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    Making the crossing : seduction, space and time in the art of Jean-Antoine Watteau and William Hogart

    Tambling, Kirsten Yvonne (2019) Making the crossing : seduction, space and time in the art of Jean-Antoine Watteau and William Hogart. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    This thesis asks how seduction is addressed in the work of Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) and William Hogarth (1697-1764), in the context of early eighteenth-century cross-Channel relationships. Literally meaning ‘leading astray’, seduction in the eighteenth century had resonances for sexuality, gender, morality, politics and aesthetics. This thesis uses a broad methodology, drawing on literary and social history, as well as the history of art, to provide an overview of seduction’s parameters, and to address its implications on both sides of the Channel. Focusing on the period c.1700-40, when the work of both Watteau and Hogarth was at its most influential, it asks how these artists addressed seduction across these contexts. The thesis thus contributes to current scholarship on both Watteau and Hogarth, showing seduction to have been a key concern for each. Addressing Hogarth’s ‘Progress’ format and paintings alongside Watteau’s fêtes galantes, theatrical paintings and L’Enseigne de Gersaint (1720-21), it deals, in turn, with courtship in idyllic outdoor locations, with the legitimate (and illegitimate) temptations of the eighteenth-century city, and with the illusionistic context of the theatre. In juxtaposing two ‘canonical’ artists whose lives, though related, did not significantly overlap, this thesis not only addresses both England and France during the early eighteenth century, but also interrogates the implications of juxtaposition as a methodology. Drawing on contemporary curatorial practice, including the increasingly common paired format of a number of twenty-first century exhibitions, it asks what academic art history might gain from these examples. It shows that juxtaposing Hogarth and Watteau can allow us to see these much-studied artists afresh, and to problematise some of the historical assumptions surrounding them—Watteau the ‘poetic’ dreamer; Hogarth the pugnacious satirist—as well as calling attention to aspects of the art of each that are less evident when looked at individually.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    Additional Information: To see volume containing illustrations, consult print copy in library.
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 16:00
    Last Modified: 14 Jun 2021 11:35
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/44593

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