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Title: The commercial maecenas : a study of the life and principal business concerns of John Boydell.
Author: Painting, Vivienne.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3464 2026
Awarding Body: University of Keele
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1996
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With the passage of time John Roydell has been all but forgotten. An independent, patriotic, highly acclaimed and. successful businessman for most of the latter half of the eighteenth century, he rose from a moderate background to become a prominent man of commerce, a Lord Mayor of the City of London, a benefactor and the founder of an art gallery which alerted the public to the wealth of British artistic talent. He also promoted native artists and engravers to the extent that the market for the endeavours of their foreign counterparts was nearly annihilated, to the distinct advantage of Britain's own balance of trade. This study, in tracing Boydell's life and importance, reveals the impact he made on British art and British cultural society, principally through his utilisation of the literature and history of the country for major book, publications and the issuing of individual prints of significant, generally contemporaneous, subject matter. Initially, success was assured and the legacy Boydell could have left to Britain would have been inestimable. Unfortunately, circumstances, not least the French Wars, dictated that his name fell into near-obscurity when, more fairly, he ought to have retained a reputation as being the equal of any of the great businessmen of his time. The exploration of Boydell's commercial acumen, motivation and achievements has the effect of showing that he was an unusual entrepreneur and, more widely, that the importance of printselling in the Industrial Revolution is underestimated. Certain accepted notions of eighteenthcentury trading and tradesmen are either emphasised or questioned when related to Boydell, conclusions therefrom suggesting that, in his ability to conform and yet be outstanding, he was a significant - albeit now forgotten - personality of the artistic, commercial and civic worlds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History