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"A new theatre of prospects": Eighteenth-Century British portrait painters and artistic mobility

Howard, Samantha (2010) "A new theatre of prospects": Eighteenth-Century British portrait painters and artistic mobility. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The eighteenth century saw the emergence of Britain as a pre-eminent imperial, mercantile and maritime power. At home, the 1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland, and the advances in communications stimulated new opportunities for artists working inside and outside of London. Overseas, the aftermath of the Seven Years War (1756-1763) in particular, saw the spectacular growth of Britain�s world-wide interests through imperial expansion. Britain�s triumph over France resulted in impressive territorial gains which opened up a wealth of commercial possibilities and generated new markets for artistic goods and a demand for British artists. My approach is focused on the following major hubs of artistic activity in the period: the provinces and London, Edinburgh and America. Through a series of case studies, the different modes of artistic mobility demonstrated by British portrait painters are recovered to explore how they negotiated the locations� distinct characters (metropolitan, provincial and colonial) in relation to their respective markets for artistic goods, their cultivation of patron networks, artistic connections and their artistic identity. This thesis, by engaging with the artistic mobility of eighteenth-century British portrait painters, seeks to challenge the standard narratives of the visual arts in this period, which have tended to concentrate on London in isolation. In doing so it raises the question whether our conceptions of the British art produced in the period may be better understood in terms of a broader circulation of artists and goods across and between interconnecting art worlds, and visual cultures.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: eighteenth-century portrait painters, artistic mobility
Academic Units: The University of York > History of Art (York)
Depositing User: Dr Samantha Howard
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2012 14:22
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:50
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2792

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