Artists and Dilettanti

William St. Clair

in Lord Elgin and the Marbles

Third edition

Published in print June 1998 | ISBN: 9780192880536
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670596 | DOI:
Artists and Dilettanti

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The first collection of Elgin marbles which were kept in a shed behind Piccadilly was unpacked by June 1807, and it was all set for display. As several prominent sculptures, artists, and enthusiasts were allowed to view the collection and draw inspiration for drawings, Elgin's original goal of improving the arts in Great Britain was revived. John Flaxman, one of the first sculptors to see the exhibit, was responsible for such works as the Medici Venus, the Apollo, and other copies of the Greek originals which can be seen in Italy. These works are believed to portray the peak of artistic achievement. Fundamentally, these works brought about several developments in the world of art, such as the theory of ‘Ideal Beauty’ which deals mainly with technique and form.

Keywords: Elgin marbles; Great Britain; art; John Flaxman; technique; form; Ideal Beauty; artistic achievement

Chapter.  4811 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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