This page was created by Marija Kosovic.  The last update was by Matthew Dunleavy.

Victorian Ghosts, 1852-1907: EN 4573 Collection


The effects of varnish render the appearance of the object, or in this case the painting, to look smooth and glossy. Varnish is a “resinous matter dissolved in some liquid” ("varnish, n.1."), it is clear, has no color, and gives the appearance of a shiny surface. The importance of this word is that Harry, despite his brother disagreeing, says the varnish "bloomed," which means to say that in this scenario, he supposes that humid air had hit the painting, which creates a “cloudy” appearance.

"varnish, n.1." OED Online, Oxford University Press, September 2020,


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