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School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483582
After her first degree in Modern History at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, Christiana went on to the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, where she gained an MA and a PhD in History of Art. From 2003 until 2006 she served as Honorary Secretary of the Association of Art Historians. She is a Trustee of the Marc Fitch Fund.
Christiana Payne has recently supervised students working on the following topics: representations of old age in Britain and America, 1870-1910; the impact on landscape paintings of the inauguration of annual exhibitions in London from 1760; and the male opera singer in nineteenth-century British culture. She is currently supervising a project on the art and writings of Frederic George Stephens (1827-1907). She welcomes enquiries from prospective research students wanting to work on late eighteenth and nineteenth-century British painting, particularly on landscape and genre painting.
For more information on Christiana's research students go to http://www.christianapayne.com/
Her research interests are in nineteenth-century British landscape and genre painting, with a particular emphasis on the representation of the poor and the relationship of art to its social and political context. She has curated exhibitions at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, the Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham, Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, the Fine Art Society, London, and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. With Juliet McMaster, she was co-curator of a new display at Tate Britain, James Clarke Hook and Painters of the Sea (16 December 2006 – 17 February 2008). She worked with Dr Janette Kerr, PRWA, on an exhibition, The Power of the Sea: Making Waves in British Art 1790-2014, which was held at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, April-July 2014, and with Stephen Jacobson and Gemma Brace on a further exhibition at the same venue: Air: Visualising the Invisible in British Art, 1760-2017 (June-September 2017). She is co-curator, with Victoria Partridge, of a new exhibtion at the Higgins Bedford: A Walk in the Woods: A Celebration of Trees in British Art, which opens on 30th September 2017.
Christiana's current research project is on the role of trees and woodland in British and American landscape painting: see http://www.christianapayne.com/blog.
Fire! traces the representation of fire in British art across the last four centuries. In turns destructive and creative, fearsome and fascinating, it’s a subject loaded with symbolism, ritual and emotion. Unsurprisingly, the subject of fire has drawn in artists throughout the ages. It features in the work of major British artists such as J.M.W. Turner, John Martin, J.M. Whistler, Joseph Wright of Derby and William Blake, who are presented here alongside contemporary work by artists such as Cornelia Parker, David Nash, Mark Wallinger and Douglas Gordon.
The book looks at the many facets of fire; its ability to express concepts on a human scale, such as warmth, anger and passion; as a storyteller fundamental to religion and mythology; its effects on our language – we talk of burning desires and blazing rows; as a driving force behind the progress of civilisation through science, industry and technology; as a political tool sending visceral message with shocking finality; its contribution to advances in cooking, pottery, metal and glass; as a signifier of absence, the soul, loss and transcendence. Three newly commissioned essays on the subject explore fire in the process of making and how artists’ approaches to fire have changed over time, recording historical, religious, domestic or natural events as well as exploring fire as a material phenomenon informed by contemporary themes and issues, combining art and science. This book seeks to address the dual nature of fire showing that fire continues to be welcomed and feared in equal measure.
Accompanies the exhibition held at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, 15 June-1 September 2019.
Drawing on a wealth of unpublished sketchbooks, journals, and writings, this essential guide to John Brett (1831-1902) investigates the painter who was seen as the leader of the Pre-Raphaelite landscape school. In addition to exploring the familiar early works, including The Val d'Aosta and Stonebreaker, it provides rich information on his later, less-known coastal and marine paintings. Brett's turbulent friendship with John Ruskin is discussed, as are his relations with his beloved sister, Rosa, and his partner Mary, with whom he had seven children. His fervent interest in astronomy, his love of the sea, and his lifelong pursuit of wealth and recognition are all examined in this reassessment, which concludes with a catalogue raisonne of his works, prepared by his descendent Charles Brett.
From the direct gaze of his early self-portraits in the 1850s to the photographs he took of himself in 1889 as the head of a large family, John Brett was clearly concerned to present himself as a ‘manly’ painter. Eschewing the Bohemian masculinity of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Brett’s later writings, both public and private, show his allegiance to militaristic and imperialistic constructions of masculinity. These are at their purest in his role as ‘captain’ of his yacht, the appropriately named Viking, in the early to mid-1880s, a few years after he painted Britannia’s Realm (1880).