The King's Artists: The Royal Academy of Arts and the Politics of British Culture 1760-1840

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Overview

This is the story of the forging of a national cultural institution in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. The Royal Academy of Arts was the dominant art school and exhibition society in London and a model for art societies across the British Isles and North America. This is the first study of its early years, re-evaluating the Academy's significance in national cultural life and its profile in an international context. Holger Hoock reassesses royal and state patronage of the arts and explores the concepts and practices of cultural patriotism and the politicization of art during the American and French Revolutions. By demonstrating how the Academy shaped the notions of an English and British school of art and influenced the emergence of the British cultural state, he illuminates the politics of national culture and the character of British public life in an age of war, revolution, and reform.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199266265
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/1/2004
  • Series: Oxford Historical Monographs Series
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

I Academies of art
1 Institutional history 19
2 Promoting a national school 52
3 Modelling academies for the British School 80
4 The cosmopolitan outlook of a national academy 109
II The politicization of art
Somerset House, 23 April 1796 127
Art and politics 128
5 George III and the artists 136
6 French revolutions in the Royal Academy? 180
7 The spectacle of exhibitions 203
III Forging the cultural state
A year in the life of Joseph Farington, R.A. 225
The British state, the arts, and the Royal Academy 226
8 Professional representations 235
9 Monumental miracles 253
Epilogue : a London Parthenon 295
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