English Painting (Temporis)
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The English school of painting was officially recognised
at the beginning of the 18th century through the work of
William Hogarth. It includes works by the most famous
English artists, such as Thomas Gainsborough, Joseph
Mallord William Turner, John Constable, Edward Burne-
Jones, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. This subject is introduced
with a very unique text, published in 1882: a French study
of English pictorial art. The author, Ernest Chesneau, was
highly-cultured, an art historian and inspector of Fine Arts.
He explains the beginnings of this school which excels in
portraiture and landscapes, and reminds us of the English
brilliance regarding watercolours, not forgetting to include
the work of the Pre-Raphaelites.
has left numerous portraits and pictures of the historical genre species; among others, The Children of Edward, Mortimer and Richard Plantagenet, and The Death of Wat Tyler for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery. He also laid claim to painting animals better than anybody else. 45 The Old Masters (1730-1850) West, Fuseli, Etty, and Northcote maintain a violent emulation amongst themselves of exaggerated tints, extravagant gestures, and follies of all sorts. Pray let us pass on. The genre
cm. Tate Collection, London. 61 The Old Masters (1730-1850) if he took up the brush, could not help spoiling it in attempting to finish it’. I saw him again some years afterwards in Paris. He came to show me some drawings that he had brought from a long journey in Spain, from whence he had just returned. He seemed to me entirely unsettled by the paintings that he had seen. I wondered that a man with so true a genius, and almost arrived at old age, could be thus influenced by works so
book forbid my attempting it. It will suffice, then, to say, that after having shown himself the equal of all the former great watercolour painters, Paul Sandby (1725-1809), Thomas Hearne (1744-1817), and Edward Dayes, who exhibited from 1786 to 1804, when he committed suicide; after having rivalled Claude Lorrain in Italian magnificence, and Gainsborough in simplicity. Turner at length took a completely independent course. What wonderful variety we find in his work! Were there ever two such
from the human mind, but which we may aptly term chefs-d’œuvre [masterpieces].” Turner belongs to no school, and in spite of the practical hints that he unmistakably took from Claude Lorrain in the commencement of his career, he soon threw off the yoke of even his influence. He asserts himself, and this is one of his great merits. Another, and one greater still, is that he always aspired to the best and greatest, and even to his last hour sought the realisation of an ever-advancing ideal which
principles and system. Many artists in France have gained honour and renown by pursuing a similar method. But there is this difference, that, in this case, the artists have been taught that the farthest limits in art have been reached by the old masters, and that no one could do better than follow in their footsteps. With this theory, individual idealism has been discouraged. Those who did not hold a similar William Holman Hunt, The Lady of Shalott, 1886-1905. Oil on canvas, 188 x 146 cm.