Victorian painting /
Lionel Lambourne.
London : Phaidon, 1999.
512 p. : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
More Details
London : Phaidon, 1999.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 504-505) and index.
A Look Inside
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-03:
As if a history of the painting done during Victoria's 63-year reign were not mammoth enough, Lambourne (Victoria and Albert Museum) begins his study at the year of her birth (1819--thus adding to the mix the fecund decade of the 1820s), and includes a survey of the art of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US. The result is a truly massive tome (623 color plates at eight pounds!). In dividing his study into thematic chapters (childhood, fairy pictures, fallen woman, for example), Lambourne follows precedent (Jeremy Maas, Victorian Painters, 1969; Christopher Wood, Victorian Panorama, CH, Jul'77), creating several newly relevant categories of his own, i.e., "Woman Artists," 'Transatlantic Exchange." Comprehensiveness, however, not scholarship (the text is without footnotes), is the book's greatest virtue: readers frequently will find new artists or unfamiliar works by known painters. The text itself (written with a light touch," according to the blurb), is informative and introductory in nature, with little analytical depth. However, the discussion of British Impressionism is a welcome chapter to the Victorian canon. The color plates vary widely in quality and are handsomely arranged throughout. For the price, a very tempting and useful addition. General readers; undergraduate and graduate students. L. R. Matteson; University of Southern California
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-12-01:
For some time, the vogue in 19th-century British art has focused on the Pre-Raphaelite movement or on the Aesthetes, primarily Aubrey Beardsley. With some exceptions, art of this period has been considered sentimental and unworthy of current-day consideration. Lambourne, former head of painting at the Victoria and Albert Museum, re-addresses this perception in a new, quite literally weighty tome. Taking Queen Victoria's reign (1837-1901) as his frame, Lambourne explores how such art came out of a time of much poverty but also energy, wealth, optimism, education, and self-confidence. The Pre-Raphaelites and Aesthetes are not neglected here, but Lambourne aims for greater depth, covering powerful women artists of the period, Van Gogh on a visit to London, and Thomas Griffith Wainwright, a convict banished to Australia. The author also looks beyond Britain to Canada, Australia, South Africa, and even the United States. With such a mass of material, Lambourne has done an impressive job of grouping the works thematically: Impressionism in Britain, childhood, nudes and classicism, immigration, and so forth. This is possibly the most inclusive book on the topic since Jeremy Maas's Victorian Painters (LJ 8/84. o.p.) and with its 620 color illustrations should stand as the hallmark for some time to come. Almost too heavy to circulate, it is nonetheless an essential purchase recommended for all libraries.--Joseph C. Hewgley, Nashville P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Chicago Tribune, December 1999
Library Journal, December 1999
Wall Street Journal, December 1999
Library Journal, January 2000
Choice, March 2000
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Table of Contents
Prefacep. 6
Introductionp. 8
The Victorian Art Establishmentp. 24
The Fresco Revival: Mural Paintingp. 42
The Good and the Great: Portrait Paintingp. 64
Oils Versus Watercolours: Landscape Paintingp. 92
The Narrative Impulse: Genre Paintingp. 126
'Virtual Reality': The Panoramap. 150
Childhood and Sentimentp. 168
Fairy Paintingp. 190
Sporting and Animal Paintingp. 208
The Pre-Raphaelitesp. 230
'All Human Life is Here: Cross-Sections of Societyp. 256
The Nude and Classicismp. 278
Women Artistsp. 304
Sombre Schools of Art: Social Realismp. 326
Parting: Emigration and Warp. 348
The Frailer Sex and the Fallen Womanp. 366
A Transatlantic Exchangep. 390
Colonial Ties: Painters in a Wider Worldp. 412
Aesthetes and Symbolists: The Last Romanticsp. 438
Impressionism in Britainp. 462
The End of an Erap. 486
Select Bibliographyp. 504
Indexp. 506
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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