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Colonial American Portraiture
     

Colonial American Portraiture

by Wayne Craven
 
In this provocative study, the renowned art scholar Wayne Craven examines early American portraiture not just in terms of the genius of particular artists, but as a complex expression of society and the individual. Historians of American art have long identified the evolution of styles in early portraits; Professor Craven asks why those styles developed as they did,

Overview

In this provocative study, the renowned art scholar Wayne Craven examines early American portraiture not just in terms of the genius of particular artists, but as a complex expression of society and the individual. Historians of American art have long identified the evolution of styles in early portraits; Professor Craven asks why those styles developed as they did, looking beyond the formal boundaries of traditional art history and studying the effect of religious, social, economic and political forces on art and the growth of arts patronage in early America. The author identifies the Protestant perspective: the compatibility of Protestant spiritualism with intensely secular motivations. In Professor Craven's view, the rich variety of early portraits demonstrates how Americans moved away from the strict theology of Puritanism, becoming Materialists and determined followers of the Protestant ethic.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Craven (Art History, Univ. of Delaware) has adopted a cross-disciplinary approach in examining the contexts of early American portraiture in New England, the Middle Colonies, and the South. He focuses on artists, sitters, and themes that reveal how colonists in different regions used portraiture to express their values and aspirations. He emphasizes the Puritan world view; the interest during the first half of the 18th century in English-style, ``aristocratic'' likenesses; and those artists later in the century who adopted a more ``American'' outlook. Craven's well-researched and clearly written offering is the first such comprehensive view of colonial painting in 15 years. Highly recommended for academic and museum libraries with related collections. Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Sleepy Hollow Restorations, Tarrytown, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521320443
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/01/1986
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
8.62(w) x 10.87(h) x 1.26(d)

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