English Art, 1800-1870

English Art, 1800-1870

English Art, 1800-1870

English Art, 1800-1870

Excerpt

No one can hope, or I think wish, to have read all that contemporaries wrote about art in the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century. I have seen much of the painting, sculpture, and architecture, but cannot claim that the survey is in any way complete. Many paintings, famous in their day, I have failed to trace, and the quest is none the easier from the changes that have taken place in their titles, the long Academy inscriptions being too lengthy for convenient reference. For this prolific and voluble period there are fortunately many guides. Since 1928, when Sir Kenneth Clark in his Gothic Revival blazed a new trail through what he described as 'these unmapped regions', nineteenth-century architecture has had many exponents and the names of Goodhart-Rendel, B.F.L. Clarke, Summerson, Betjeman, Pevsner, Colvin, and Hitchcock must be constantly had in grateful remembrance by any worker in this field. Mr. Rupert Gunnis in his Dictionary of Sculptors has made possible a reassessment of much that has been long forgotten. In painting the great names, Blake, Constable, Turner, the Pre-Raphaelites, have received detailed and often distinguished treatment: others await reinterpretation after the neglect into which they have too completely fallen.

Her Majesty the Queen has graciously permitted me to reproduce works in the Royal Collection. I trust that the Deans and Chapters, Trustees and Gallery Directors, corporate bodies and private owners who have allowed me to reproduce works in their possession will accept the acknowledgements in the list of plates as an expression of my most sincere thanks. Many of them have added to their kindness by sending photographs and information, allowing me most ready access, and bringing out from storage paintings not generally on exhibition. In particular the staffs of the Courtauld Institute, the National Buildings Record, the Bodleian Library, the Ashmolean Museum, the Print Room of the British Museum, and the Tate Gallery have shown the most kindly tolerance of the trouble I have constantly caused them. Over less . . .

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