A Companion to British Art - 1600 to the Present
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This companion is a collection of newly-commissioned essays written by leading scholars in the field, providing a comprehensive introduction to British art history.

  • A generously-illustrated collection of newly-commissioned essays which provides a comprehensive introduction to the history of British art
  • Combines original research with a survey of existing scholarship and the state of the field
  • Touches on the whole of the history of British art, from 800-2000, with increasing attention paid to the periods after 1500
  • Provides the first comprehensive introduction to British art of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, one of the most lively and innovative areas of art-historical study
  • Presents in depth the major preoccupations that have emerged from recent scholarship, including aesthetics, gender, British art’s relationship to Modernity, nationhood and nationality, and the institutions of the British art world


Dana Arnold is Professor of Architectural History and Theory at Middlesex University, UK. She has published several books on British architecture and visual culture and is author of the best selling Art History: A Very Short Introduction (2004). She is series editor of New Interventions in Art History, Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Art History, and Blackwell Anthologies in Art History.

David Peters Corbett is Professor of History of Art at the University of East Anglia. He has published a number of books, and has received prizes from the Historians of British Art, College Art Association USA, and a Guardian book of the year award. He is the editor of the journal Art History.


List of Illustrations viii

Acknowledgements xiii

Notes on Contributors xiv

Part 1 Editors’ Introduction 1

Part 2 General 11

1 The “Englishness” of English Art Theory 13
Mark A. Cheetham

2 Modernity and the British 38
Andrew Ballantyne

3 English Art and Principled Aesthetics 60
Janet Wolff

Part 3 Institutions 77

4 “Those Wilder Sorts of Painting”: the Painted Interior in the Age of Antonio Verrio 79
Richard Johns

5 Nineteenth-Century Art Institutions and Academies 105
Colin Trodd

6 Crossing the Boundary: British Art across Victorianism and Modernism 131
David Peters Corbett

7 British Pop Art and the High/Low Divide 156
Simon Faulkner

8 When Attitudes Became Formless: Art and Antagonism in the 1960s 180
Jo Applin

Part 4 Nationhood 199

9 Art and Nation in Eighteenth-Century Britain 201
Cynthia Roman

10 International Exhibitions: Linking Culture, Commerce, and Nation 220
Julie F. Codell

11 Itinerant Surrealism: British Surrealism either side of the Second World War 241
Ben Highmore

12 55° North 3° West: a Panorama from Scotland 265
Tom Normand

13 Retrieving, Remapping, and Rewriting Histories of British Art: Lubaina Humid’s “Revenge” 289
Dorothy Rowe

Part 5 Landscape 315

14 Defining, Shaping, and Picturing Landscape in the Nineteenth Century 317
Anne Helmreich

15 Theories of the Picturesque 351
Michael Charlesworth

16 Landscape into Art: Painting and Place-Making in England, c.1760–1830 373
Tom Williamson

17 Landscape Painting, c.1770–1840 397
Sam Smiles

18 Landscape and National Identity: the Phoenix Park Dublin 422
Dana Arnold

Part 6 Men and Women 449

19 The Elizabethan Miniature 451
Dympna Callaghan

20 “The Crown and Glory of a Woman”: Female Chastity in Eighteenth-Century British Art 473
Kate Retford

21 Serial Portraiture and the Death of Man in Late-Eighteenth-Century Britain 502
Whitney Davis

22 Virtue, Vice, Gossip, and Sex: Narratives of Gender in Victorian and Edwardian Painting 532
Pamela M. Fletcher

Index 552