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Five Centuries of British Painting (World of Art)

From Holbein to Hodgkin

Andrew Wilton


'Wilton is a thorough and measured guide … a most useful addition to the World of Art series' Times Higher Education Supplement


Britain has played a key part in the history of the last five centuries, and its art reflects this in absorbing and complex ways. The distinguished art historian Andrew Wilton traces the story of British painting from its hesitant beginnings under the influence of Holbein through its maturity in the time of Hogarth and Reynolds, when it reflected a prosperous society with growing imperial influence.

The pioneering role of Constable and Turner in the revolutions of the Romantic period is fully explored, and the enigmatic position of artists in Victorian England, when a stiff moral code came into conflict with the uncertainties of the age of Darwin. Consistent undercurrents revealed include Britain’s preference for the real world (landscape, portraiture) as against ‘high’ art and abstraction.

Andrew Wilton offers new insights into the great personalities of British painting, and assesses afresh the latest flowering, in which many threads of modern art come together in sometimes startling guises.

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'For those interested in the broad expanse of British art, Andrew Wilton’s book is an ideal starting point'
House & Garden

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 183

Publication date: 11 February 2002

ISBN: 9780500203491

About the Author

Andrew Wilton was the first Curator of the Clore Gallery for the Turner Collection at Tate Britain, London, and is the author of many works on the artist, including the standard catalogue of the watercolours.