Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain

Overview

For artists of the increasingly mechanized Victorian age, questions about the meaning and value of labour presented a series of urgent problems: Is work a moral obligation or a religious duty? Must labour be the preserve of men alone? Does the amount of work bestowed on a painting affect its value? Should art celebrate wholesome rural work or reveal the degradations of the industrial workplace? In this highly original book, Tim Barringer considers how artists and theorists addressed these questions and what their...

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Overview

For artists of the increasingly mechanized Victorian age, questions about the meaning and value of labour presented a series of urgent problems: Is work a moral obligation or a religious duty? Must labour be the preserve of men alone? Does the amount of work bestowed on a painting affect its value? Should art celebrate wholesome rural work or reveal the degradations of the industrial workplace? In this highly original book, Tim Barringer considers how artists and theorists addressed these questions and what their solutions reveal about Victorian society and culture.
Based on extensive new research, Men at Work offers a compelling study of the image as a means of exploring the relationship between labour and art in Victorian Britain. Barringer arrives at a major reinterpretation of the art and culture of nineteenth-century Britain and its empire as well as new readings of such key figures as Ford Madox Brown and John Ruskin.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300103809
  • Publisher: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
  • Publication date: 1/11/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 423,180
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Barringer is associate professor in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University. He is the author of Reading the Pre-Raphaelites and coeditor of Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, and Modernity, both published by Yale University Press.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : an aesthetic of labour 1
Ch. 1 Art, religion, and labour 21
Ch. 2 The harvest field in the railway age 83
Ch. 3 Blacksmith and artist 133
Ch. 4 Art and industry 187
Ch. 5 Colonial gothic 243
Conclusion : aestheticism and labour 313
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