The Elements of Life: Biography and Portrait-Painting in Stuart and Georgian England (Clarendon Paperbacks)

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9780198119791: The Elements of Life: Biography and Portrait-Painting in Stuart and Georgian England (Clarendon Paperbacks)
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In this bold new study, Wendorf compares two arts--biography and portrait-painting--that have often been linked in a casual way but whose historical connections have remained unexplored. Reassessing the great age of English portraiture--from the arrival of Van Dyck to the publication of Boswell's Life of Johnson--Wendorf reveals that, despite their obvious differences, visual and verbal portraits often shared similar assumptions about the representation of historical character. Rooted in modern theory devoted to the comparison of literature and painting and to the problem of representation, the book examines each form of portraiture in terms of the other, bringing into discussion such writers as Izaak Walton, John Evelyn, John Aubrey, Roger North, Goldsmith, Johnson, Mrs. Piozzi, Boswell, and such artists as Van Dyck, Lely, Samuel Cooper, Jonathan Richardson, Hogarth, and Reynolds.

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About the Author:

Richard Wendorf is at Harvard University.

Review:


"A sophisticated and scholarly study....Full of new insights, and the beauty of Wendorf's approach lies in his close readings of specific portraits and biographical writings."--Times Literary Supplement


"Eloquent and instructive....There are books that animate whole libraries, revive old acquaintances, strengthen the sinews of friendship, and give the present all the resonance of the past: Such is The Elements of Life. Throughout this illuminating discussion of the flowering of biography and portraiture in England, Wendorf teaches us to see the story in the portrait and the portrait in the story....Wendorf's scholarly prose has a conversational quickness and penetration to it."--Christian Science Monitor


"A stimulating and erudite book, full of new ideas and interesting comparisons."--Burlington Magazine


"Wendorf's prose is clear and obviously polished....His concept of 'iconicism,' which he defines as the structures of one medium literally or metaphorically incorporated into the other, will surely find its way into our technical vocabulary."--Studies in English Literature


"Wendorf is at his best analyzing portraits, where his keen sense of what to look for repeatedly illuminates the visual clues that yield significant meaning...A convincing account."--Harvard Book Review


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9780198117209: The Elements of Life: Biography and Portrait-Painting in Stuart and Georgian England

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ISBN 10:  0198117205 ISBN 13:  9780198117209
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1990
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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English. Brand new Book. In this ambitious study, Richard Wendorf establishes the grounds of comparison between two arts that have often been linked in a casual way but whose historical interrelations remain almost completely unexplored. By focusing on the great age of English portraiture - from the arrival of Van Dyck to the publication of Boswell's Life of Johnson - the author shows that, despite their obvious differences, visual and verbal portraits often shared similarassumptions about the representation of historical character. Grounded in modern theory devoted to the comparison of literature and painting and to the problem of representation, this book examines each form of portraiture in terms of the other. Among those writers considered are Izaak Walton, John Evelyn, JohnAubrey, Roger North, Goldsmith, Johnson, Mrs Piozzi, Boswell; among the artists are Van Dyck, Lely, Samuel Cooper, Jonathan Richardson, Hogarth and Reynolds. The careers of `double agents' (painters, like Richardson and Reynolds, who experimented with biographical writing) are also discussed. The Elements of Life is a ground-breaking critical history of biography and portrait-painting in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Seller Inventory # AAV9780198119791

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 1992. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this ambitious study, Richard Wendorf establishes the grounds of comparison between two arts that have often been linked in a casual way but whose historical interrelations remain almost completely unexplored. By focusing on the great age of English portraiture - from the arrival of Van Dyck to the publication of Boswell s Life of Johnson - the author shows that, despite their obvious differences, visual and verbal portraits often shared similar assumptions about the representation of historical character. Grounded in modern theory devoted to the comparison of literature and painting and to the problem of representation, this book examines each form of portraiture in terms of the other. Among those writers considered are Izaak Walton, John Evelyn, John Aubrey, Roger North, Goldsmith, Johnson, Mrs Piozzi, Boswell; among the artists are Van Dyck, Lely, Samuel Cooper, Jonathan Richardson, Hogarth and Reynolds. The careers of double agents (painters, like Richardson and Reynolds, who experimented with biographical writing) are also discussed. The Elements of Life is a ground-breaking critical history of biography and portrait-painting in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Seller Inventory # AAV9780198119791

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