Synopses & Reviews
Empire to Nation
offers a new consideration of the image of the sea in British visual culture during a critical period for both the rise of the visual arts in Britain and the expansion of the nation's imperial power. It argues that maritime imagery was central to cultivating a sense of nationhood in relation to rapidly expanding geographical knowledge and burgeoning imperial ambition. At the same time, the growth of the maritime empire presented new opportunities for artistic enterprise.and#160;
Taking as its starting point the year 1768, which marks the foundation of the Royal Academy and the launch of Captain Cook's first circumnavigation, it asserts that this was not just an interesting coincidence but symptomatic of the relationship between art and empire. This relationship was officially sanctioned in the establishment of the Naval Gallery at Greenwich Hospital and the installation there of J. M. W. Turner's great Battle of Trafalgar in 1829, the year that closes this study. Between these two poles, the book traces a changing historical discourse that informed visual representation of maritime subjects
'Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009 by Choice Magazine -- Robert Fulford - National Post'
'“. . . an ambitious research volume . . . [A]n impressive feat of academic research and critical inquiry into areas of English, Jewish and Afro-American heritage, almost unheard of in mainstream narratives on the history of slavery and the Atlantic world.” Temi-Tope C. Odumodu, Print Quarterly -- Nicola Hoggard Creegan - Colloquium'
"[A] strikingly handsome book.”
—Andrew Lambert, The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord Andrew Lambert
Shortlisted for the 2013 Historians of British Art Book Prize in the Pre-1800 category, given by the Historians of British Art.
"[A] strikingly handsome book.and#8221;
and#8212;Andrew Lambert, The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord
William Hodges is well known as the artist who accompanied Cooks second voyage to the South Pacific as official landscape painter. This booka major reappraisal of his career and reputationpresents him as one of the most intriguing and controversial painters of his age. Foremost scholars consider Hodgess work in terms of the rise of ethnology, the investigation of Indian history, the encounter with peoples without history,” and the development of empirical science and rationalism.
Previous accounts of Hodges have often treated him secondarily to Cook and the history of geographical exploration. This volume redresses this situation in the light of recent developments in the history of eighteenth-century British art, which seek to understand art and aesthetics within a broader framework of social and imperial history.
This highly original book asks new questions about paintings and prints associated with the British West Indies between 1700 and 1840, when the trade in sugar and slaves was most active and profitable. In a wide-ranging study of scientific illustrations, scenes of daily life, caricatures, and landscape imagery, Kay Dian Kriz analyzes the visual culture of refinement that accompanied the brutal process by which African slaves transformed rude” sugar cane into pure white crystals.
In these works refinement is usually associated with the metropole, and rudeness” with the colonies. Many artists capitalized on those characteristics of rudenessanimality, sensuality, and savagerythat increasingly became associated with all the island inhabitants. Yet other artists produced works that offered the possibility of colonial refinement, not just economic profit and sexual pleasure, thus complicating perceptions of difference between the two sides of the Atlantic.
About the Author
Tim Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art, Yale University. Gillian Forrester is Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, Yale Center for British Art. Barbaro Martinez Ruiz is Assistant Professor of Art and Art History, Stanford University.'