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A scholarly catalogue raisonné: George Wilson and the engraved fan leaf design 1795-1801

Harrison, Rosanna (2012) A scholarly catalogue raisonné: George Wilson and the engraved fan leaf design 1795-1801. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT This research thesis offers a small but comprehensive scholarly catalogue raisonné of the surviving unmounted fan leaves designed and printed by the late eighteenth-century English fan leaf engraver, George Wilson (active before 1795-after 1801). Wilson’s extant output of nineteen fan leaf engravings published in London now exist in storage within the Prints and Drawing Department of the British Museum, after the receipt of two bequests from Lady Charlotte Schreiber (1812-1895) in the late nineteenth century. The individual fan leaf designs discussed in this catalogue raisonné include a number of reprinted fan leaves from the same engraving design. There follows a chronological catalogue listing, and discussion of, all the different fan leaves designed by Wilson, collected by Lady Schreiber and subsequently bequeathed to the British Museum. The variety of subject matter depicted on these fan leaf designs underscore the differing types of themes Wilson engaged with in his engraved production. Analysis of the three main areas of Wilson’s fan leaf design work, female ‘advisory’ fan leaves, overtly satirical, and nationalistic fan leaves, reveal that Wilson’s fan leaf imagery engaged, to a great extent, with cultural concerns about the turbulences of late eighteenth-century life in London, as well as effectively modernising aesthetic precedents and contemporary graphic design. In particular, it becomes apparent that Wilson’s fan leaves effectively engage with late eighteenth-century feminine pre-occupations of choosing the right moral path to happiness, moderation in daily life, marriage and bearing children, in addition to illustrating the perceived multitude of follies translated from contemporary literary and pictorial sources. One of the predominant concerns in his catalogue of work is revealed to be the age old theme of the cycle of birth, reproduction and death, alongside a sustained pictorial focus upon feminine concerns and pre-occupations.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > History of Art (York)
Depositing User: miss ROSANNA HARRISON
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 12:04
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2672

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