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The visual economies of the downriver Thames in eighteenth-century British art

Monks, S. (2006) The visual economies of the downriver Thames in eighteenth-century British art. Visual Culture in Britain, 7 (1). pp. 1-20. ISSN 1471-4787

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Abstract

This article examines the visual representation of eighteenth-century London's most problematic yet politically and economically significant periphery, the eastern banks of the urban Thames. Populated by heterogeneous communities of casual labourers and militant artisans, the area between London Bridge and Deptford was where much of the raw matter of British commerce was landed and loaded, and where many of the vessels with which that commerce was carried and defended were built. During a tellingly brief period around the mid-eighteenth century, the area also became the subject of sustained pictorial engagement. Through a close analysis of works by the three artists - Samuel Scott, John Cleveley the Elder and John Hood - for whom this engagement was most significant, the artistic means, professional context and possible audiences of their images are explored, and the visual economies evoked by this area are suggested. Thus, whilst all three artists adapted an ordering topographical mode, they directed that mode to different ends, articulating a variety of distinctive perspectives on British prowess and its impact on forms of identity and experience within the expanding imperial metropolis.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > History of Art (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2009 16:33
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2009 16:33
Published Version: http://journals.mup.man.ac.uk/cgi-bin/MUP?COMval=a...
Status: Published
Publisher: Manchester University Press
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7746

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