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Unity and Diversity in European Culture c.1800$
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Tim Blanning and Hagen Schulze

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263822

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263822.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Art and Its Publics, c. 1800

Art and Its Publics, c. 1800

(p.5) Art and Its Publics, c. 1800
Unity and Diversity in European Culture c.1800

James J. Sheehan

British Academy

This chapter begins by sketching the principal ingredients of what Paul Kristeller called ‘the modern system of the arts’: the concept of art itself; art as created by an artist; and art as public. It then examines the condition of the visual arts at the beginning of the nineteenth century, that is, in the middle of the great revolutionary era that began in 1789. In talking about the arts, a Tocquevillian sense of continuity between old regime and revolution is wholly appropriate. The revolution changed the modern art world in several important ways. Three of these changes are discussed. The first has to do with the social setting of art and artists, and especially with artists' changing relationship to patrons and the public. The second concerns the geographical location of art, particularly the shift in the visual arts' centre of gravity away from Italy to Paris, which would remain the artistic capital of Europe for the next century. The third theme is about the complex relationship of national values and national themes to European art, especially painting.

Keywords:   Europe, art, visual arts, nineteenth century, artists, patrons, geographical location, Italy, Paris, painting

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