The story of an innovative designer and farsighted art entrepreneur and the important role he played in the dissemination of 19th-century Aestheticism
This book follows the phenomenal rise of Daniel Cottier (1838–1891) from an apprentice coach painter in Glasgow to the founder of Cottier & Co., a fine and decorative arts business with branches in London, New York, Sydney and Melbourne. This gifted designer and brilliant art entrepreneur keenly spotted one of the key aspects of late nineteenth-century bourgeois culture – its focus on family, home and church – and seized the artistic and commercial opportunities of the building and decorating boom that it brought about. Cottier was a proponent of the Aesthetic movement, an international trend in the history of culture, art and design from the mid-1860s to the late 1890s: he understood the era’s desire for beauty and realised the economic possibilities of its commoditisation. Beyond biography, therefore, this book illuminates a significant event of late nineteenth-century cultural history – Aestheticism’s cult of beauty meeting with the bourgeoisie’s financial ability to possess it.
Distributed for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Petra ten-Doesschate Chu is professor emeritus, Seton Hall University, and is a founding editor of the journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. Max Donnelly is curator of 19th-century furniture, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
"This publication is a fascinating, comprehensive and engaging account of Cottier’s life and work. Beautifully illustrated . . . it is a fitting testament to a great design thinker."—Claire Blakey, DAS Newsletter
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