kurtz painting is undoubtedly impressionistic presentaion of imperialism.why a woman is holding torch?the reason behind can not be queen Elizabeth only .what are some really appealing interpretation for painting a lady as we know that conrad has already isolated or limitized female character.women are least involved in imperialism as well as in the novella.
Maybe this is a more spiritual representation, or metaphorical, than your first interpretation suggests.
A woman with a torch in the darkness could parallel Kurtz vision of himself, alone in the jungle, engaged in the activity of creation and perhaps salvation. Kurtz rampant idealism exists in contrast to his complete abandonment of any moral feeling. He wants to be great, to be the shining light, but he also is willing to do really terrible things.
Though he might picture himself as the torch bearer, he is also the darkness that the light cannot reach or penetrate.