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Romantic Art in Practice
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Book description

Exploring the relationship between visual art and literature in the Romantic period, this book makes a claim for a sister-arts 'moment' when the relationship between painting, sculpture, pottery and poetry held special potential for visual artists, engravers and artisans. Elaborating these cultural tensions and associations through a number of case studies, Thora Brylowe sheds light on often untold narratives of English labouring craftsmen and artists as they translated the literary into the visual. Brylowe investigates examples from across the visual spectrum including artefacts, such as Wedgwood's Portland Vase, antiquarianism through the work of William Blake, the career of engraver John Landseer, and the growing influence of libraries and galleries in the period, particularly Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery. Brylowe artfully traces the shifting cultural connections between the imaginative word and the image in a period that saw new print technologies deluge Britain with its first mass media.


'[A] memorable, assured, and refreshingly readable history … of the pressures brought to bear on the interconnectivity between poetry and painting in London’s art world during the Romantic period.'

Sarah Wootton Source: The Review of English Studies

‘Nearly every example presented in the book reveals the pervasiveness of multimedia practices. This intermeshing of word and image, of book and visual arts, is apparent in the literary galleries, of course, but we also learn about how Wedgwood displayed his commercial vases in galleries with accompanying descriptive catalogues, and how ancient urns themselves came to be known largely through the many two-dimensional reproductions of them, in printed engravings and poetic reconstructions. The examples presented demonstrate the inadvisability of separating the study of one media from another, as our disciplinary boundaries have tended to impose upon us.'

Michelle Levy Source: The Wordsworth Circle

‘Thora Brylowe’s Romantic Art in Practice: Cultural Work and the Sister Arts, 1760–1820 joins other recent scholarship to situate literary print culture within its larger medial sphere … The book examines the translation and adaptation of word to image, and more broadly of visual culture across media.’

Michelle Levy Source: The Wordsworth Circle

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