The Emergence of the Professional Watercolourist
This title was first published in 2002: Draw ing on extensive primary research, Greg Smith describes the shifting cultural identities of the English watercolour, and the English watercolourist, at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. His convincing narrative of the conflicts and alliances that marked the history of the medium and its practitioners during this period includes careful detail about the broader artistic context within which watercolours were produced, acquired and discussed. Smith calls into question many of the received assumptions about the history of watercolour painting. His account exposes the unsatisfactory nature of the traditional narrative of watercolour painting's development into a 'high' art form, which has tended to offer a celebratory focus on the innovations and genius of individual practitioners such as Turner and Girtin, rather than detailing the anxieties and aspirations that characterized the ambivalent status of the watercolourist. The Emergence of the Professional Watercolourist is published with the assistance of the Paul Mellon Foundation.