David H. Solkin
David H. Solkin is Professor Emeritus at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.
Solkin, David H.
Solkin, David H.
United States of America
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Description: Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780–1836
THE HISTORY OF REGULAR PUBLIC ART EXHIBITIONS in London began in the early 1760s with scenes of turbulent confusion. Not only were there too many people, but there were too many viewers of the wrong sort; writing on behalf of the artistic...
Description: Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780–1836
PUTTING ON THE ANNUAL Royal Academy exhibitions in Somerset House proved more often than not to be a highly complicated business, dogged by practical difficulties, poor organization, and more than the occasional personal crisis. Huge numbers of exhibits were involved: the 489 works shown in 1780 had grown to...
Description: Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780–1836
AT THE FIRST ROYAL ACADEMY EXHIBITION to be held in Somerset House, few works generated more curiosity than Johann Zoffany’s view of the Tribuna of the Uffizi (fig. 2), the opulent hexagonal gallery built to hold the...
Description: Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780–1836
THE YEAR 1780 MARKED THE BEGINNING OF an important new chapter in the history of England’s Royal Academy of Arts, founded in December 1768. For the first eleven years of its existence the Academy had held its annual exhibitions in rented premises in Pall Mall, while conducting its pedagogical and administrative operations in a run-down suite of rooms in Old Somerset House...
Description: Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780–1836
On May 1, 1780, England’s Royal Academy of Arts opened its twelfth annual exhibition, the first to be held in the magnificent rooms of William Chambers’s newly built Somerset House. For the next fifty-seven years, the Great Room of Somerset House effectively defined the center of the London art world--the place where viewers had to see and be seen, and where artists fiercely vied for the attention of potential buyers. Such great exhibition performers as Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Lawrence, John Constable, J. M. W. Turner, and David Wilkie sharpened their skills during these stimulating decades. In this extensively illustrated book, seventeen renowned experts revisit and assess the Somerset House years, a period of great achievement and central importance in the history of British art.

The book’s contributors view the Somerset House phenomenon from a broad range of perspectives. They deal with the physical nature of the exhibitions, the audience, the role of the press, the Royal Academy’s place within the larger world of urban entertainments, and how the conditions of display shaped and even transformed patterns of art production. In addition, they explore such topics as the tactics of exhibitors in different genres of painting, the exhibition histories of works in other media, and the impact on foreign artists and observers of an increasingly self-confident national school of British art.
Author
Print publication date November 2001 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300090918
EISBN 9780300248098
Illustrations 221
Print Status out of print