This book illuminates the original meanings of seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century mural paintings in Britain.
At the time, these were called ‘histories’. Throughout the eighteenth century, though, the term became directly associated with easel painting and, as ‘history painting’ achieved the status of a sublime genre, any link with painted architectural interiors was lost. Whilst both genres contained historical ﬁgures and narratives, it was the ways of viewing them that differed. Lydia Hamlett emphasises the way that mural paintings were experienced by spectators within their architectural settings. New iconographical interpretations and theories of effect and affect are considered an important part of their wider historical, cultural and social contexts.
This book is intended to be read primarily by specialists, graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in new approaches to British art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Re-Experiencing British Murals
Chapter 1 Animating Histories
Chapter 2 Triumph and Return
Chapter 3 Murals and Metamorphoses
Chapter 4 Poetry, Painting and Politics
Chapter 5 The Prolific Age of Mural Painting
Conclusion: Defining Mural Painting as a Genre
Lydia Hamlett is Academic Director in History of Art at the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Murray Edwards College. She is a co-founder of the British Murals Network (britishmurals.org).
"This study is rich in new methods of looking and understanding, and of imagining and re-conjuring the impact of these murals in the time of their production. The author explores political and philosophical content as well as their multi-layered aesthetic potency."
--The Art Newspaper