Jonathan Richardson: Art Theorist of the English Enlightenment

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Overview

Gibson-Wood describes art consumption in England in Richardson's time as well as the debates concerning native versus continental painting. She argues that Richardson's personal and written responses to these circumstances quintessentially embodied 'bourgeois' English Enlightenment ideals and the Lockean principles underpinning them. The first part of the book examines Richardson's personal life, professional career, literary aspirations, activities as a collector, and his relations with such contemporaries as Alexander Pope. In the second part Gibson-Wood sets Richardson's writings in the contexts of earlier art theory and of other genres of contemporary writing, concluding that his art-theoretical programme was a radically English one that upheld the ability of freethinking Englishmen - including painters - to establish their own aesthetic criteria.
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Editorial Reviews

Jenny Uglow
Jonathan Richardson is all the mroe interesting becuase it echoes something of its sungect's own battling spirit. Scholarly and scrupulous, beautifully produces and illustrated, it does much tofill out the picture of the man and his work...invaluable, becuase it forces us to reread and rethink this stubborn, didactic, ambitiously enlightened critic, and to reposition his reputation.
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
General Introduction 1
Pt. I 'The Annals of a Chequered Life'
1 Laborious Years 25
2 The Eminent Mr. Richardson, c.1710-1730 56
3 'The Fagg End of Life' 105
Pt. II An English Theory of Painting
4 The Englishing of Continental Art Theory 143
5 The Rationalization of Connoisseurship 179
6 England as Art-Critical Capital of Europe 209
Notes 234
Bibliographical Note 253
Photograph Credits 256
Index 257
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