A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in Nineteenth-Century Britain
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Britain in the 19th century saw a series of technological and social changes which continue to influence and direct us today. Its reactants were human genius, money, and influence; its crucibles, the streets and institutions; its catalyst, time; its control, the market. In this rich and fascinating book, James Hamilton investigates the vibrant exchange between culture and business in 19th-century Britain, which became a center for world commerce following the industrial revolution. He explores how art was made and paid for, the turns of fashion, and the new demands of a growing middle-class, prominent among whom were the artists themselves. While the leading figures of the world of art and literature are players here, so too are the patrons, financiers, collectors, and industrialists; lawyers, publishers, entrepreneurs, and journalists; artists' suppliers, engravers, dealers, and curators; hostesses, shopkeepers, and brothel keepers; quacks, charlatans, and auctioneers. Hamilton brings them all vividly to life in this kaleidoscopic portrait of the business of culture in 19th-century Britain, and provides thrilling and original insights into the working lives of some of the most celebrated artists.
Commercial celebration rather than an indication of failure. Edward Whymper noted with interest in his diary the dramatic event prior to the retirement of Thomas Boys from the business of print dealing in 1855: The celebrated plate of the Waterloo banquet [engraved by William Greatbach after the painting by William Salter] has been destroyed along with 11 other celebrated ones . . . [Mr Boys] wishes to render some service to printmakers in general, by raising the price of impressions that they.
Sr Canova’s Carr[iage]’ and giving it a new axle – perhaps the weight of marble had snapped it. Back in England, running his own workshop, Flaxman made weekly payments to recurring names, including known sculptors Gahagan and Gott. In 1805, for instance, these names recur: Bone, Bridges, Broadrick, Burge, Butterfield, Dowling, Farrell, Hinchliff, Howard, Langley, Laycock, Lovat, McKandlish, Paris, Perkins, Thomas. They are all paid in January 1805, and most are still on the payroll the following.
For Fifty pounds, one third of the price in advance usually paid in Monumental works.’ Flaxman priced another monumental work in a letter to Rev. William Gunn, who was considering the possibility of raising a monument to Nelson in Norwich: a statue 9 feet high, on an 11-foot-high pedestal with steps. This would cost, the sculptor estimated, �4,000, with proper decorations, affixing and other etceteras of expence . . . You will perceive that such a work must differ in its price according to.
Company sought out new trends in the use of artists’ paints. They now included colours for ‘Illumination and Missal Painting’ and ‘Heraldic Blazoning’, as well as noting a new-fangled technical development in image-making by selling ‘Photographic Cut Out Mounting Board’; these were alongside the more traditional products which carried personal endorsements, such as ‘Etty Boards’ and ‘Cattermole Drawing Paper’, or suggested commercial exploitation such as ‘Imitation Creswick’s Drawing Papers’.
Several months’. Diamond typefaces would have been a prodigious expense for the bank, let alone for a forger, and this recommendation did not go forward. The number of notes printed at the bank each day made it essential that copper plates should be replaced by steel. Here, once again, art and science went hand in hand, and indeed to find a solution to the problem the committee requested that ‘a union between the engravers and printers’ should be pursued. The enthusiastic young Michael Faraday.