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Title: Borrowed comlinesse : copying from pictures in seventeenth-century England
Author: Dalivalle, Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0003 9935 9277
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The prolific professional practice of copying from pictures in seventeenth-century England has come to define the artistic climate of the period. The dominance and advancement of foreign-born painters in working in London: Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Sir Peter Lely, and Sir Godfrey Kneller; the comprehensive influence of the portrait- types they developed for the English market, and the campaign since the last decades of the seventeenth century for an 'English School of Painting', focussed on the promotion of history or subject painting, have contributed to a characterisation of the period as a time when native artists, detached from the artistic innovations of mainland Europe, slavishly adhered to the patterns set by leading foreigners. Because copies are now seen as secondary to originals in fine art, as in other categories, copied pictures have been considered an inferior class of object, not worthy of critical attention. As a result of the confluence of all these factors, the period has been marginalised as derivative and inconsequential in art-historical terms. This thesis argues that modem attitudes are at variance with the reception of copies and the professional practice of copying in seventeenth-century England, therefore the artistic production of the period is currently fundamentally misunderstood. It investigates the status of copies and originals over the course of the century, linking shifts in their intellectual and economic values to the origins of the secondary market for art at the outset of the century, the sale of the Royal Collection during the Interregnum, and market saturation in the 1690s. The roles and functions of copies in collections are demonstrated from material in inventories, diaries and letters. Techniques and tools for copying are reconstructed and re-enacted, and compared to a little-known class of intermediary drawings. This study pinpoints the first enunciation of the concept of artistic originality in the nexus of the major secondary art markets of London and the Low Countries during the 1690s. Noting that artists of all nationalities and classes in England engaged in copying, the study aligns contemporary commentary about the studio production of replicas and copies, artists' creative use of copying and copies, and re-evaluates artistic intent in seventeenth- century England.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available