Art, Identity and Cosmopolitanism: William Rothenstein and the British Art World, c.1880–1935

Shaw, Samuel (2024). Art, Identity and Cosmopolitanism: William Rothenstein and the British Art World, c.1880–1935. Internationalism and the Arts, 4. Oxford: Peter Lang (In Press).

Abstract

The artist, writer and teacher William Rothenstein (1872–1945) was a significant figure in the British art world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was a conspicuously cosmopolitan character: born to a German-Jewish family in the north of England, he attended art school in Paris, wrote the first English monograph on the Spanish artist Goya, and became a prominent collector and supporter of Indian art. However, Rothenstein’s cosmopolitanism was a complex affair. His relationship with his English, European and Jewish identities was ever-changing, responding to wider shifts on the political and cultural stage. This book traces those changes through the artist’s writings and through his art, analysing a range of paintings, drawings and prints created from the 1890s into the 1930s. This book – the first in-depth study of Rothenstein’s art – draws on extensive archival material to situate his practice within broader debates regarding identity formation, transnational exchange and the development of modern art in Britain.

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