Thomas Jones (1742-1803): An Artist Rediscovered

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This book is the catalogue for a major exhibition celebrating the bicentenary of Thomas Jones's death. The exhibition has been organised by the National Museums & Galleries of Wales, in conjunction with the National Gallery, London, and the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his own lifetime, Welsh landscape painter Jones fell out of circulation due to the perennial caprices: art-world politics, changing tastes, personal finances, lost and damaged works. Happily, his overlooked career offers a singular pleasure-its rediscovery. In connection with the bicentenary of Jones's death and a major exhibition, curator Sumner and scholar Smith have compiled an extensive catalogue of the 18th-century artist's work, including erudite essays that closely examine Jones's trajectory, from apprenticeship with famed painter Richard Wilson to plein-air travels in Italy to his final years in Wales, and his technique: virtuoso paint-handling, precise underdrawing, experimental perspectives and a distinctly warm palette. More compelling than the well-documented text are the reproductions, revealing the evolution of Jones's style and subject matter, as it moved from grand classical themes to small-scale panoramas to humble rooftop laundry lines. The sharply cropped compositions of the artist's Neapolitan oil sketches in particular suggest an innovative, modernist eye, "a proto-photographic presence." For the uninitiated, the book provides a comprehensive introduction to a fresh talent; for the landscape enthusiast, it is an overdue affirmation. 50 b&w and 150 color reproductions. (July 23) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Thomas Jones was a Welsh landscape artist who achieved international success for his paintings of Italy during his lifetime. The artist and his work were rediscovered in the early 1940s; prior to this exhibition catalog, Lawrence Gowing's 64-page The Originality of Thomas Jones (1986) was the major publication on this artist. This new catalog accompanies a major exhibition in Wales and England commemorating the 200th anniversary of the artist's death. Edited by Sumner (curator, National Museums and Galleries of Wales) and independent scholar Smith, the catalog features essays by leading Jones scholars and showcases more than 150 paintings from the artist's career. This is the first time a comprehensive collection of Jones's works may be viewed. Chapters include his early years, pre- and post-Italy, and his evolution from amateur to professional painter. Also included is a technical study of Jones's oil paintings and of his inventive uses of paper. The lush color images are a pleasure to view, and some fascinating examples of infrared images show the artist's under-work process. Don't let this underrated Welsh artist and piece of Welsh history slip through the cracks-this is an excellent addition for large art collections.-Jennifer Mayer, Univ. of Wyoming Libs., Laramie Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300099232
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 6/20/2003
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Sponsor's Foreword
Directors' Foreword
Exhibition Advisory Committee
Who was Thomas Jones? The Life, Death and Posthumous Reputation of Thomas Jones of Pencerrig 1
Before Italy: The Making of an Artist 23
Thomas Jones in Italy 47
Painting 'for my own Amusement': From Professional Artist to Amateur, 1783-1803 69
Thomas Jones: A Technical Study of his Oil Paintings 89
Careful and Considered Choice: Thomas Jones's Use of Paper 101
Notes on the Catalogue 109
Family Background 111
Richard Wilson and his Studio 121
Jones's Early Career Prior to Italy 131
Jones in Italy I: Rome and its Environs 165
Jones's Contemporaries in Italy 201
Jones in Italy II: Naples and its Environs 213
After Italy: British and Italian Views 251
Bibliography 273
Photographic Credits 279
List of Lenders 280
Index 281
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