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Rethinking Nathaniel Dance’s Portraiture: Sociability, Masculinity and Celebrity

Prescott, Margaret Gaye

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Nathaniel Dance (1735-1811) was a leading portraitist in London who worked alongside luminaries such as Reynolds, Romney and Gainsborough in the Golden Age of British portraiture. Dance’s contemporaries have been subject to considerable research, however, analysis of Dance has been limited with only one major study of his work undertaken in the 1970s. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Dance’s upper-middle class family were already established in London’s sociable society. His career and his...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorPrescott, Margaret Gaye
dc.date.accessioned2018-11-07T03:28:07Z
dc.identifier.otherb58077303
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/148889
dc.description.abstractNathaniel Dance (1735-1811) was a leading portraitist in London who worked alongside luminaries such as Reynolds, Romney and Gainsborough in the Golden Age of British portraiture. Dance’s contemporaries have been subject to considerable research, however, analysis of Dance has been limited with only one major study of his work undertaken in the 1970s. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Dance’s upper-middle class family were already established in London’s sociable society. His career and his works afford a different perspective from which to examine portraiture as part of Britain’s sociable society. In more recent years eighteenth-century art history research has diversified to include the complex cultural mores and behaviours of Britain’s sociable society. From stockings, buttons, books and swords to ideas of sociability, masculinity and the public sphere, a wide range of topics have become the purview of the art historian. These approaches provide the framework for rethinking Dance’s portraiture, establishing the foundation for assessing his work in a dynamic and complex way. Dance’s practices reveal the multifaceted connections between portraiture, the artist, the sitter, and the audience. This thesis argues that Dance’s portraits operated as instruments of influence in the networks and affiliations of sociable society and that a range of factors are critical to fully understand Dance’s work, including, the complex nature of sociability, changing concepts of masculinity and the rise of celebrity. This research expands our knowledge of the importance of business and social networks and the role of the portrait for communicating connections and social position of the sitters. Duplicated portraits, which are a prominent feature in Dance’s portraiture business, reveal the extent that this medium connected sitters within Dance’s social sphere and in turn facilitated the expansion of Dance’s own networks.
dc.format.extent1 vol.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCanberra, ACT : The Australian National University
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.subjectNathaniel Dance
dc.subjectPortraiture
dc.subjectEighteenth-century
dc.subjectBritain
dc.titleRethinking Nathaniel Dance’s Portraiture: Sociability, Masculinity and Celebrity
dc.typeThesis (MPhil)
local.contributor.institutionThe Australian National University
local.contributor.supervisorGalloway, Charlotte
local.contributor.supervisorcontactcharlotte.galloway@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2018
local.description.notesThe author has submitted the thesis.
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)
dc.date.issued2018
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationCASS/School of Art and Design/Centre for Art History and Art Theory/Art History
local.request.emailrepository.admin@anu.edu.au
local.request.nameDigital Theses
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d5fc7e39bd5f
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

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