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This is the first study of middle-class collection practices in nineteenth-century England. It examines the Victorian art world from the perspective of the businessmen whose successes during the Industrial Revolution caused them to turn to art as a means of carving out an identity of their own that was distinct from the leisured existence of the aristocracy and gentry. Such patrons created a market for early-Victorian narrative paintings which nostalgically perpetuated the oral traditions of village life, mid-Victorian scenes which glorified the accomplishments and moral probity of urban dwellers, and late-Victorian eroto-religious subjects which promised escapist pleasures to the world-weary buyer. Macleod's analysis of class, motivations and patterns of consumption among patrons is supplemented by an indispensable appendix of collectors, making this an essential work of reference. Awarded the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History for 1997 by the American Philosophical Society and the Historians of British Art Book Prize for best book in nineteenth-century studies.Read more
- The first complete study of art and patronage in Victorian Britain
- Contains an appendix of collectors, making this an essential work of reference for scholars, dealers and collectors
- Well illustrated with some of the best-loved images of the Victorian age
- Awarded the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History for 1997 by the American Philosophical Society and the Historians of British Art Book Prize for best book in nineteenth-century studies.
Reviews & endorsements
'… her research is thorough and her conclusions persuasive. Much new light is shed on the often strained relations of artists and patrons and the appeal of photographic detail or 'finish' to buyers who wanted to see value for their hard-earned money … a valuable 100-page appendix gives thumb-nail sketches of 146 major Victorian collectors, and is likely to be a significant resource for future research.' The Times Literary SupplementSee more reviews
'Students of the Victorian period will eagerly open this long-awaited book, and many will only reluctantly close it, so expensive and engrossing is the information which it contains … an indispensible work of reference.' Journal of Victorian Culture
'Dianne MacLeod's book is original and illuminating, both important and a pleasure to read.' British Journal of Aesthetics
'Much of the material cited in the text is illuminating and suggestive, and the illustrations and discussion especially of collections in situ are excellent. Macleod is particularly good on the complex interrelationships between individual artists, patrons and dealers.' English Historical Review
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- Date Published: October 1996
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521550901
- length: 550 pages
- dimensions: 254 x 195 x 41 mm
- weight: 1.717kg
- contains: 76 b/w illus. 8 colour illus.
- availability: Unavailable - out of print February 2004
Table of Contents
1. Nouveaux riches or New Order? Early-Victorian collectors in London
2. Culture and middle-class identity in Manchester and Birmingham
3. Pre-Raphaelitism: progressive or regressive?
4. Money and mainstream mid-Victorian values
5. The Aesthetic movement: L'Art et l'argent
Epilogue: mimesis versus modernism
Appendix: major Victorian collectors
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