- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Bulfinch; First American Edition edition (October 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0821223267
- ISBN-13: 978-0821223260
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.3 x 11.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Victorian Painting Hardcover – October 1, 1999
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From Library Journal
Wood, an expert in the art of the Victorian period, sets out to prove the wealth and diversity of English Victorian painting, placing it in the social context of its time. The discussion of issues such as the rise of middle-class patronage, the increasing importance of the dealer, and the emergence of museums helps situate Victorian painting. Wood's major premise is that Victorian art was not only a popular means of illustrating modern life but that it also continued the earlier phase of 19th-century Romanticism through its passion for history and literary illusion. These themes are reflected in the 28 thematic chapters. Unlike Lionel Lambourne's Victorian Painting (LJ 12/99), which is more international and comprehensive in scope, Wood focuses solely on England and the artists who worked there. Lambourne also touches more on contemporary art historical methodology as seen, for example, in his much stronger feminist take on the role of Victorian women in society. And the design of Wood's book tends to feel more cramped than Lambourne's, with images often squeezed onto the page or cropped to fit. Yet Wood's book is still a strong offering on the subject and is recommended for both large libraries with general book collections and for those that support programs in art and art research.DSandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll., MA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Lionel Lambourne, OBE was Head of Paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from 1986 to 1993.
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The awful events of World War I cast a destructive pall over Victorian art, which was dismissed, ridiculed, and condemned for a purported sentimentality that suddenly seemed monstrously false and hypocritical. That was a deeply unfair. No one foresaw, or could have foreseen, the course of history and painted with reference to the wretched events to come. Surely there now should be sufficient historical distance to allow these works to be judged and enjoyed according to their merits.
This book is truly a journey through the Victorian Period, connecting with schools that were part or directly "woven in" to Victorian painting.
Its chapters are not necessarily bound by time-frame but by topic, which makes it easier to keep the over-all view on the complexity of Victorian art and times. It is written very well, lots of info and in a flowing style, keeping the text short and straight to the point, but enough to answer all important questions and give some time to some of the most influential and individual artists, with a brief over all life-story and many great examples of their works, as well as some important historical notes - so (as I saw here on the reviews) This is not JUST a picture book but more an encyclopedia on Victorian Art. Who only wants to look at pictures will find many great ones in there but will truly miss the essence if not reading the text that belongs in there to give one the depth of what these paintings and their creators were all about! If there is one draw back it's those images that are only black and white - although many of those, one can find online nower days! This is a MUST have for anyone who loves not only Victorian art, but simply great art in general - 5 stars all the way!
Chapters were easy to follow, and it was extremely thorough in its scope. Well worth purchasing if you are interested at all in the history of Victorian art.
Down side: offered "like new;" slip cover had torn corners, and the introduction page had something that looked very much like dried scrambled eggs stuck to it. Other than that, I couldn't find fault with it.
Victorian Painting by Phaidon books is a comprehensive and exhaustive study on the wide gamut of art work created over the span of the Victorian Era, covering a multitude of subject matter and movements, from Romantic Realism to Symbolism and more.
I love the book for its expansive content, well over 500 pages of big and beautifully reproduced paintings. It certainly helps that the art work created over this period include some of my favourite movements and art groups - Romanticism, Realism, Symbolism and groups like the Pre-Raphaelites.
The size ( 9.8 x 1.7 inches ) of the book is big enough such that no single painting is spread across two pages, preserving the integrity and allowing the reader to fully immerse in each piece of art work.
I browse this book from time to time when I need inspiration, and it gives me the kick I need every time. The images shown on my blog are but a very small sampling of the amazing art work you can find inside. I give this book my highest recommendations.
p.s - the version I reviewed is the soft cover. If you have the cash to spare I suggest getting the hard cover version - the spine binding is much more robust, which is important to preserve such a heavy book and browsing is much easier as you can open up the book much wider.