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I liked your line "How odd that these captains of industry, self-made men whose industriousness and money making ability brought these northern towns into being, should have liked this kind of simplicity in art." :) There are a few possible explanations for this trend!

H Niyazi

Sounds like an interesting trip David!

I think it is curious how socioeconomic forces and individual subjective experiences percolate into broad sweeping statements by people who really should know better than to make broad sweeping statements - like Mr Peel in this instance!

I think Sir Robert suffered from the same blight that affected the likes of Petrarch, Vasari, Voltaire, Burckhardt and Gibbon - especially when looking at the Byzantine and Eastern influences of what they saw - did not understand or relate to - and subsequently dismissed.

I must admit, as someone who came to art history via the study of history and literature first, I was harangued by these biases early on - and only some very conscious study of antiquity, Coptic, Medieval and Byzantine art have been able to rid me of this perceptual filter.

AGD did a wonderful spot on it once in his 'Art of Eternity' series - I'll post a clip at 3PP one day.


Art History Today

Good responses, Hels and H!

I don't think I was trying to make some deep sociological point. The association between socio-economics and taste just seemed relevant at that moment. Of course, York is a medieval town, so there are different historical currents at work as well as collecting renaissance art.

H, good catalogue of prejudiced observers, especially Vasari. Have you read Haskell's 'History and its Images'? This is a brilliant enquiry into the relationship between artworks and historical events.


H Niyazi

I like the sound of that Haskell book - cheers David!



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Renaissance curiosities at York - Art History Today


Renaissance curiosities at York - Art History Today

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Renaissance curiosities at York - Art History Today

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