Soho depicted: prints, drawings and watercolours of Matthew Boulton, his manufactory and estate, 1760-1809

Loggie, Valerie Ann (2011). Soho depicted: prints, drawings and watercolours of Matthew Boulton, his manufactory and estate, 1760-1809. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis explores the ways in which the industrialist Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) used images of his manufactory and of himself to help develop what would now be considered a ‘brand’. The argument draws heavily on archival research into the commissioning process, authorship and reception of these depictions. Such information is rarely available when studying prints and allows consideration of these images in a new light but also contributes to a wider debate on British eighteenth-century print culture. The first chapter argues that Boulton used images to convey messages about the output of his businesses, to draw together a diverse range of products and associate them with one site. Chapter two explores the setting of the manufactory and the surrounding estate, outlining Boulton’s motivation for creating the parkland and considering the ways in which it was depicted. The third chapter looks at a period of reinforcement of the identity of Soho, exploring the ways in which images were placed and altered in order to convey specific messages to particular audiences. Chapter four examines printed portraits of Boulton and argues that images of Boulton himself also came to stand for his factory and his products.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: N Fine Arts > ND Painting
T Technology > TS Manufactures
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain


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