Book Series Harvey Miller - Art History (Outside a Series)

Ingenious Italians, Immigrant Artists in Eighteenth-century Britain

Katherine McHale

  • Pages: 344 p.
  • Size:225 x 300 mm
  • Illustrations:2 b/w, 165 col., 2 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2024

  • ISBN: 978-1-915487-17-9
  • Hardback
  • Available

Ingenious Italians: Immigrant Artists in Eighteenth-century Britain explores the lives of the nearly two hundred Italian artists who made the arduous journey to Britain, adapting to a foreign culture while using their renowned skills and entrepreneurial abilities, inspiring and instructing indigenous artists as they enriched the culture of their new country.


Katherine McHale received her PhD from the University of St Andrews in 2018, after a thirty-year career as a lawyer. Her thesis, the basis for this book, continued her masters’ research at Hunter College, New York City, exploring the intersection between eighteenth-century Italian and British art. Her articles have been published in Master Drawings, Dieciocho, The British Art Journal, and The Georgian Group Journal. She has presented papers in New York, London, Venice, and Rome.


This book fills a significant gap in the literature on eighteenth-century art in Britain. Although immigrant Italian artists played a crucial role in the development of Britain’s expanding art world over the course of that century, they have been largely overlooked in books on both British and Italian art. When mentioned in works on eighteenth-century British art, Italian artists are regarded as bit players who were tangential to the art world. Ingenious Italians seeks to correct this view, demonstrating the critical role played by immigrants who brought their skills and talents to a new country. In Britain, they established networks of Italian and British colleagues, cultivated new patrons and created innovative works for a growing market. In doing so, they influenced the development of art in British society. This little-explored facet of art history in Britain presents readers with a new perspective from which to consider the art of the era, highlighting the important work contributed by Italian artists in Britain. The book also contains an appendix of biographical information on the Italian artists working in Britain throughout the eighteenth century.




Chapter 1: Early Arrivals: Verrio and the Venetians

Chapter 2: Life in Britain

Chapter 3: Innovative Italians: New Ideas for New Clients

Chapter 4: The Impact of Italian Immigrants: 'Exciting a Spirit of Ardent Emulation'



Appendix: Italian Artists Active in Britain 1700-1800


Some third-party content could not be displayed due to your cookie settings. Click here to allow third-party content.