'Try what my credit can in Venice do': The Consumption of British Painting at the Venice Biennale, 1895-1914

Marie Tavinor

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

1330 Downloads (Pure)


With a few notable exceptions, British painters from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods have suffered from the modernist bias which deemed them ‘insular’ and unworthy of study. Recent developments in art history have generally revised such scathing opinion and have sought to reassess the artistic quality of many pre-war British painters.

While riding this wave of reappraisals, this dissertation is less interested in entering the aesthetic debate than disputing the ‘insular’ nature of late Victorian and Edwardian art. Indeed, by drawing from an interdisciplinary approach including cultural studies, cultural economics, sociology and art history, the present study aims at contextualising late Victorian and Edwardian painting in an international artistic environment in order to assess its visual and commercial consumption.
Due to its dual nature as exhibition and commercial platform as well as some strong Anglophile leaning in its early period, the Venice Biennale arguably provides an attractive case study. Over its eleven pre-war editions running between 1895 and 1914, its visibility in the field of international art exhibition gradually improved. Chartering the evolution of the presence, reception and commercial consumption of British painters at Venice, this dissertation intends to shed more light on a sample of circa three hundred artists and the extent of their insertion within the exhibiting and commercial mechanisms of the international art world at the time.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Pieri, Giuliana, Supervisor
Award date1 Apr 2017
Publication statusUnpublished - 2016


  • British painting
  • Venice Biennale
  • Consumption

Cite this