Plas Newydd’s Poetics of Exchange: Portraiture, Poetry and the Intermediality of Eighteenth-Century Gift Culture

Journal article


Gowrley, Freya 2022. Plas Newydd’s Poetics of Exchange: Portraiture, Poetry and the Intermediality of Eighteenth-Century Gift Culture. Word and Image.
AuthorsGowrley, Freya
Abstract

This article uses eighteenth-century correspondence and diurnal writing to unpack the complex networks of emotional, artistic, and poetic exchange that surrounded Plas Newydd, the home of the so-called “Ladies of Llangollen,” Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler. It focuses on the gifting of a printed copy of George Romney’s painting Serena Reading (1782) given to the women by the poet Anna Seward, viewed by the trio as a portrait. Using an interdisciplinary and microhistorical approach, the article places the image within two contexts: firstly, within an intricate display of gifted portraits at Plas Newydd, and secondly, in relation to Seward’s poetry. In so doing, it argues for the centrality of the cultural, emotional, and intellectual process of exchange as a way for understanding the emotional life of the period. By focusing on the literary lives of this portrait-object, the article also demonstrates the necessity of an intermedial approach to eighteenth-century visual and material culture, highlighting the productive possibilities of using textual sources to consider long-lost artworks.

Keywordsart history; poetry; portraiture; gift exchange; print culture; Plas Newydd
Year2022
JournalWord and Image
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/626307
http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
hdl:10545/626307
Publication dates2022
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Mar 2022, 14:22
Accepted09 May 2021
Rights

CC0 1.0 Universal

ContributorsUniversity of Derby
File
File Access Level
Open
File
File Access Level
Open
File
Permalink -

https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/949v3/plas-newydd-s-poetics-of-exchange-portraiture-poetry-and-the-intermediality-of-eighteenth-century-gift-culture

Download files

  • 41
    total views
  • 17
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

The sister arts: Textile crafts between paint, print, and practice
Gowrley, Freya 2020. The sister arts: Textile crafts between paint, print, and practice. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. https://doi.org/10.1111/1754-0208.12685
Representing camp: Constructing macaroni masculinity in eighteenth century visual satire
Gowrley, Freya 2019. Representing camp: Constructing macaroni masculinity in eighteenth century visual satire. ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830. https://doi.org/10.5038/2157-7129.9.1.1171
Reflective and reflexive forms: Intimacy and medium specificity in British and American sentimental Albums, 1780-1850
Gowrley, Freya 2018. Reflective and reflexive forms: Intimacy and medium specificity in British and American sentimental Albums, 1780-1850. Journal 18. https://doi.org/10.30610/6.2018.4
Craft(ing) narratives: Specimens, souvenirs, and “morsels” in A la Ronde’s specimen table
Gowrley, Freya 2018. Craft(ing) narratives: Specimens, souvenirs, and “morsels” in A la Ronde’s specimen table. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. https://doi.org/10.3138/ecf.31.1.77
Taste à-la-Mode: Consuming foreignness, picturing gender
Gowrley, Freya 2018. Taste à-la-Mode: Consuming foreignness, picturing gender. in: