a figure whose perspective on war is modern, whose confidence in achieving success in the masculine field of battle art taps into contemporary debates, and whose work provokes a rethinking of the post-imperial world.


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