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"This catalogue accompanies the first major exhibition of the distinguished collection of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British watercolours assembled by William and Mercie Spooner. Bequeathed to the Courtauld Institute in 1967, the collection includes outstanding works by John Constable, John Sell Cotman, Alexander and John Robert Cozens, Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Girtin, Samuel Palmer, Thomas Rowlandson, Paul Sandby, Francis Towne, J. M. W. Turner and Peter De Wint, as well as numerous watercolours by lesser-known artists. Essays on William Spooner, the connoisseurship of watercolours and their production and literary associations serve to introduce this fully-illustrated catalogue."--BOOK JACKET.
This roll-call of British artists confirms the dominance and excellence of British art across five centuries, from Blake toBanksy, Turner to Tracey Emin. This highly readable and informative collection of the best of British art showcases magnificent portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and Stanley Spencer; landscapes by J. M. W. Turner and David Hockney; satire by William Hogarth and Gilbert & George; sculpture by Henry Moore and Rachel Whiteread; and the latest works by Grayson Perry and Damien Hirst. Each artist is presented in a double-page spread that features a major work, details from the work, a brief biography and fascinating insights into the artist's life and times. Lucinda Hawksley's engaging survey compares the skill of the Elizabethan miniaturists and the magnificence of the High Victorians with the grit of post-war British modernists and the best of the Young British Artists, whose fearless approach to controversial themes make them worthy inheritors of the great traditions of British art.
Empire to Nation offers a new consideration of the image of the sea in British visual culture during a critical period for both the rise of the visual arts in Britain and the expansion of the nation's imperial power. It argues that maritime imagery was central to cultivating a sense of nationhood in relation to rapidly expanding geographical knowledge and burgeoning imperial ambition. At the same time, the growth of the maritime empire presented new opportunities for artistic enterprise. Taking as its starting point the year 1768, which marks the foundation of the Royal Academy and the launch of Captain Cook's first circumnavigation, it asserts that this was not just an interesting coincidence but symptomatic of the relationship between art and empire. This relationship was officially sanctioned in the establishment of the Naval Gallery at Greenwich Hospital and the installation there of J. M. W. Turner's greatBattle of Trafalgarin 1829, the year that closes this study. Between these two poles, the book traces a changing historical discourse that informed visual representation of maritime subjects
Between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries, Britain evolved from a substantial international power yet relative artistic backwater into a global superpower and a leading cultural force in Europe. In this original and wide-ranging book, Hoock illuminates the manifold ways in which the culture of power and the power of culture were interwoven in this period of dramatic change. Britons invested artistic and imaginative effort to come to terms with the loss of the American colonies; to sustain the generation-long fight against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France; and to assert and legitimate their growing empire in India. Demonstrating how Britain fought international culture wars over prize antiquities from the Mediterranean and Near East, the book explores how Britons appropriated ancient cultures from the Mediterranean, the Near East, and India, and casts a fresh eye on iconic objects such as the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Marbles.
Beauty is one of the most important and intriguing ideas in eighteenth-century culture. In Gender and the Formation of Taste in Eighteenth-Century Britain Robert Jones provides a new understanding of how emergent critical discourses negotiated with earlier accounts of taste and beauty in order to redefine culture in line with the polite virtues of the urban middle classes. Crucially, the ability to form opinions on questions of beauty, and the capacity to enter into debates on its nature, was thought to characterise those able to participate in cultural discourse. Furthermore, the term 'beauty' was frequently invoked, in various and contradictory ways, to determine acceptable behaviour for women. In his book, Jones discusses a wide range of material, including philosophical texts by William Hogarth and Edmund Burke and Joshua Reynolds, novels by Charlotte Lennox and Sarah Scott, and the many representations of the celebrated beauty Elizabeth Gunning.
Universally recognized as a brilliant and gifted 18th-century artist, Johan Zoffany (1733-1810) was regarded by Horace Walpole as one of the three greatest painters in England, along with his friends Reynolds and Gainsborough. Yet he has remained without a detailed study of his life and works, owing to the fascinating and complex vicissitudes of his career, now established from widely scattered sources. From being a late-baroque painter at a German princely court to working under the royal patronage of George III and Queen Charlotte, from his serious interest in Indian life and landscape, developed while living near Calcutta, to his attacks on the bloody progress of the French Revolution, Zoffany created pictures that document with incomparable liveliness the worlds and people among whom he moved.
Hogarth has long been viewed as an insular and chauvinistic individual, with a particular aversion to all things French. On the contrary, while Hogarth himself liked to project this image, his effective invention of British art was founded upon a profound knowledge of contemporary French art and theory. This lavishly illustrated book conjures up in great detail the French and wider European context within which Hogarth's art was formed.Robin Simon examines the ways in which Hogarth interacted with and influenced his contemporaries not only in painting and print-making, but also in sculpture, poetry, the novel, the theater, public life, art education, copyright law, music and opera. In this wide-ranging but richly detailed book, full of analyses of individual works, the author draws upon a mass of new material, with fresh analyses of Hogarth's most famous and less well-known works alike, opening a window on to one of the most creative and formative periods in British life.Robin Simon, FSA, is Editor of The British Art Journal, having been Editor of Apollo magazine and a tenured university academic for many years before that. He is the author of many scholarly articles on British art, and his books include The Portrait in Britain and America (1987).
Writing the Lives of Painters explores the development of artists' biographies in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. During this period artists gradually distanced themselves from artisans and began to be recognised for their imaginative and intellectual skills. The development of the art market and the burgeoning of an exhibition culture, as well as the foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768, all contributed to redefining the rank of artists insociety. This social redefinition of the status of artists in Britain was shaped by a thriving print culture. Contemporary artists were discussed in a wide range of literary forms, including exhibition reviews, art-critical pamphlets, and journalistic gossip-columns. Biographical accounts of modern artistsemerged in a dialogue with these other types of writing. This book is an account of a new literary genre, tracing its emergence in the cultural context of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It considers artistic biography as a malleable generic framework for investigation. Indeed, while the lives of painters in Britain did not completely abandon traditional tropes, the genre significantly widened its scope and created new individual and social narratives that reflected and accommodated the needs and desires of new reading audiences.Writing the Lives of Painters also argues that the proliferation of a myriad biographical forms mirrored the privileging of artistic originality and difference within an art world that had yet to generate a coherent 'British School' of painting. Finally, by focusing on the emergence of individualbiographies of British artists, the book examines how and why the art historiographic model established by Georgio Vasari was gradually dismantled in the hands of British biographers during the Romantic period.
"Technologies of the Picturesque is an original study of how art and technology mutually align their representations of nature in order to transform land into intelligible landscape. Ron Broglio explores three technologies in eighteenth-century Britain whose influence on the picturesque aesthetic has been overlooked: cartography, meteorology, and animal breeding. He traces how these scientific fields influence the works of Wordsworth, Gilpin, Constable, Gainsborough and other key figures of the period. Broglio argues that technology and interior experience of the poetic subject overlap in their means and methods of removing the viewer from nature, while presenting the land as a comprehensible object. Each chapter pairs archival research with a phenomenological critique of how representation abstracts from the lived engagement with the land. With considerable learning and insight, Broglio reveals how artists are both complicit with such objectification of nature, and at other moments work toward a more vivid connection to the environment."--BOOK JACKET.
"Gibson-Wood describes art consumption in England in Richardson's time as well as the debates concerning native versus continental painting. She argues that Richardson's personal and written responses to these circumstances quintessentially embodied 'bourgeois' English Enlightenment ideals and the Lockean principles underpinning them. The first part of the book examines Richardson's personal life, professional career, literary aspirations, activities as a collector, and his relations with such contemporaries as Alexander Pope. In the second part Gibson-Wood sets Richardson's writings in the contexts of earlier art theory and of other genres of contemporary writing, concluding that his art-theoretical programme was a radically English one that upheld the ability of freethinking Englishmen - including painters - to establish their own aesthetic criteria."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The eighteenth-century saw a radical change in the depiction of country life in English painting: feeling less constrained by the conventions of classical or theatrical pastoral, landscape painters attempted to offer a portrayal of what life was really like, or was thought to be like, in England; and this inevitably involved a distinct approach to the depiction of the rural poor. John Barrell's influential study shows why the poor began to be of such interest to painters, and examines the ways in which they could be represented so as to be an acceptable part of the dècor of the salons of the rich. His discussion focuses on the work of three painters: Thomas Gainsborough, George Morland and John Constable. Throughout the book, Barrell draws illuminating comparisons with the literature of rural life and with the work of other painters. His terse and vigourous account has provided a landmark for social historians and literary critics, as well as historians of art.