Nature's Truth: Photography, Painting, and Science in Victorian Britain by Anne HelmreichNature's Truth: Photography, Painting, and Science in Victorian Britain by Anne Helmreich

Nature's Truth: Photography, Painting, and Science in Victorian Britain

byAnne Helmreich

Hardcover | August 24, 2016

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“Truth to Nature,” a rallying cry for those artists and critics aiming to reform art-making practices in Great Britain over the course of the nineteenth century, bound together artists as diverse as Pre-Raphaelite John Everett Millais, photographer P. H. Emerson, and bohemian modernist Augustus John. In order to understand “truth,” these artists turned to the rising disciplines of science, which offered new insights into physical phenomena, vision, and perception.

Drawing on sources ranging from artists’ letters to scientific treatises, Nature’s Truth illuminates the dynamic relationship between art and science throughout the nineteenth century. Anne Helmreich reveals how these practices became closely aligned as artists sought to maintain art’s relevance in a world increasingly defined by scientific innovation, technological advances, and a rapidly industrializing society. Eventually, despite consensus between artists and critics about the need for “truth to nature,” the British arts community sharply contested what constituted truth and how truth to nature as an ideal could be visually represented. By the early twentieth century, the rallying cry could no longer hold the reform movement together. Helmreich’s fascinating study shows, however, that this relatively short-lived movement had a profound effect on modern British art.

An insightful examination of changing conceptions of truth and the role of art in modern society, Nature’s Truth reframes and recontextualizes our notions of British art.

About The Author

Anne Helmreich is Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Texas Christian University. Her most recent book is The Rise of the Modern Art Market in London, 1850–1939 (2011), coedited with Pamela Fletcher. Anne Helmreich is Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Texas Christian University. Her most recent book is The Rise of the Modern Art Mark...

Details & Specs

Title:Nature's Truth: Photography, Painting, and Science in Victorian BritainFormat:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 10 × 9 × 1 inPublished:August 24, 2016Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271071141

ISBN - 13:9780271071145

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Truth to Nature and the “Innocent Eye”

2 John Everett Millais and John Brett: The Rise of Imagination and the Crisis of Pre-Raphaelitism

3 P. H. Emerson and George Clausen: Renouncing the Quest

4 Neorealism: Truth to Nature in Modernist Critical Debate

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Helmreich's call for interdisciplinary studies may not be new, but her statement recognizes the significance and the challenge of interdisciplinary scholarship. Nature’s Truth clearly demonstrates the value of such work.”

—Margaret J. Godbey, Victorian Periodicals Review