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Title: Figures of the Enlightenment : European porcelain statuettes, 1745-1795
Author: Kelleway, Philip Arthur.
ISNI:       0000 0000 5035 2136
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis demonstrates that European porcelain statuettes were shaped by the notions of the dominant philosophical 'movement' of the eighteenth-century, known as the Enlightenment, and played an important role in advancing some of its tenets. Through a thorough evaluation of the iconography used in the statuettes to convey their meaning, together with further related sources drawn from diverse areas of study, such as print culture and ethnology, the thesis offers an entirely new understanding of the cultural importance of the statuettes and examines how philosophical attitudes were formed, proliferated, and fixed for an eighteenth-century audience, within this particular branch of the visual arts. The range of statuettes examined, including politically-charged portraits, exotic peoples from around the world, and 'ordinary' people from Europe's countryside and cities, helps to explore many themes and ideas relating to the Enlightenment, and demonstrates in particular how the medium of porcelain was compellingly used for the study of human nature. Porcelain figures of the eighteenth century have tended to go unnoticed in the study of art history and to be examined primarily in isolation as collectable objects and classified, for instance, by factory and country of origin, as opposed to being cogently analysed as a significant part of the artistic and intellectual life of the period. As the thesis adopts a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach, the art objects discussed help audiences today to think about the concerns, thoughts, and values of people living in eighteenth-century Europe andMy greatest debt in writing and completing this doctoral thesis has been to Professor Ludmilla Jordanova. Over the past five years her constructive suggestions and perceptive criticisms on each of the numerous drafts have helped me in so many ways. In a very different manner Yvonne Adams, the respected dealer in eighteenthcentury Meissen, guided and encouraged me towards examining porcelain statuettes with increasing care to detail. I must also thank all the staff and students in the School of World Art Studies and Museology at the University of East Anglia, where this thesis was written, especially those who were an active part of the eighteenth-century visual culture reading group, for their companionship and inspiration. I feel particularly grateful to Professor Richard Wilson of the School of History at the University of East Anglia and to Julia Poole, the Keeper of Decorative Arts at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, who both kindly examined this thesis on Friday 2nd December, 2005. The thesis is dedicated to my daughter Eve Florence Kelleway, who was born just two days after my viva how they visualised the world around them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available