Narrating Modernity: The British Problem Picture, 1895-1914

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Overview

Problem pictures were an extraordinarily popular feature of the Edwardian Royal Academy. The ambiguous, often slightly risque paintings of modern life were conversation pieces whose meaning was hotly debated in private and public. At a time when the question 'How might art best address itself to and be addressed by a modern world?' was fiercely contested, the problem picture supplied one populist answer. The pictures, however, had been swept from the walls of an embarrassed Royal Academy by 1914 when the modernist aesthetic finally triumphed. Recovering a genre lost between studies of Victorian and modernist painting, Pamela Fletcher uses the story of the problem picture to illuminate the transition and dialogue between these two great periods of British art.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Narrating modernity 1
1 Towards a definition of the problem picture 5
2 Woman as problem 31
3 Modern art and modern life 46
4 The fashionable problem picture: viewers and viewings 68
5 The 'problem picture' as modernism's Other 100
6 The problem picture and the creation of an audience for modern art 128
Notes 145
Bibliography 166
Index 185
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