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The military in British art, 1815-1914

In an age when engraving and photography were making artistic images available to a much wider public, artists were able to influence public attitudes more powerfully than ever before. This book examines works of art on military themes in relation to ruling-class ideologies about the army, war and the empire. The first part of the book is devoted to a chronological survey of battle painting, integrated with a study of contemporary military and political history. The chapters link the debate over the status and importance of battle painting to contemporary debates over the role of the army and its function at home and abroad. The second part discusses the intersection of ideologies about the army and military art, but is concerned with an examination of genre representations of soldiers. Another important theme which runs through the book is the relation of English to French military art. During the first eighty years of the period under review France was the cynosure of military artists, the school against which British critics measured their own, and the place from which innovations were imported and modified. In every generation after Waterloo battle painters visited France and often trained there. The book shows that military art, or the 'absence' of it, was one of the ways in which nationalist commentators articulated Britain's moral superiority. The final theme which underlies much of the book is the shifts which took place in the perception of heroes and hero-worship.

Layard’s Assyrian discoveries and the formations of British national identity
Frederick N. Bohrer

. The Albert Memorial ( Figure 11 ), whose overall design was submitted to Queen Victoria by George Gilbert Scott in 1863, has been called an ‘exquisite summary of the aspirations of English art’. 12 This monument to the beloved prince consort, whose patronage had been crucial for the arts in England, brought together a comprehensive spatial and historical array of figures both typical and individual

in Cultural identities and the aesthetics of Britishness
Jeffrey Richards

English art song marked by a refined sensibility. 86 Stephen Banfield, who has explored the phenomenon, sees a cluster of musical events around 1900 as symptomatic: the performance of Elgar’s Sea Pictures , Somervell’s Maud cycle and Roger Quilter’s Four Songs of the Sea , and the foundation of The Vocalist magazine which between 1902 and 1905 sought to raise the level of English song. A group

in Imperialism and music
Open Access (free)
Murdo Macdonald

work. For example, Nicolaus Pevsner in his book The Englishness of English Art (1956) seems determined to appropriate them to ‘Englishness’. He considered it necessary for his argument that Robert Adam be assimilated into his idea of Englishness. But he knew that Adam was a Scot, so he suggested that for the purposes of his book, in the case of Adam, ‘no distinction can be made between Scottish and English qualities’ (125).This is convenient but not entirely convincing. Perhaps the real point that underlies Pevsner’s argument is not so much that there is no

in Across the margins
From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art
Author: Hélène Ibata

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

Visualising a changing city

Delving into a hitherto unexplored aspect of Irish art history, Painting Dublin, 1886–1949 examines the depiction of Dublin by artists from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Artists’ representations of the city have long been markers of civic pride and identity, yet in Ireland, such artworks have been overlooked in favour of the rural and pastoral, falling outside of the dominant disciplinary narratives of nationalism or modernism. Framed by the shift from city of empire to capital of an independent republic, this book chiefly examines artworks by of Walter Frederick Osborne (1857–1903), Rose Mary Barton (1856–1929), Jack Butler Yeats (1871–1957), Harry Aaron Kernoff (1900–74), Estella Frances Solomons (1882–1968), and Flora Hippisley Mitchell (1890–1973), encompassing a variety of urban views and artistic themes. While Dublin is renowned for its representation in literature, this book will demonstrate how the city was also the subject of a range of visual depictions, including those in painting and print. Focusing on the images created by these artists as they navigated the city’s streets, this book offers a vivid visualisation of Dublin and its inhabitants, challenging a reengagement with Ireland’s art history through the prism of the city and urban life.

Living spirituality

Between 1598 and 1800, an estimated 3, 271 Catholic women left England to enter convents on the Continent. This study focuses more particularly upon those who became Benedictines in the seventeenth century, choosing exile in order to pursue their vocation for an enclosed life. Through the study of a wide variety of original manuscripts, including chronicles, death notices, clerical instructions, texts of spiritual guidance, but also the nuns’ own collections of notes, this book highlights the tensions between the contemplative ideal and the nuns’ personal experiences. Its first four chapters adopt a traditional historical approach to illustrate the tensions between theory and practice in the ideal of being dead to the world. They offer a prosopographical study of Benedictine convents in exile, and show how those houses were both cut-off and enclosed yet very much in touch with the religious and political developments at home. The next fur chapters propose a different point of entry into the history of nuns, with a study of emotions and the senses in the cloister, delving into the textual analysis of the nuns’ personal and communal documents to explore aspect of a lived spirituality, when the body, which so often hindered the spirit, at times enabled spiritual experience.

The Vorticist critique of Futurism, 1914–1919
Jonathan Black

. The catalyst for Lewis to turn on Futurism proved to be the publication in the Observer (7 June 1914) of Vital English Art – Nevinson’s and Marinetti’s Manifesto of English Futurism. The manifesto committed the cardinal error of implying that the majority of artists who were members of the Rebel Art Club sympathised with and approved of Futurism – indeed willingly acknowledged the leadership of Marinetti. Another factor was that it was all very well for Lewis and his allies to perceive British art as decadent and moribund, it was quite another thing to have this

in Back to the Futurists
The Balkan experience
Martin A. Smith

. 30 See Julian Lindley-French, ‘The ties that bind’, NATO Review (Autumn 2003), www.nato.int/docu/review/2003/issue3/english/art2.html ; Lionel Ponsard, ‘The dawning of a new security era?’, NATO Review (Autumn 2004), www.nato.int/docu/review/2004/issue3/english/art3.html ; Smith, The Development of Response Forces in NATO and the EU , para. 37

in The security dimensions of EU enlargement
Luxury, portraiture and the court of Charles II
Laura L. Knoppers

nothing much happened in English art during the Commonwealth and Protectorate  –​that Cromwell vainly attempted to imitate royal forms but that neither the Republic nor the Protectorate found a new aesthetic. Hence, the royalists come back with renewed force after 1660, and Lely adapts van Dyck to the decadence and sexual libertinism of the new court.7 My own earlier work has argued that this story is, at best, partial, given that the Cromwellian Protectorate developed its own anti-​ formalist aesthestic and ‘plain-​style’ mode of representation, including portraiture

in From Republic to Restoration