The 19th-century steam railway epitomized modernity's relentlessly onrushing advance. Ian Carter delves into the cultural impact of the train. Why, for example, did Britain possess no great railway novel? He compares fiction and images by canonical British figures (Turner, Dickens, Arnold Bennett) with selected French and Russian competitors: Tolstoy, Zola, Monet, Manet. He argues that while high cultural work on the British steam railway is thin, British popular culture did not ignore it. Detailed discussions of comic fiction, crime fiction, and cartoons reveal a popular fascination with railways tumbling from vast (and hitherto unexplored) stores of critically overlooked genres.
Turner was deeply affected by the world in which he lived, the sciences that explained it, and the conflicts and accomplishments of his society. He wove these strands into the dense fabric of the historical pictures he created, pictures that were extremely varied, complex, original, and controversial. In Angel in the Sun Gerald Finley untangles the various thematic strands running through Turner's art, including the intersection of private and public histories, classical and biblical history and contemporary events, and science and religion, and shows how Turner's use of light and colour played an important role in conveying these ideas. Angel in the Sun includes over 130 illustrations in colour and black and white that reveal Turner's remarkable achievement as a painter of historical subjects. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, the book will appeal not only to art historians and landscape theorists but also to historians of science and literature.
The great painting and sculpture of the past is the indispensable backbone of most people's visual library, but wrangling centuries of wonderful works by thousands of artists into a digestible form that allows you to focus on their detail and direction can be tough. Enter 30-Second Great Art. It takes readers on an engrossing tour of 50 top-flight works by artists from Giotto to Marlene Dumas, including a full-page reproduction of each one, accompanied by text that puts it in the context of the world in which it was created, and adds another piece to the jigsaw puzzle of the history of art. Along the way, special spreads will offer insights into the collectors and critics of the past, as well as its creators, and a glossary for each chapter will explain specialist terms. Succinct, lively descriptions make for speedy and enjoyable reading; it's like taking a trip round the world's greatest art gallery.
This book examines politics through the lens of art and literature. Through discussion on great works of visual art, literature, and cultural representations of political thought in the medieval, early modern, and American eras, it explores the relevance of the nation-state to human freedom and flourishing, as well as the concept of citizenship and statesmanship that it implies, in contrast to that of the ‘global community’. The essays in this volume focus on shifting notions of various core political concepts like citizenship, republicanism, and nationalism from antiquity to the present-day to provide a systematic understanding of their evolving histories through Western Art and literature. It highlights works such as the Bayeux Tapestry, Shakespeare’s Henry V, Henry VI, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twain’s Joan of Arc and Hermann’s Nichts als Gespenster, among several other canonical works of political interest. Further, it questions if we should now look beyond the nation-state to some form of tans-national, global community to pursue the human freedom desired by progressives, or look at smaller forms of community resembling the polis to pursue the friendship and nobility valued by the ancients. The volume will be invaluable to students and teachers of political science, especially political theory and philosophy, visual arts, and world literature.
Humankind has a special relationship with rain. The sensory experience of water falling from the heavens evokes feelings ranging from fear to gratitude and has inspired many works of art. Using unique and expertly developed art-historical case studies – from prehistoric cave paintings up to photography and cinema – this book casts new light on a theme that is both ecological and iconological, both natural and cultural-historical. Barbara Baert’s distinctive prose makes Looking Into the Rain. Magic, Moisture, Medium a profound reading experience, particularly at a moment when disruptions of the harmony among humans, animals, and nature affect all of us and the entire planet. Barbara Baert is Professor of Art History at KU Leuven. She teaches in the field of Iconology, Art Theory & Analysis, and Medieval Art. Her work links knowledge and questions from the history of ideas, cultural anthropology and philosophy, and shows great sensitivity to cultural archetypes and their symptoms in the visual arts.
William Turner (1775-1851) was simultaneously a romantic and a realist--and yet he transcended both styles. This book opens up Turner's paintings, demonstrating that he was not simply illustrating nature, but that his pictures speak directly to the eye as nature does itself.
Speed, the sensation one gets when driving fast, was described by Aldous Huxley as the single new pleasure invented by modernity. The Speed Handbook is a virtuoso exploration of Huxley’s claim. Enda Duffy shows how the experience of speed has always been political and how it has affected nearly all aspects of modern culture. Primarily a result of the mass-produced automobile, the experience of speed became the quintessential way for individuals to experience modernity, to feel modernity in their bones. Duffy plunges full-throttle into speed’s “adrenaline aesthetics,” offering deft readings of works ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, through J. G. Ballard’s Crash, to the cautionary consumerism of Ralph Nader. He describes how speed changed understandings of space, distance, chance, and violence; how the experience of speed was commodified in the dawning era of mass consumption; and how society was incited to abhor slowness and desire speed. He examines how people were trained by new media such as the cinema to see, hear, and sense speed, and how speed, demanded of the efficient assembly-line worker, was given back to that worker as the chief thrill of leisure. Assessing speed’s political implications, Duffy considers how speed pleasure was offered to citizens based on criteria including their ability to pay and their gender, and how speed quickly became something to be patrolled by governments. Drawing on novels, news reports, photography, advertising, and much more, Duffy provides a breakneck tour through the cultural dynamics of speed.