“The Greek Captive” by Ilman & Sons is a mezzotint that depicts two people: A woman sitting in the foreground, dressed in white, and a man standing in the background, dressed in black. He looks at her controllingly with his hand close to his dagger, ready to draw it if she makes a move. The woman’s facial expressions do not seem scared or sad but rather indifferent. Moreover, she has a very pretty face and a slim silhouette, whereas the man hides most of his bodily features behind clothes and his face behind a long, dark beard. Nevertheless, his facial expression suggests that he his furious and not pleasant to be around.
What stands out here is the choice of colors. The innocent girl, the victim, is dressed in white, whereas the evil person is dressed in black. In relation to “The Woman in White”, we could parallel the people in the picture with Laura/Anne and Fosco.
Laura and Anne are both characterized as fragile young women and one of them only wears white (like the woman in the picture). Marian describes Laura as “sweet-tempered and charming” and claims that “she is an angel” (61). Unlike Marian herself, Laura and Anne are both portrayed as inferior to men. This becomes evident when Marian describes “female” characteristics such as being “inattentive” and “inaccurate” (60-61). Like in the picture, they are below male characters. The male character in the picture, like Fosco in the novel, is always around even if nobody pays attention to him. He is lurking in the corner and ready to take action when nobody looks. In the novel, Fosco did a similar thing: He would reside in the house and wait for the right moment to take Laura captive, to send her to an asylum. That the picture has the word “captive” in its title, is also a detail that fits “The Woman in White” very well.
Another aspect that is important in regards to the man in the background, is the danger that is associated with foreign people during the Victorian era. The man has a beard and clothes that are not western-looking and he is clearly supposed to be the evil person in the picture. Fosco is also foreign, which becomes especially evident in his accent, and it turns out that he also was the sinister person plotting something evil. Consequently, both, “The Greek Captive” and “The Woman in White” clearly show the fear of the foreign in the Victorian Era.