The Meaning of Pictures

Images of Personal, Social and Political Identity

Peter Lord

Peter Lord

Distributed for University of Wales Press

256 pages | 70 color plates | 7 3/4 x 9 3/4 | © 2009
Cloth $15.00 ISBN: 9780708322215 Published September 2009 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Why do Welsh pictures painted between the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries still matter today? This volume is mainly concerned with how pictures are understood by the people who use them—including patrons, museum curators, and the general public—rather than by the painters who paint them. The Meaning of Pictures discusses different aspects of painting unified by this common theme, including such topics as eighteenth-century painting, nineteenth-century genres, how pictures are valued by the art market, and how, since the 1980s, the Welsh art world has fought a reactionary battle against the New Art History movement.

M. Wynn Thomas, CREW , Swansea University

“This collection of essays by the one-time enfant terrible of cultural studies in Wales, Peter Lord, confirms his reputation as the leading interpreter of the country’s visual culture. Having previously revolutionized understanding of the social grammar of images through a controversial series of groundbreaking volumes, he now futher extends his range and reflects, in characteristically forthright fashion, on the resistance he encountered in attempting to educate Wales in the value of its indigenous visual heritage.”


Foreword by Professor M. Wynn Thomas




The Portrait of Elizabeth Gwynne of Taliaris


Quality, Value, Validation


Improvement: The Visualization of ‘Y Werin’, the Welsh Folk


The Construction and Destruction of Archie Rees Griffiths: A Romance of the Depression


The State of the Art




Picture Acknowledgements



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