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Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1867) and the notion of poetic sculpture c.1800-1845

Jordan, Caroline Patricia (2007) Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1867) and the notion of poetic sculpture c.1800-1845. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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This thesis examines ideal sculpture of the first half of the nineteenth century. It uses the term 'poetic sculpture' - a phrase used regularly by commentators during this period - as a route into exploring the production, patronage and reception of a group of ideal sculptures by Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1867). The Introduction considers some of the longstanding interpretations of this genre and demonstrates that a scholarly focus on subjects such as the popularity of Antonio Canova, the establishment of aristocratic private sculpture galleries, and the absence of ideal sculpture in the oeuvre of Francis Chantrey has led to a limited understanding of this genre. Chapter One provides an introduction to Baily. It establishes a context for the chapters which follow by investigating the sculptor's training and formative years; his wider career more generally and, in particular, the financial difficulties which plagued him throughout. Chapter Two focuses on Baily's most famous poetic sculpture, Eve at the Fountain (1822), and the later, closely-related Eve Listening to the Voice (1842). It investigates the former as one of the earliest and most successful interpretations of a subject from the native literary canon in British sculpture. Chapter Three explores a series of mother and child groups which Baily produced between 1823 and 1837 and it aims to integrate these works into the wider cultural construction of motherhood during this period. The final chapter considers some of the public showcases available to Baily for exhibiting his ideal figures. In addition to the galleries of the Royal Academy, the British Institution and the Society of British Artists, a wider range of metropolitan exhibition venues are included. During the 1820s 'one-man' sculpture shows became popular sight-seeing attractions in the West End and sculptors' studios also functioned as important spaces of display. One of the most celebrated public galleries for the medium during this period was the Glyptotheca of the Colosseum in Regent's Park. Sculptures by Baily representing Eve from Paradise Lost and a mother and child group were placed at the forefront of this palace of popular entertainment. During the first half of the nineteenth century ideal sculpture flourished, it was no longer the preserve of the patrician private sculpture gallery and should not remain isolated in this research context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.496537
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2013 13:03
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:26
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4404

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