Aspects of the life and work of Archibald Skirving (1749-1819)
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The aim of this dissertation is to examine the life and work of the Scottish eighteenth century pastellist and portraitist, Archibald Skirving (1749-1819). It is divided into three chapters and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue of works. The biography in chapter one contains a chronological survey of the artist's career which is related to wider issues of the period. The second chapter examines aspects of Skirving's oeuvre which concentrated almost entirely on portraiture. Representative examples are illustrated in the text. The final chapter examines Skirving's working procedure and his relationship with his patrons. This also focuses on contemporary criticism of the artist, personal as well as artistic, and concludes with contemporary accounts of Skirving, notably that provided by Thomas Carlyle. The illustrated catalogue comprises all known documented and attributed works, and includes a section of untraced works, engravings after the works of Skirving, and a list of what are now considered to be erroneous attributions.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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