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Item Number: 109298
Title: 'Writing the Lives of Painters' : Biography and Artistic Identity in Britain 1760-1810
Author: Junod, Karen
Price: Not Available
ISBN: 9780199597000
Description: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. 23cm., hardcover, 258pp., 23 illus. Summary: 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 in society. 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 artists emerged 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 individual biographies 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. Contents: 1. Introduction: Biography vs. Literature, Art, and Criticism ; Series of Lives ; 2. Horace Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting in England (1762-1780) ; 3. William Beckford's Biographical Memoirs of Extraordinary Painters (1780) ; Individual Lives ; 4. William Hogarth: The Art of Biography and the Life of Anecdotes ; 5. Thomas Gainsborough: Life in a Sketch, Sketch of a Life ; 6. George Morland: Natural Art, Fictional Life, and Factual Biography ; 7. John Opie: Domesticity, Publicity, and Gender. (Oxford English Monographs)

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