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Title: The English critical reaction to contemporary painting, 1878-1910
Author: Flint, Kate
ISNI:       0000 0001 3470 7088
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1983
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During the period 1878-1910 new criteria for the serious discussion of modern painting were established in England. The first chapter examines some of the differences between the criticism of painting and of literature, looks at the social function of art criticism, and outlines the terms of the crucial debate of these years, between the New Critics and the old guard, characterised by their enthusiasm for form and for content respectively. The second chapter discusses the development of art criticism in England since the first public exhibitions of the eighteenth century; the third examines publications containing such writing, and some of its individual practitioners, during 1878-1910. The task of the critic is then considered, in terms of the conditions of work and the demands which were explicitly placed on him or her. The following two chapters deal with the relationship between art and narration, and between art and morality. Particular attention is paid to the way in which the vocabulary of moral judgment applied to Victorian society in general is transferred to the work of art. Chapter seven discusses the reception of innovatory painting, notably by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, and the terms and arguments used by sympathetic critics to render this painting intelligible and acceptable to the general public. In conclusion, it is maintained that throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the relationship between the written word and the painted canvas has always been a close one. However, from being primarily descriptive in character, developments in painting, with emphasis shifting from content to form, made criticism far more technical in its concerns. As the use of the written word becomes increasingly essential to an understanding of the visual, so the authority of the critic to prescribe, as well as describe, increased.
Supervisor: Haskell, Francis ; Richards, Bernard ; Butler, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Art criticism--England--History--19th century ; Art criticism--England--History--20th century