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Distributed for Paul Holberton Publishing

Towards the Sun

The Artist-Traveller at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

A comprehensive monograph of artistic travel at the height of British imperial power.

Kenneth McConkey takes us around the world to show how British travelers, equipped with cameras and canvases, created artworks commemorating scenes and experiences in southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, India, and Japan. He introduces us to a generation of painters, trained in academies and artists’ colonies in Europe that acted as crèches for those who would go on to explore life and landscape further afield. 

With rich illustrations, the book explores key sites visited by artist-travelers and investigates a wide range of artists, including Frank Brangwyn, Mary Cameron, Alfred East, John Lavery, Arthur Melville, and Mortimer Menpes, as well as other under-researched British artists. Drawing the strands together, it redefines the picturesque by considering issues of visualization and verisimilitude, dissemination, and aesthetic value.

240 pages | 250 color plates | 9 3/4 x 11

Art: British Art

Travel and Tourism: Tourism and History

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"This beautifully produced book offers a splendid survey of a staple of British art around 1900."

Art Newspaper

"In McConkey's adventuring tome, we revel in the results of these journeys—all the more so, perhaps, as we are (temporarily) unable to experience them ourselves."

World of Interiors

"Kenneth McConkey’s meticulously researched book traces the wanderings of British painters and their English-speaking counterparts in the decades around the turn of the twentieth century, when the era of the Grand Tour had faded into the age of mass tourism ... [it] evokes the hustling activity of artists on the move – of communities forming and dispersing." 

Times Literary Supplement

"Well researched, clearly written, handsomely designed and with excellent reproductions of artworks—qualities that will please many—this pioneering overview will be a benchmark for later studies. . . . Highly recommended."


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