Innovative Reproduction: Painters and Engravers at the Royal Academy of Arts

  • D. W. Dörrbecker

Abstract

At least where the self-conscious pictorial representation of their own social standing was at stake, even British architects, sculptors, and painters from the mid-eighteenth century onwards had finally secured for themselves and for their professions an elevated position among the artes liberales. In the young Joshua Reynolds’s self-portrait, dating from the late 1740s, the painter’s gaze is no longer that of a humble artisan, but is directed from his easel towards the sphere of his respectable and well-established patrons.2 Clothed in an elegant frock coat, the painter has charged his own facial expression with his social ambition. It seems telling that Reynolds never again chose to picture himself with the tools of his trade.

Keywords

Income Tate Defend Bitumen Stake 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 4.
    Sir Joshua Reynolds, Discourses on Art, ed. Robert R. Wark, 2nd rev. edn (New Haven, Conn. and London: Yale University Press, for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 1975) p. 57.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    For the history of the conflict between Academicians and engravers, see Celina Fox, ‘The Engravers’ Battle for Professional Recognition in Early Nineteenth Century London’, London Journal 2 (1976) pp. 3–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. John Gage, ‘An Early Exhibition and the Politics of British Print-making, 1800–1812’, Print Quarterly 6 (1989) pp. 123–39.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    For a similar statement see, for example, Werner Busch, Joseph Wright of Derby: Das Experiment mit der Luftpumpe: Eine Heilige Allianz zwischen Wissenschaft und Religion, Kunststück: Fischer Taschenbuch 3941 (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1986) p. 9.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    For the theoretical concept of artistic and intellectual sub-systems see Pierre Bourdieu, Zur Soziologie der symbolischen Formen, trans. Wolfgang Fietkau, Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft 107 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1974) pp. 76–86 and passim.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    For the politically concrete meaning of terms such as ‘liberal arts’ or of ‘slavish and servile copying’, see Barrell, 1986. For some wider contexts in which these terms were embedded see Michael Meehan, Liberty and Poetics in Eighteenth-Century England (London: Croom Helm, 1986)Google Scholar
  7. Gerald Newman, The Rise of English Nationalism: A Cultural History. 1740–1830 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987).Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    For questions relating to the development of the British art world outside London, see Trevor Fawcett, The Rise of English Provincial Art: Artists, Patrons and Institutions outside London, 1800–1830, Oxford Studies in the History of Art and Architecture 12 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974).Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    Here quoted from Sidney C. Hutchison, The History of the Royal Academy 1768–1968 (London: Chapman & Hall, 1968) p. 35.Google Scholar
  10. 23.
    Here quoted from Hutchison 1968, pp. 89–90; for Landseer’s new advance see also John Evan Hodgson and Fred A. Eaton, The Royal Academy and Its Members 1768–1830 (London: John Murray, 1905) p. 297.Google Scholar
  11. 33.
    For a recent case study see Shelley M. Bennett, Thomas Stothard: The Mechanisms of Art Patronage in England circa 1800 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  12. 43.
    For an excellent account of the elaborated syntax of eighteenth-century reproductive engravings see William M. Ivins, Jr, ‘The Tyranny of the Rule: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, in Prints and Visual Communication (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1953) pp. 71–92.Google Scholar
  13. 47.
    For the belated recognition of engraving as one of the fine arts see Trevor Fawcett, ‘Graphic versus Photographic in the Nineteenth-Century Reproduction’, Art History 9 (1986) pp. 185–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 50.
    Paul Oskar Kristeller, ‘Das moderne System der Künste’, Humanismus and Renaissance Il: Philosophie, Bildung and Kunst, ed. Eckhard Kegler, trans. Renate Schweyen-Ott, UTB 915 (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, n.d. [1980]), pp. 164–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. W. Dörrbecker

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations