Alexandria Digital Research Library

From Gothicism to Classicism: Transnationalism and the Early Art of Frederic Leighton

Author:
Kendall, Steven Rodger
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Art History
Degree Supervisor:
Ann Bermingham
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2011
Issued Date:
2011
Topics:
Art History and Biography
Keywords:
Classical
Cosmopolitan
Leighton
Exhibition
Modern
Gothic
Genres:
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Dissertation:
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2011
Description:

Frederic Leighton is inextricably linked to the "classical" movement in late Victorian art. However, long before he was a classicist, Leighton's oeuvre was dominated by subjects from the late medieval/early Renaissance periods. The roots of Leighton's mature classicism are to be found in his so-called "gothic" works of this early period [c. 1846 (the date of his enrollment in the Stadelshes Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt, Germany) to 1864 (the date of his election as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts in London)], a period wherein he enjoyed a continued and direct exposure to the art of Italy, Germany, and France. A detailed accounting of Leighton's formative years and the profound effect exercised by his experience of the art of continental Europe is lacking. While art historians acknowledge that Leighton's work is much more complex than a simple reading might suggest, they invariably focus on his mature classicizing works. Leighton, however, viewed his works---be they from his "gothic" period or his "classical" period---as part of one continuum. Modern commentators routinely overlook this fact and divide his career into distinct periods. It is this compartmentalized view that this dissertation seeks to counter.

Leighton's art is the product of a unique and highly selective process that would only have been conceivable in the context of his early cosmopolitan artistic experiences. An understanding of the circumstances that led to the formation of his early works elucidates the process whereby he developed a direct, transnational, and ultimately modern formulation of classicism centered on formal concerns.

This dissertation examines Leighton's early career in the context of (1) his encounter with the art of the early Italian Renaissance and the art and artists of the German Nazarene movement; (2) the reception of his early works in Europe and America; (3) his encounter with French neoclassicism; and (4) its implications for his mature classicism.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (285 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f30v89r1
ISBN:
9781267194206
Catalog System Number:
990037518710203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Steven Kendall
Access: This item is restricted to on-campus access only. Please check our FAQs or contact UCSB Library staff if you need additional assistance.