An original and overdue exploration of the representation of masculinity in British academic art in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Painted Men in Britain, 1868–1918 analyzes transgressions of gender and sexuality as represented in paintings by Leighton, Sargent, Tuke, and their contemporaries in the Royal Academy. This volume treats paintings as eloquent objects, no narratives of which are too elusive to be traced, and challenges conventional binaries of masculine versus feminine or heterosexual versus homosexual. Consulting not only the paintings themselves but also newspapers, journals, criticism, novels, and poetry of the day, Painted Men argues against the misconception of British academic art as merely reactionary and even blind to the dynamism of its own time. Instead, this art is shown to engage with broader social attitudes and contemporary sexual debates. As the book reveals the complexities of specific paintings, it illuminates different and competing attitudes toward masculinity and modernity in British art of the period.
Contents: Introduction; Picturing masculinities in the Orient: Frederic Leighton; The gentleman's body and class anxiety: Fildes, Holl and Herkomer; The utopia of inverts: Henry Scott Tuke; Masculine death: John Singer Sargent; Conclusion: man's body; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Jongwoo Jeremy Kim is Assistant Professor of Art History at the Hite Art Institute, the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Louisville, USA.
Reviews: Jongwoo Jeremy Kim's Painted Men in Britain demonstrates the potential of both close looking and an outsider's perspective to reveal new aspects of images and texts we thought we knew well. Kim's attention to detail in both finished paintings and preparatory drawings registers details overlooked in existing accounts even of well known artists and art. Under his guidance, readers will find that major works by major figures, such as Frederic Leighton and John Singer Sargent, suddenly look new—and surprisingly sexy. Christopher Reed, Professor of English and Visual Culture, The Pennsylvania State University
Visit Jongwoo Jeremy Kim's profile page on the University of Louisville website.
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