The imagery of travel in British painting : with particular reference to nautical and maritime imagery, circa 1740-1800
Quilley, Geoff (1998) The imagery of travel in British painting : with particular reference to nautical and maritime imagery, circa 1740-1800. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1362729~S1
The dissertation is divided into two sections, dealing with the positive and
negative faces of travel and the sea in visual art, each further subdivided by chapter.
Following the introduction, Chapter 2 deals with cartography, providing a
broad context for the cultural reception of travel imagery. Chapter 3 discusses Thames
imagery. It is argued that the increased interest in the river as a pictorial subject was
part of a growing view of London as the metropolis of a grand commercial empire,
whereby the Thames was aligned to the construction of the imperial nation. Chapter 4
examines metropolitan contexts for travel and maritime imagery. Conflicts are noticed
between the image of navigation as a sign for commerce, and the marginalization of
marine artists from polite artistic society. Patterns of patronage also indicate an
ideological and actual distancing of the maritime nation from maritime communities.
The second section turns to the image of the sea as a negative force in British
culture. After an introduction, Chapter 5 examines the problematic depiction of the
lower deck sailor, as a contradictory figure in national culture. Chapter 6 looks at how
smugglers and wreckers were visualized, as wreckers both of individual ships, and of
the larger ship of the commercial state, which assumed markedly political connotations
in the 1790s. Chapter 7 considers the slave trade, especially the implications of the
absence of imagery dealing positively with such an important component of the
maritime nation's prosperity. It is argued that the force of abolitionist images relies
upon inversions of pictorial conventions. Chapter 8 examines the wider significance of
shipwreck imagery, in relation to shipwreck literature. Discussion of illustrations to
Falconer's poem, The Shipwreck, is extended to the wider field of the shipwreck
narrative. By providing a vehicle for the expression of native virtues, shipwreck
reinforced British identity's being located with the sea, at the same time as it was
shown stricken by disaster.
The Conclusion considers further how national concerns and values were
mediated by the image of maritime disaster. Through a consideration of
Loutherbourg's work of the 1790s, it is argued that the aesthetic of the maritime, by
being increasingly interleaved with the sublime, permeated a wide variety of imagery.
But the naturalization of the nation in the sublimity of the sea represented it continually
on the verge of disintegration. For a maritime nation enduring the crises of naval
mutiny and continual threat of invasion by sea, this was peculiarly apposite.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||N Fine Arts > ND Painting|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Travel in art, Sea in art, Painting, English -- 18th century, Marine art -- England|
|Official Date:||May 1998|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of History of Art|
This is an abridged version for electronic use, lacking Volume 2 due to copyright restrictions; please see the official URL for details on how to access the full version.
|Extent:||2 v. (, 455 leaves; , 149 leaves)|
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