Capturing the British Landscape: Alfred Augustus Glendening (1840–1921)
Available as a fixed-page e-book through University of Chicago Press.
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This book presents the life and work of the Victorian landscape painter Alfred Augustus Glendening (1840–1921). With beautiful illustrations of his pictures, showing a timeless countryside, it explores Glendening’s rapid rise from railway clerk to acclaimed artist.
Whilst art critics often reviewed his exhibited paintings, showing a timeless countryside, very little has been written about the painter himself. Here, new and extensive research removes layers of mystery and misinformation about his life, family and career, definitively positioning him in the midst of the British art world during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
From humble origins, Glendening was still working full-time as a railway clerk when he made his London exhibition debut at the age of twenty. That would have been almost impossible before the Victorian era, an extraordinary period when social mobility was a real possibility. Although his paintings show a tranquil and unspoiled landscape, his environment was steadily being transformed by social, scientific and industrial developments, while advances in transport, photography and other technical discoveries undoubtedly influenced him and his fellow painters.
Celebrating his uniquely Victorian story, this book places Glendening within his historical context. Beside the main text is a timeline outlining significant landmarks, from political and social events to artistic and technical innovations. The narrative describes why and for whom he and his contemporaries painted, his artistic training and inspirations as well as other artistic family members, most notably his son, Alfred Illman Glendening.
From painting at Hampton and Greenwich beside the River Thames, Glendening soon discovered the hills of North Wales and the Betws-y-Coed Artists’ Colony, founded by David Cox. His accomplished landscapes also capture the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, the Norfolk Broads, the South Downs and the Isle of Wight.
By Alice Munro-Faure
Hardback, 280 x 245 mm
320 pages, 370 colour illustrations
About the author
Alice Munro-Faure is an independent art historian and writer who began her career in the Victorian Picture department at Sotheby’s. Since then, she has researched and written numerous articles for museums, galleries, fellow writers, auction houses and private collectors. She has a extensive knowledge of both the fine and decorative arts of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe.
In the press
"...more than a monograph on a single artist, this is a book about the rapidly changing Britain of the late Victorian era, with cogent analyses of diverse topics such as industrial development, domestic service, and the art world of the era. The countless reproductions of Glendening’s pastoral idylls are a bonus."—The New Criterion
"Aside from the glorious reproductions of his magnificent landscapes, this is both biography and social history – the strands adroitly woven together by Alice Munro-Faure." —The Field
"Lavish and deeply researched volume on Alfred Augustus Glendening (1840–1921) and his painting descendents."—Country Life, May 24, 2023 issue
"Beautifully illustrated"—Leisure Painter