Metropolis: New York as Myth, Marketplace, and Magical Land

Jerome Charyn, Author
Jerome Charyn, Author Putnam Publishing Group $18.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-13133-2
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
In acid engravings and paintings, Hogarth captured the riotous excesses of middle-class England. His pictures transcend genre painting and make a universal commentary on human folly. But most of his successors recorded the tastes and manners of their times in an uncritical fashion. Examples include the ""conversation pieces'' and rural idylls of Arthur Devis and John Zoffany. Only infrequently, artists like Gainsborough and Stubbs, in limning the contemporary social scene, stumbled upon the actual. Victorian genre artists breathed some reality into pictures of families ruined by gambling and fallen women. Walter Sickert (18601942), rejecting genteel traditions, uncovered the beauty lurking in commonplace urban scenes. Johnson, a Princeton professor, objectively examines the highs and lows of Britain's socially relevant painting. The more than 200 plates here are marked by sharp local detail, robust characterizations and touches of humor. (July 25)
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