Saturday, March 2, 2013

Victorian Commercialism and the Rise of Cute Children

The Art of Cute Victorian Children

Victorians liked their children cute. The artists back then drew sentimental images of wealthy chubby cherubs, cute as a button. Victorian children were painted with plump little bodies, rosy red cheeks, and sweet little smiles.

This lovely illustration of  a Victorian baby playing with his toes is a perfect example of Vintage cute! Of course, the artists of all times would paint what would pay, and in this era, they got paid for lovely babies. This beauty was an advertisement for Pear's Soap, which hired artists to create an amazing number of cute cherub advertising art that went into magazines and trade cards.

Victorians loved to see pictures of children in sentimental scenes - picnics in a lovely green field, cuddled in momma's lap reading stories at bedtime, and yearned-for dreamy settings a Victorian consumer might wish for their own family. The lovely paintings were set in a world that many Victorians longed for, in an era when many babies didn't make it to adulthood, and the working class sometimes sent off their children to work in factories. They loved seeing the possibilities rather than the reality of the day -- rather than dwell on the depressing, they'd be able to smile at the images of sweet fat little children flying kites in an sunny afternoon field dressed up in satin dresses and pink hair bows.

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