First published in 1999, this book asks what kind of advice was available to somebody wishing to embark upon oil painting in England between 1850 and 1900.

It is a fascinating collection of Victorian instruction on how and what to paint, linked to crucial advice about art, its meaning and its relation to contemporary life, given by practising artists, important and often popular in their time, but whose lectures and writings are long overdue for reappraisal: Leslie, Hamerton, O’Neil, Poynter, Watts, Leighton, Armitage, Quilter and Herkomer.

Here, beyond the familiar voices of Ruskin, Whistler and Pater, we have a whole range of experience from an age in which issues about painting were hotly debated by large numbers of people: professional artists, amateurs, critics, gallery-goers and Academy students. This anthology brings back to life the humour, seriousness, ambitions, eccentricities and controversies of people whose work shaped the nature of mainstream Victorian art.

chapter |13 pages


chapter Chapter One|5 pages

C. R. Leslie

chapter Chapter Two|6 pages

Mrs Jonathan Foster

chapter Chapter Three|27 pages

Philip Gilbert Hamerton

chapter Chapter Four|7 pages

Commission of Inquiry into the Royal Academy: 1863

chapter Chapter Five|9 pages

H. N. O’Neil

chapter Chapter Six|21 pages

E. J. Poynter

chapter Chapter Seven|8 pages

G. F. Watts

chapter Chapter Eight|8 pages

Frederic Leighton

chapter Chapter Nine|22 pages

Edward Armitage

chapter Chapter Ten|19 pages

Harry Quilter

chapter Chapter Eleven|9 pages

Hubert von Herkomer

chapter |1 pages