The Prime Minister of Taste: A Portrait of Horace Walpole ebook
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The Prime Minister Of Taste: A Portrait Of Horace Walpole

In this intriguing book, Morris Brownell offers a fresh account of the career and influence of Horace Walpole (1717-1797), the great English man of letters and art historian. Rejecting both the traditional view of Walpole as a trifling collector of curiosities and the more recent assessment of him as a sober social historian and connoisseur, Brownell argues that Walpole grew to become a serious pa...

Hardcover: 364 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (May 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0300087160
ISBN-13: 978-0300087161
Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 10.5 inches
Amazon Rank: 4396375
Format: PDF ePub TXT book

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“A much-overlooked study by a genius of 18th-century cultural studies....”

ron, collector, and historian of the arts - "the Prime Minister of Taste". Drawing on vast Walpole archival materials and on his astonishing forty volumes of letters, Brownell describes the formation of young Walpole's taste and interest in the visual arts. Brownell argues that England's leading portrait engraver, George Vertue, converted Walpole from Grand Tour taste in painting to a life-long study of English portraits. The book discusses the significance of Walpole's collection of English historical portraits and French portraits of the ancien regime, and it analyses Walpole's fascination with portraiture, comparing the painted portraits Walpole collected and wrote about to the literary portraits he penned in his letters. Walpole's passion for the art of portraiture was not the trifling pastime he pretended, Brownell says, in fact it was the source of his greatest literary achievement - a gallery of literary portraits of the English aristocracy as fine as the painted portraits of Reynolds and Gainsborough.