Enfilade

Exhibition | Spreading Canvas

Posted in books, exhibitions by InternCS on May 11, 2016

cropped to image, recto, unframed

Charles Brooking, Shipping in the English Channel, ca. 1755, oil on canvas (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection)

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From the YCBA:

Spreading Canvas: Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 15 September — 4 December 2016

Curated by Eleanor Hughes

This is the first major exhibition to survey the tradition of marine painting that was inextricably linked to Britain’s rise to prominence as a maritime and imperial power, and to position the genre at the heart of the burgeoning British art world of the eighteenth century. The demand for marine paintings—and the prints made after them—in the eighteenth century, from ship launches to shipwrecks, naval battles to serene coastal views, reflects Britain’s absolute dependence on the sea. In an age when Britain claimed to rule the waves, marine paintings found a new importance and helped the island nation tell its stories of triumph and disaster. This exhibition will reconstruct the full array of representational modes—pictorial, planimetric, narrative, and plastic—that were deployed throughout the century to represent the maritime exploits of the nation. Drawn primarily from the collections of the Yale Center for British Art and augmented by spectacular loans, Spreading Canvas will demonstrate that marine painting was both ubiquitous and fundamental to eighteenth-century British culture.

Spreading Canvas: Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting has been organized by the Center and will be curated by Eleanor Hughes, Deputy Director for Art & Program at the Walters Art Museum. The organizing curator at the Center is Matthew Hargraves, Chief Curator of Art Collections and Head of Collections Information and Access.

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From Yale UP:

Eleanor Hughes, ed., with essays by Eleanor Hughes, Richard Johns, Geoff Quilley, Christine Riding, and Catherine Roach and contributions by Sophie Lynford, John McAleer, and Pieter van der Merwe, Spreading Canvas: Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, 2016), 312 pages, ISBN 978-0300221572, $75.

9780300221572Spreading Canvas takes a close look at the tradition of marine painting that flourished in 18th-century Britain. Drawing primarily on the extensive collections of the Yale Center for British Art and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, this publication shows how the genre corresponded with Britain’s growing imperial power and celebrated its increasing military presence on the seas, representing the subject matter in a way that was both documentary and sublime. Works by leading purveyors of the style, including Peter Monamy, Samuel Scott, Dominic Serres, and Nicholas Pocock, are featured alongside sketches, letters, and other ephemera that help frame the political and geographic significance of these inspiring views, while also establishing the painters’ relationships to concurrent metropolitan art cultures. This survey, featuring a wealth of beautifully reproduced images, demonstrates marine painting’s overarching relevance to British culture of the era.

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