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Title: British Orientalist painting in the Victorian art world
Author: Faruqi, Samar
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 9207
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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My thesis examines the production, display, and sale of Orientalist paintings in relation to the four agents of the Victorian art world: the artist, dealer, press, and patron. With a particular focus on the 1880s, a decade in which there was a notable rise in the production and display of Orientalist subjects at the Royal Academy, I examine the reception and display of the work of late-Victorian painters including Frederick Goodall, Edwin Long, Valentine Prinsep, and Walter Charles Horsley. While Orientalist subjects represented only a small percentage of the paintings produced and exhibited in Britain during the Victorian period, many of these works not only launched the careers of a select number of artists but sold for especially high prices. Travel to the Middle East was a considerable financial investment for painters, particularly in the mid-century, but could raise their reputation upon their return to the London art world and remunerate them in terms of the market value and demand for their works. Indeed, a large part of the success of second-generation Orientalists was the novelty of the subjects they painted, subjects that became an established category within the field of contemporary British paintings by the final decades of the century. Examining the way in which Orientalist paintings were exhibited in artist professional societies and commercial galleries, hung in the homes of collectors, and disseminated through the press, demonstrates how by focusing on a specific genre we can gain a more succinct idea of how the British art world functioned, as well as the roles that each agent played in the social dynamic of this network. In this thesis I have aimed to demonstrate through a general overview of the key players of the Victorian art world, and more focused case studies exploring the relationships of these different agents, how Orientalist art production was shaped by the milieu of which the artists were a part- a context in which we can reconsider previous studies of Orientalist art focused on individual artist's oeuvres or the genre as a whole, as well as the more recent debates surrounding Edward Said's 'Orientalism'.
Supervisor: Masssing, Jean Michel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Orientalist art ; Nineteenth-Century Painting ; Victorian art ; British Art ; Orientalism ; Art World ; Art Market ; Frederick Goodall ; Edwin Long ; Walter Charles Horsley ; Valentine Prinsep ; Victorian Commercial Galleries ; Print Publishing Trade ; Art Dealers ; Art Patrons ; Victorian Press ; Victorian Art Critic ; Victorian Painters ; Late-Victorian Period