Georgian Art (1760-1820): An Introductory Review of English Painting, Architecture, Sculpture, Ceramics, Glass, Metalwork, Furniture, Textiles and Other Arts during the Reign of George III

By Roger Fry; J. B. Manson et al. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE present book represents the third attempt of THE BURLINGTON MAGAZINE to publish a much needed book. It was in 1925 that our "Chinese Art" appeared, and that work was followed up some two years later by "Spanish Art." These books were both extremely successful, the former being long ago out of print, and now realises on the market more than double the published price.

"Georgian Art" differs, as a publication, in no essential respect from these others. The original plan of allotting chapters on the various arts and crafts of the period has been adhered to, and that for the same reason that first suggested it to us, viz., that no single writer can speak with full authority on all the subjects dealt with. Life appears to be too short, or the human mind insufficiently comprehensive, to permit of a man acquiring complete knowledge of the whole of the arts and crafts of even a limited period or a single country. The admission of that fact lies behind the plan we have adopted for these books.

Two inevitable results of our scheme are a lessening of that unity of effect produced by the application of a single mind; and a certain amount of repetition. We have done our best to reduce to the minimum these defects which, we have no hesitation in claiming, are outweighed by the advantages of our scheme.

It is hoped that though the writer of the Introduction, Mr. Roger Fry, illustrates his vision of the period chiefly by referring to the art of painting (as having the widest appeal), what he has to say will assist the reader to realise the general trend in the development of English Art from 1760 to 1820. There will be general agreement that each of the chapters which follow is written by a specialist of established reputation, so that we feel completely confident that the reader runs no risk, as he does in taking up many art books, of being not only imperfectly informed but actually misled.

At the end of the book will be found a number of announcements by dealers in works of art, which we hope will be found to have some intrinsic interest. They are so arranged as not to interfere with the text and their inclusion is due to our great desire to publish our book at the lowest possible price, so that the impecunious scholar may acquire it. The revenue from the advertisements has enabled us to offer "Georgian Art" at a considerably lower price than would otherwise have been possible.

It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge in public, as I have already done in private, the generous help afforded us by private owners who have allowed us to photograph objects in their collections, the Duke of Northumberland, the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Superintendent of Guy's Hospital, the Librarian of All Souls, Oxford, the Director and several members of the staff of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Curator of the Soane Museum, Mr. Wallace Eliot, the Editor of "Country Life", Messrs. Hodder & Stoughton, Messrs. Methuen Ltd., Messrs. F. Frith & Co., Reigate, and last but not least, Sir Robert and Lady Witt. Plates 4, A and 6, A, Architecture, are taken from "Robert Adam and his Brothers" by courtesy of Mr. John Swarbrick

R. R. TATLOCK, Editor.

-1-

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