Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

The improving tale of Becky Sharp. ...more info on wikipedia

About the artist: Eleanor Barkerfrom New Zealand

Eleanor Barker is a 23-year-old illustrator from Auckland, New Zealand.

Why this work

For her poster, Eleanor sought to portray the two protagonists with eyes downcast, a coy parody of the virtuous Victorian woman. Depicted as physically similar, Eleanor did away with the novel’s descriptions of the two to create a stylised ambiguity with the image – who is the saint and who is the spider?
William Thackeray explained that two ways of being ‘vain’ (in the biblical sense of ‘futile’ or ‘worthless’ along with the more conventional understanding of excessive pride in ones own assets) is flaunted by each woman, equally.
“The difference between Amelia and Becky is not that between a good woman and a bad but that between a selfishly good one and a selfishly bad.”