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Series: Series on the History of Art

Elizabeth Craven: Writer, Feminist and European

Julia Gasper

July 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-275-3
Availability: In stock
334pp. ¦ $65 £55 €62

Elizabeth Craven’s fascinating life was full of travel, love-affairs and scandals but this biography, the first to appear for a century, is the only one to focus on her as a writer and draw attention to the full range of her output, which raises her stature as an author considerably. Born into the upper class of Georgian England, she was pushed into marriage at sixteen to Lord Craven and became a celebrated society hostess and beauty, as well as mother to seven children. Though acutely conscious of her relative lack of education, as a woman, she ventured into writing poetry, stories and plays. Incompatibility and infidelities on both sides ended her marriage and she had to move to France where, living in seclusion, she wrote the little-known feminist work Letters to Her Son. In the years that followed, she travelled extensively all over Europe and turned her letters into a travelogue which is one of her best-known works. On her return she went to live in Germany as the companion and eventually second wife of the Margrave of Ansbach. At his court she organised and appeared in theatricals, and wrote several more plays of great interest, including The Modern Philosopher. In 1792 she and the Margrave settled in England, where they were never fully accepted by the more strait-laced pillars of society but mixed with all the musicians and actors and the more rakish of the Regency set. Craven continued to put on her own theatricals and write for the theatre. In her old age, she moved to Naples where she passed her time sailing, gardening and writing her Memoirs. Even in her final years, scandal dogged her, and Craven made her feminist principles and criticisms of the laws of marriage apparent through her involvement in the notorious divorce case of Queen Caroline.

Portrait of Young Genius – The Mind and Art of Marie Bashkirtseff

Joel L. Schiff

December 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-171-8
Availability: In stock
304pp. [Color] ¦ $85 £68 €80

Marie Bashkirtseff was of one of the most extraordinary women of the 19th century. Her Journal (originally comprising some 20,000 hand-written pages but pared down to a few hundred for publication) was a cause célèbre after her death and continues to be an inspiration to the Women’s Movement to this day. It also inspired such great writers as Anaïs Nin and Katherine Mansfield among many others. Born into an aristocratic family in a village in Ukraine the family soon settled in France, first in Nice and later in Paris. Taught entirely by tutors Marie spoke multiple languages, played numerous musical instruments and longed for a singing career on the stage. An illness that affected her throat made her change course and she took up painting for which she had a latent talent. As a student at the Académie Julian in Paris she was soon exhibiting at the annual Paris Salon, the premier venue for artists. But it was her personality that makes Marie Bashkirtseff such an exceptional individual. At a very young age she was already exhibiting in her Journal the thoughts of a learned philosopher, wrestling with the nature of God, the position of women in society, the politics of men. Having contracted tuberculosis in early childhood she ceaselessly strove to shrug it off in her quest to achieve greatness. In the end, a great tragedy unfolds. The book is somewhat unique in format. The first part is a biographical section that describes Marie’s unusual and fascinating life. Then a second section, consists of a single Journal excerpt (in English translation from the original French) on each left-hand page, juxtaposed with one of her outstanding works of art on the facing page. In this manner, we learn about her remarkable life and tribulations, enter her restive and brilliant mind via her Journal, as well as appreciate her exceptionally fine works as an artist.

The Road to Parnassus: Artist Strategies in Contemporary Art

Rise and Success of Glasgow Artist Douglas Gordon and of the wider YBA generation

Diego Mantoan, University of Palermo, Italy

November 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-029-2
Availability: In stock
449pp. [Color] ¦ $99 £73 €85

How can one become a successful artist? Where should one start a career in the art world? What are useful strategies to achieve recognition in the art system? Such questions hoard in students' minds ever since entering art school and they probably chase every kind of art professional who is at an early career stage. “The Road to Parnassus” tries to understand what makes a good start in today's art world, who are influential players in the field and which strategies might apply. The swift career ascension of Glasgow artist Douglas Gordon – one of today's leading visual artists – and of the broader YBA generation that rose into worldwide prominence in the 1990s – Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas among the best known – serves as a convenient case to analyse contemporary artist strategies. This book takes a multidisciplinary approach – spanning from traditional art history, to sociology and economics – pursuing the reconstruction of the field of forces in art as intended by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Compared to previous publications on art system dynamics, such as Thompson's “The $12 Million Stuffed Shark”, this book offers an enhanced understanding of the factors that allow a young artist to enter the arena of contemporary art. The present research should help uncover the art system logic – which appears enigmatic to non-experts – revealing that artists are aware they need to consider global trends, beat competitors and meet the demands of dealers, collectors, curators and museums. This book furthers existing contributions on the YBAs (for example Stallabrass' “High Art Lite”), offering innovative conclusions on recent British art, such as on the duality between London and Glasgow, the gender opposition among emerging artists and the predominance of resourceful authors.

Leonardo Da Vinci's Treatise of Painting

The Story of The World's Greatest Treatise on Painting - Its Origins, History, Content, And Influence.

Richard Shaw Pooler

January 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-017-9
Availability: In stock
396pp. ¦ $55 £40 €50

This book traces the story of the world's greatest treatise on painting - Leonardo Da Vinci's "Treatise of Painting". It combines an extensive body of literature about the Treatise with original research to offer a unique perspective on: • Its origins, and history of how it survived the dispersal of manuscripts; • Its contents, their significance and how Leonardo developed his Renaissance Theory of Art; • The development of both the abridged and complete printed editions; • How the printed editions have influenced treatises and art history throughout Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, and America from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries.

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