Show Less
Restricted access

The Independent Critic

Philippe Burty and the Visual Arts of Mid-Nineteenth Century France

Gabriel Weisberg

As one of the most vigorous and independent of French nineteenth century art critics, Philippe Burty (1830-1890) often supported areas and issues that other critics overlooked. He was among the first to support the new renaissance in printmaking (essentially in etching) and his articles on the decorative arts, the need for reforms in the exhibition system and his support of younger painters were well known. His primary contribution was in championing Japonisme (the taste for all things Japanese) in France and in coinig the name by which this tendency was identified. He also avidly spoke up for the Impressionists in both French and English articles at a time when few did. Burty was also a creative collector whose tastes in journalistic writing were reflected in what he had in his own home. In all these ways he demonstrated an advanced attitude.
Contents: The book establishes and traces Philippe Burty's (1830-1890) fervent support in new areas of the visual arts in mid-century France. These include the Etching revival, the sponsorship of the decorative arts, changes in exhibition systems, the recognition of all things Japanese under the name coined by Burty: Japonisme and Burty's enlightened advocacy of the young Impressionist painters. He was also a singular collector of etchings and Japanese art (of all types), aspects that are discussed as well.