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    ‘A Gallery in the Mind’? Hazlitt, Spenser, and the Old Masters

    Calè, Luisa (2015) ‘A Gallery in the Mind’? Hazlitt, Spenser, and the Old Masters. Tate Papers 24 , ISSN 1753-9854.

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    ‘An old lady, to whom Pope one day read some passages out of Spenser’s “Faerie Queene,” said that he had been entertaining her with a gallery of pictures’. Published in Joseph Spence’s Observations, Anecdotes, and Characters of Books and Men (1820), this scene of reading reached a new public brought together by a new culture of Old Master paintings shaped by the establishment of temporary exhibitions at the British Institution. Drawing on Francis Haskell’s notion of the ephemeral museum, this paper explores William Hazlitt’s association of Spenser with the Old Masters in his Lecture on Chaucer and Spenser (1818) and his essay on ‘Pictures at Oxford and Blenheim’, which was the last instalment of his British Galleries of Art published in the London Magazine in 1823. Building on the work of Jonathan Richardson, who had placed an intermedial art of memory at the centre of his ‘science of a connoisseur’, Hazlitt advocated a practice of ‘reading with the eyes of a connoisseur’. Through the pages of the Faerie Queene Hazlitt imagined a new gallery of painting, a ‘gallery of the mind’ that could be abstracted from the aristocratic world of old master collections and the Spenserian productions of modern painters.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): William Hazlitt, Edmund Spenser, periodical press, London Magazine, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Art of Memory, Ephemeral Museum, Jonathan Richardson, Allegory, Portraiture, British Institution, Blenheim Palace, Poussin, Rubens, Titian, Ekphrasis
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Nineteenth-Century Studies, Centre for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 13:54
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:37


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