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Title: British artists and early Italian art c. 1770-1845 : the pre Pre-Raphaelites?
Author: Collier, Carly Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the hitherto largely-overlooked multifarious response by British artists to early Italian art which pre-dated the activity of the Pre-Raphaelites and their greatest champion, John Ruskin. The title of this thesis does not endeavour to claim that the artists under examination consciously formed or naturally constituted a group with clearly defined common interests and aims, as was the case with their aforementioned successors. Rather, the collective ‘pre’ Pre-Raphaelites is intended to demonstrate that, contrary to the impression given by the standard scholarship on this area, there were British artists prior to the dawn of the Pre-Raphaelites who found worth in periods of art beyond what was conventionally considered both generally tasteful and also useful for an artist to imitate, and who indeed made many of the important steps which facilitated the Pre-Raphaelites’ rediscovery of early Italian art in the late 1840s. The temporal span of the main investigative thrust of this thesis is, approximately, 1770 - 1845. Its structure is intended to reflect the multiplicity of both the catalysts and then the subsequent responses of British artists to the Italian primitives. The first part of the thesis comprises a number of chapters which offer a broad contextual framework - encompassing analyses of taste, artistic education and historiography - within which the varied activities of the artists explored in the subsequent chapters are set. Parts two and three reveal the very different approaches taken by a series of artists in the decades either side of the turn of the century in their attempts to study, learn from and sometimes emulate the visual lessons of the past. Thus this thesis rescues the often marginalised contributions of a selection of British artists to the resurgence of interest in early Italian art, and demonstrates how fundamental their interpretive filter was for the nature of the quasi-revolution in taste in the last half of the nineteenth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick ; Circolo (London) ; Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art ; Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ND Painting