The Evolution of English Collecting The Reception of Italian Art in the Tudor and Stuart Periods Edward Chaney

Studies in British Art
Publication date:
11 Jan 2004
Paul Mellon Centre
496 pages: 254 x 178mm
140 b-w illus.


This book surveys for the first time the evolution of English collecting. Edward Chaney begins with the background history of European collecting, focusing in particular on Italy’s formative role in this phenomenon, then sets English collecting in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in context and draws together a unique collection of essays on the subject.

The book deals with issues ranging from English collecting at the time of the Reformation, with all the tension that phenomenon produced in England’s relationships with Rome, to the early Cecils and conflicts between English Protestantism and Catholic Italianate taste. The lives and achievements of great collectors and patrons are examined, and specific studies of the evolution of collections of paintings, sculptures, and prints in England are included as well.

Edward Chaney is professor of fine and decorative arts and founding chair of the History of Collecting Research Centre at the Southampton Institute.

'[Chaney] sets out the deeper context for the great explosion of collecting by the English aristocracy in the 18th century, which defines so much of the fine art in nationally important collections and our view of culture today' -