Desire and Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art / Edition 1

Desire and Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art / Edition 1

by Jonah Siegel
     
 

"Desire and Excess is one of the most exciting and sophisticated books I have read for some time. It is capaciously learned, sensitively researched, and wonderfully graceful and witty. By reconsidering the institutions and aesthetics responsible for the culture of the museum in modernity, it offers a new history of art-historical discourse."—Isobel

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Overview

"Desire and Excess is one of the most exciting and sophisticated books I have read for some time. It is capaciously learned, sensitively researched, and wonderfully graceful and witty. By reconsidering the institutions and aesthetics responsible for the culture of the museum in modernity, it offers a new history of art-historical discourse."—Isobel Armstrong, Birkbeck College, London

"Desire and Excess tells about the time a dazzling company of poets got lost inside the Louvre, and only got out once they had together created the giant figure of the Artist. Jonah Siegel's brilliance is continually breathtaking, so it's lucky that he has placed such solid ground beneath our feet by his luxurious, intricately wrought scholarship."—Elaine Scarry, author of On Beauty and Being Just

"A timely book on the relationship of art and experience to the hallowed sanctuaries of museum collections. Jonah Siegel is right on target in dealing with this hugely important issue. I can only admire the vast range of themes and the quiet display of learning so apparent in this text. The book kept me constantly alert and informed."—Robert Rosenblum, New York University

"This ambitious and fascinating work traces the relations between the development of the museum, the history of taste, and the figure of the artist/author in nineteenth-century England. Here Jonah Siegel reads the long collapse of neoclassicism as a productive crisis in the modern conception of originality. His argument is remarkably rich, subtle, learned, and provocative."—Ian Duncan, University of Oregon

"Desire and Excess marks the emergence of a powerful and distinctive critical sensibility, remarkable both for its range of erudition and for the extraordinary quality of reflection brought to bear on the works explored here. Jonah Siegel mingles exacting close analysis and broad, confident historical and cultural reference in a manner that is almost unfailingly persuasive. The book will appeal to readers interested in the intellectual, artistic, literary, and cultural histories of Britain from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, as well as to those engaged in postmodern critical reflection on art institutions and artistic agency."—James Eli Adams, Indiana University

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691049144
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/31/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.17(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.98(d)

Table of Contents

LIST OF FIGURES vii

ACKNOWLEDGMENT xi

PREFACE: The Apparent Permanence of the Museum as Against Its Actual Permanence: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art xv

INTRODUCTION: The Museum as Mortuary 3

PART ONE: ART IN THE MUSEUM: ARTIST AND FRAGMENT AT THE TURN OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 15

CHAPTER ONE: David and Fuseli: The Artist in the Museum, the Museum in tHe Work of Art 17

David: The Oaths 18

Fuseli: Before Ruins 28

CHAPTER TWO: "Monuments of Pure Antiquity": The Challenge of the Object in Neoclassical Theory and Pedagogy 40

The Statue and the Penis 47

The Penis and the Statue 64

CHAPTER THREE: "United, Completer Knowledge": Barry, Blake, and the Search for the Artist 73

Alternative Origins 73

Yoseph of Arimathea: Blake and the Work of Art 76

The Laocoun: Stupendous Originals 80

PART TWO: THE AUTHOR AS WORK OF ART: ACCUMULATION, DISPLAY, AND DEATH IN LITERARY BIOGRAPHY 91

CHAPTER FOUR: Hazlitt, Scott, Lockhart: Intimacy, Anonymity, and Excess 93

"That Which is Unseen ": The Life of Genius 93

Talking in a Tempest: Hazlitt on Contemporary Life 102

A Writing Hand: The Life of Scott 113

CHAPTER FIVE: Keats: In the Library, in the Museum 130

The Museum: Accommodating Art. 133

"A Perfect Treasure House": The Museum of the Mind 150

PART THREE: ABSENCE AND EXCESS: THE PRESENCE OF THE OBJECT 165

CHAPTER SIX: Outline, Collection, City: Hazlitt, Ruskin, and the Encounter with Art 167

"Asking for the Old Pictures": Hazlitt's Dream of the Louvre 168

Ruskin in the Presence of Art: Art, Treasure, Exhihition 180

Learned Outlines: Hazlitt and Ruskin on Flaxman 189

CHAPTER SEVEN: Vast Knowledge/Narrow Space: The Stones of Venice 197

Travel and Organization 197

The Natures of Gothic 209

PART FOUR: THE DEATHS OF THE CRITICS 225

CHAPTER EIGHT: Modernity as Resurrection in Pater and Wilde 227

Filling in the Outline, or "What Is Really New" 227

"A Pomegranate Cut with a Knife of Ivory" 251

AFTERWORD: Las Meninas as Cover: Foucault, Velazquez, and the Reflection of the Museum 263

NOTES 279

ILLUSTRATION CREDITS 337

INDEX 339

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