Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/8127
Title: Thomas Hardy's Portrait of Joseph Haydn: A Study in the Conventions of Late Eighteenth-Century British Portraiture
Contributor(s): Davison, Alan  (author)
Publication Date: 2008
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/8127
Abstract: Thomas Hardy (1757–1804) is a British artist almost completely unknown either in scholarly or general literature, and yet he painted some of the most important musicians active in London during the 1790s. His sitters included Haydn, Clementi, Wilhelm Cramer, Salomon, Ignace Pleyel, Arnold and Shield. The portrait of Haydn is probably the most famous image of the composer, and the other musicians listed can all be linked in with Haydn's visits to London during the 1790s. Hardy is, more than any other artist, the portraitist of a remarkable time in the musical life of the capital. These portraits are a largely untapped resource for the music iconographer interested in representations of musicians from the late eighteenth century. Although Hardy's portrait of Haydn has received some scholarly attention, it has yet to be firmly contextualised within the visual conventions of late eighteenth-century British portraiture. This article seeks to lay some foundations for the iconographical interpretation of Hardy's portraits of musicians by examining social and visual traditions in British portraiture at the end of the eighteenth century. The tension between the needs of likeness and flattery was a deeply problematic one due to some strongly felt beliefs on the role of portraiture at the time. Treatises on painting and physiognomy provide clues as to how an artist might have approached a sitter of Haydn's particular countenance, if not in specifics, at least more generally within the context of the visual culture of the time.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography, XXXIII [33](1-2), p. 325-346
Publisher: City University of New York
Place of Publication: New York, United States of America
ISSN: 1522-7464
Field of Research (FOR): 190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950101 Music
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Other Links: http://rcmi.gc.cuny.edu/?page_id=240
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