Huguenot artists designers and craftsmen in Great Britain and Ireland, 1680-1760
The names of over five hundred and seventy French artists and craftsmen have been extracted from the records of the Huguenot churches in Great Britain and Ireland, 1680-1760. This thesis covers their contribution in the fields of metalwork, decorative painting, the teaching of art, sculpture, architecture, engineering woodwork and porcelain. Of those whose origins are recorded, approximately one sixth came from Paris; the remainder from the provinces. The former had enjoyed royal patronage in the 'Galleries' of the Louvre or the Gobelins; the latter belonged to Guilds. As the refugee artists and craftsmen tended to live and work together, the refugee communities provided the Parisians with a similar environment to what they had known in Paris, and gave the provincial craftsmen the opportunity to pursue crafts outside their own, which had not been possible within the rigid French Guilds. This thesis illustrates the relationship between these different art forms, and emphasizes the importance of pattern books of ornament. Some designers show an awareness of the latest developments in French taste; whereas others tend to rely on time-honoured patterns, and the same ornamental vocabulary appears on some Huguenot artefacts of the 1680's and the 1750's. During this period, French taste was paramount in Europe. Refugee craftsmen enjoyed a more extensive patronage abroad, than France, preoccupied with war, could provide. The records of the royal family and country house archives reveal the nature of their patronage in Britain. As the French artists had acquired professional status over a hundred years before the British, the high standard of the Huguenot artistic contribution was influential, and raised the standard of the British artistic achievement to the extent that by the 1750's some artistic products were exported to France.