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Rural Artists' Colonies in Europe, 1870-1910
bookposted on 2023-07-26, 12:50 authored by Nina Lübbren
Why did thousands of 19th-century artists leave the established urban centres of culture to live and work in the countryside? By 1900 there were over 80 rural artists' communities across northern and central Europe. This is a critical analysis of the phenomenon on a Europe-wide basis. It combines close visual readings of intriguing and little known paintings with a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing on sociology, geography and theories of tourism. Rural artists' colonies have been unjustly neglected by an art history preoccupied with the urban avant-garde. Yet these communities hatched some of the most exciting innovations of late 19th-century painting. Moreover, the practices and images of rural artists articulated central concerns of urban middle-class audiences, in particular the yearning for a life that was authentic, pre-modern and immersed in nature. Paradoxically, it was precisely this nostalgia that placed artists' colonies firmly within modernity, mainly through their contribution to an emergent mass tourism.
PublisherManchester University Press
Place of publicationManchester, UK