Culture and Communication

a) Initial research tasks – current reference texts:
Start searching for information on your artist by working through the current reference texts on nineteenth—century European art. These should include major art historical dictionaries and specialist nineteenth—century dictionaries, such as:

J. Turner (ed.), The Dictionary of Art, London, 1996, 34 volumes [See Oxford Art Online]
E. Benezit (ed.), Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, Paris, (1948) 1999
U. Thieme & F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zurGegennwart; unter Mitwirkung von 300 Fachgelehrten des in— und Auslandes hrsg. Leipzig, 1907—50
T. W. Strieter, Nineteenth—century European art: a topical dictionary, Greenwood Press, 1999 [709.03043 STRI]
P. Dunford, A biographical dictionary of women artists in Europe and America since 1850, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990 [709.22 DUNE]
C. Petteys et al., Dictionary of women artists: an international dictionary of women artists born before 1900, Boston, Mass, C1985
C. Yeldham, Women artists in nineteenth—century France and England: their art education, exhibition opportunities and membership of exhibiting societies and academies, with an assessment of the subject matter of their work and summary biographies, New York, 1984 C. Wood, Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Woodbridge, 1971 [759.2 WOO 1]

b) Collection references:
Check the publications of the National Gallery of Victoria. Does it appear in permanent collection catalogues or any of the exhibition catalogues? For example:
U. Hoff, European Paintings before 1800 in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne,(fourth edition), 1995.
[National Gallery of Victoria], Pre—Raphaelites and their circle in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1978.
T. Gott, 19th century Painting and Sculpture in the international collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2003.
J. Poynter, Mr Felton’s Bequests, Miegunyah Press, Melbourne, 2008.

You should check the provenance of the work: when was it acquired? Who owned it before that?

c) Search through the secondary literature (books, articles, exhibition catalogues) to research the artist’s life and work, and seek references to your work or similar works by the artist in term of subject matter, chronology (i.e. early work, later work), technique,etc.

If the subject matter is noteworthy, search under subjects such as ‘Realism’ or ‘Nude’ or ‘Portraiture’. For example:
B. Stewart, Dictionary of portrait painters in Britain up to 1920, Antique Collectors Club, 1997.
Use the Baillieu library catalogue to search for books and exhibition catalogues. Use various ‘search engines’ (Wilson Art Index, BHA, etc.) to search for articles, citations, etc., via the Discovery link on the library website.

d) Familiarise yourself with other works by the artist and their circle:

Go to the web and search for your artists under Google images.
Search other accessible image databases: such as major institutions’ on—line collections (Tate, Musee D’Orsay, Louvre, Metropolitan Museum).
Go to the Witt Photography Library microform [MICf WITT] and search under your artist.

Sample Solution