Misère by Linda Nochlin review – the visual representation of misery

The critic best known for her essay ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ returns in this posthumous book to her core subject, 19th-century realism

“There are no ‘cute’ revolutions.” This cutting remark is aimed at the tactics used in most film or musical versions of Les Misérables to make poverty and oppression sympathetic to middle-class audiences. It personifies the voice – straight-talking, stringent, searching – of the influential art historian Linda Nochlin, who died in October last year. This posthumous publication continues her habit of asking questions, if not with the same impact as her groundbreaking essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” That work exposed the double standard often applied by art critics to male and female art, and opened the way for a remaking of the canon.

Continue reading...