In 1966, American collector and philanthropist Paul Mellon presented to Yale University a glorious collection of British paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, and rare books. Subsequently he provided funds for the celebrated Louis Kahn building to house the collection, bestowed additional works of art, and established an endowment for continuing acquisitions. This lavishly illustrated book presents eighty masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art-a collection of British art that is unrivalled outside the United Kingdom for either size or comprehensiveness.
In his introduction, Patrick McCaughey describes Mellon's lifelong passion for British culture and the imprint of his taste on the nature of the collection: the love of sport and the outdoor life that led him to Stubbs, for example, and the dislike of pomp that led him to the informal delights of the British "conversation piece." The book reflects the latest scholarship on individual paintings by such leading British artists as Hogarth, Gainsborough, Stubbs, Turner, Constable, and Bonington, and by foreign painters-from Canaletto to Whistler-who made rich contributions to the development of British art. The volume spans five centuries and groups the paintings by themes ranging from "Court and Country" in the seventeenth century through "The Romantic Vision" in the nineteenth, to "Modern High and Low" in the twentieth.
This book is an expanded version of the catalogue accompanying an exhibition that will tour several museums in Australia in 1998.
Copublished with the Yale Center for British Art