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Look Inside The Victorian Artist

The Victorian Artist
Artists' Life Writings in Britain, c.1870–1910


  • Date Published: September 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107407404

£ 39.99

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About the Authors
  • The Victorian Artist, first published in 2003, examines the origins, development, and explosion of biographical literature on artists in Britain between 1870 and 1910. Analyzing a variety of narrative modes, including gossip, anecdotes, and serialization, as well as the differences among genres - autobiographies, family biographies, biographical histories, and dictionaries - Julie Codell discerns and articulates the multiple, often conflicting identities that were ascribed to artists collectively and as individuals. Her study demonstrates how this body of literature, combined with images of artists' bodies, their works and their studios, reflected anxiety over economic exchanges in the art world, aestheticism, and the desire to tame artists in order to fit them into an emerging national identity as a way of socializing new audiences of readers and spectators. Her book provides a sociological and cultural overview of the art world in Britain in the decades before World War I.

    • First in-depth study of this body of literature that was so popular and influential in nineteenth-century Britain
    • Interdisciplinary - covers art history, literature, and includes research from anthropology and sociology
    • Combines images and text in its analysis
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'The book gives a valuable overview of a flourishing market, which had (and has) a great influence on the posthumous reputation of some artists … revealing and enjoyable …' Burlington Magazine

    Review of the hardback: '… an essential addition to collections on the study of the Victorian art world.' The Art Book

    Review of the hardback: '… there is a revealing section on lives of Reynolds and Hogarth … This study relates life-writing to wider trends, such as the growth in the number of professional women artists during the period … this is a revealing and enjoyable book.' Burlington Magazine

    Review of the hardback: '… one can only advise the curious to read it for themselves … an essential addition to collections on the study of the Victorian art world.' The Art Book

    Review of the hardback: '… a North American pioneer of the critical study of Victorian art and culture. …Codell's use of theory is relevant, concise, and clear … persuasive and not intrusive … results in fascinating conclusions about the audience for art … To read this book is to be helped in thinking anew about so many aspects of artistic culture in Britain … contributes greatly to the expansion of our understanding of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art. The foundation for a fuller and more pluralistic understanding of the period.' Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107407404
    • length: 394 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the artists as text
    1. Biographical functions, mediations and exchanges
    2. The Victorian typology of artists: from prelapsarian to professional
    3. Artists' autobiographies: Cellini, Res Gestae, jouissance, and the collective life
    4. Family biographies: domestic authority, social order, and the artist's body
    5. Biography as history: anecdotage, serialization, and national identity
    Conclusion: gifting art: from Bohemians to benefactors.

  • Author

    Julie F. Codell, Arizona State University

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