Edward Armitage was a highly-esteemed 19th century artist who lived and worked at a time when the social fabric of Britain was being transformed by the Industrial Revolution and attitudes towards art were changing in favour of genres more appealing to the emerging middle classes. Coinciding with the 2017 bicentenary of Armitage’s birth, the book is based on Jill Armitage’s extensive research into her relative’s life and work.
Born in 1817 to a family of wealthy northern industrialists, Edward Armitage trained in Bohemian Paris before making his name in Britain as one of the artists chosen to redecorate the new Houses of Parliament. He was one of the first artists to make the long journey to the Crimea during the war against Russia, and one of the first to include recent archaeological discoveries in his paintings. He was appointed Professor and Lecturer on Painting at the Royal Academy in 1875, where his outspoken views were sometimes controversial. But as Armitage grew older, his serious, French style of painting became increasingly unfashionable.
In this well-illustrated biography, Jill provides the first comprehensive account of Armitage’s life and work, with detailed references to the social, historical and cultural context in which he lived. The book will appeal to fans of Armitage’s paintings, as well as those with an interest in art history and the Victorian era.