Study Guide

Middlemarch Book 2, Chapter 19

By George Eliot

Book 2, Chapter 19

  • This chapter opens with a change of scene – we're now in Rome, Italy, where Dorothea and Mr. Casaubon are honeymooning.
  • Will Ladislaw is there, too (if you remember from an earlier chapter), to study art and travel.
  • Will's friend, Naumann, sees Dorothea across a gallery in a museum, and thinks she's as lovely as the statues she's looking at.
  • Will sees who it is, and isn't happy about it.
  • Naumann wants to be introduced to them, because he wants to paint Dorothea's portrait (he's an artist).
  • Will objects to the idea of trying to capture Dorothea's essence in painting.
  • He doesn't like Dorothea much (remember, he thought that she was insulting his sketches when she said that she didn't understand art), but he thinks she's too complicated to try to capture in a painting.