Funding: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Duration: Three year from October 2009
Principal Investigator: Professor Mark Hallett (Head of Department of the History of Art, York)
Co-Investigators: Professor Nigel Llewellyn (Head of Research, Tate) and Dr Martin Myrone (Curator, Tate)
Collaborators: The University of York and Tate Britain
The research project, which was launched in October 2009, is intended to stimulate new approaches to British visual culture from 1660-1735. The period in question saw profound changes in the nation's character and these included a similarly important period of transformation in the visual arts, beginning with the appointment of Peter Lely as court painter to Charles II and ending with the emergence of the St Martin's Lane Academy in the mid-1730s. In terms of British art history, the later decades of the eighteenth century - the 'age of Hogarth and Reynolds' - have been relatively well explored; however, the art of the preceding period has not been recovered or interpreted in the same depth. It is in order to redress this art-historical imbalance, and to provide a set of fresh perspectives on the art of late-Stuart and early Georgian Britain, that this project has been conceived and developed.
Researchers on the team have a wide range of interests and expertise, which are being focused on three major arenas of the visual arts in this period: the later Stuart and early Hanoverian courts, the country seats of the landed aristocracy and the urban spaces occupied by a mix of social classes. Important cross-cutting themes include the development of art theory and the impact of imperial expansion on the visual arts. As well as generating a wide range of publications - including books, journal articles, conference papers and PhDs - the project also aims to communicate the period to a wider audience through gallery displays of art and online resources.
The project is administered by the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York
October 2011 saw the launch of a new website conceived, funded and developed by the Court, Country, City: British Art 1660-1735 project. This website, The Art World in Britain, 1660-1735, edited by Dr Richard Stephens of the project team and developed with the assistance of Dr Paul Young, a software developer from the University of York Digital Library, is designed to publish primary sources and research tools for the study of arts in Britain between the restoration of Charles II and the opening of Hogarth's St Martin's Lane Academy.