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The Romantic Illustration Network (RIN) restores to view the importance of book illustration and visual  culture in the Romantic period, but also across the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries. RIN brings together scholars working on poetry, prose, the printed book, visual culture, and painting from roughly 1750 – 1850 to share research and to develop new models for understanding the relationship between word and image in the period, between large and small scale work, and between painting, print and illustration.

We are collaborating with Tate Britain to enhance the Tate’s collection of literary prints and paintings. RIN will foreground artists who have been unduly ignored, and return attention to well-known artists in unfamiliar roles. We aim to recapture lost cultures of looking and of reading, restoring the link between word and image not only in book illustration but in the wider literary and visual culture.

Our programme of events will take as starting point in turn the artist, the author, the gallery and the economics of print. We will produce an edited collection of essays and it is hoped that this network will form the basis for a longer research project.

 

 

Recent Posts

New RIN member publication: Sandro Jung, ‘James Thomson’s The Seasons, Print Culture, and Visual Interpretation, 1730-1842′

New RIN member publication: Special Promotion 

Sandro Jung, James Thomson’s The Seasons, Print Culture, and Visual Interpretation, 1730-1842 (Lehigh University Press, May 2015)

Get 20% off with this downloadable flyer.

“Sandro Jung’s study of The Seasons is a fresh and stimulating history of the publishing and marketing of one of the most popular texts of the eighteenth century. But it is also far more than that. This book radically extends our understanding of the cultural and economic value of Thomson’s poem by investigating its visual readings and its complex cultural afterlife within and far beyond Britain as the poem’s imagery morphed across an astonishing range of visual arts, including engravings in books, prints, cartoons, ceramics, furniture, and music. The result is a persuasive demonstration of the intersections between technology, aesthetics, commerce, market, and reception.”

— James Raven, University of Essex and Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

“Here is the writing of a fresh new chapter in the scholarship of The Seasons. Consideration of print, paratexts, pictures, price, and pocket diaries all make for the richest contextualisation yet of the production and consumption of James Thomson’s poetic masterpiece from its first appearance to the early decades of the nineteenth century.”

— Gerard Carruthers, Francis Hutcheson Professor of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow

Drawing on the methods of textual and reception studies, book history, print culture research, and visual culture, this interdisciplinary study of James Thomson’s The Seasons (1730) understands the text as marketable commodity and symbolic capital which throughout its extended affective presence in the marketplace for printed literary editions shaped reading habits. At the same time, through the addition of paratexts such as memoirs of Thomson, notes, and illustrations, it was recast by changing readerships, consumer fashions, and ideologies of culture. The book investigates the poem’s cultural afterlife by charting the prominent place it occupied in the visual cultures of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. While the emphasis of the chapters is on printed visual culture in the form of book illustrations, the book also features discussions of paintings and other visual media such as furniture prints. Reading illustrations of iconographic moments from The Seasons as paratextual, interpretive commentaries that reflect multifarious reading practices as well as mentalities, the chapters contextualise the editions in light of their production and interpretive inscription. They introduce these editions’ publishers and designers who conceived visual translations of the text, as well as the engravers who rendered these designs in the form of the engraving plate from which the illustration could then be printed. Where relevant, the chapters introduce non-British illustrated editions to demonstrate in which ways foreign booksellers were conscious of British editions of The Seasons and negotiated their illustrative models in the sets of engraved plates they commissioned for their volumes.

About the Author

Sandro Jung is research professor of early modern British literature and founding director of the Centre for the Study of Text and Print Culture at Ghent University.

  1. RIN 4: The Art of Quotation and the Miniaturized Gallery. Saturday 6 June 2015, 10 – 5pm, The House of Illustration, London Leave a reply
  2. Podcasts available: RIN 3, ‘The Literary Galleries’, February 2015, Tate 1 Reply
  3. University of Roehampton Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Scholarships 1 Reply
  4. The Visual and the Verbal’, a skills-based training event for postgraduate students using material held at the Ruskin Library, Lancaster University on Wednesday 20th May. 1 Reply
  5. Birkbeck History and Theory of Photography Research Centre Events Leave a reply
  6. Event Report: ‘The Literary Galleries: Entrepreneurship and Public Art’, RIN 3, Friday 27 February 2015, Tate Britain 1 Reply
  7. Thoughts wanted: Eighteenth-Century Book Illustration Reader 1 Reply
  8. CFP: ‘Romanticism and the Arts’ SAMLA, Durham, North Carolina, USA (13-15 Nov. 2015) 1 Reply
  9. Image of the Month: William Blake, ‘Mary Magdalen at the Sepulchre’ (c.1805). 2 Replies