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Title: Industry and identity in late eithteenth-century english portraiture
Author: Whitfield, Victoria Elisabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 0840
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2002
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This dissertation considers the significance of the non-somatic for the representation of identity and character in late eighteenth-century English portraits of the new manufacturing middle classes. The men whose portraits are discussed 'in this work were the pioneers of the new factory systems, mass production and industrial processes. Although many portraits of these men and of others in the same sphere of influence exist, the works examined here are those in which the subjects are depicted accompanied by objects related to their industrial or manufacturing businesses. This juxtaposition of the human figure and the material object, both in life and as represented subjects, will be explored in this dissertation. Chapter One forms an interrogation into the semantic effect of and on objects related to the industrial process when they are represented in portraits. It is a consideration of where such objects might more usually be depicted and the codes governing their representation in those visual spheres. Chapter Two examines how the social identity of wealthy men was shaped by their depiction with objects related to the manufacturing process. It suggests that the desire by such men to construct their portrayed identities through the newly understood institution of industry comprised the performance of a new form of public masculinity. Chapter Three considers the relevance of location to the construction of social identity. It examines the representation of industrial location as spectacle, inquires into the implication of this for industrially located portraits and examines the way in which established conventions of portraiture were drawn upon to restrain this effect. The fourth chapter inquires into the representation of the indispensable (yet often visually absent) industrial workforce asking how the body of the worker was implicated in the construction of identity for the employers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available