Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies

Nineteenth-century art and cultural exchange


Nicholas Alfrey,  Ting Chang, Fintan Cullen and Richard Wrigley examine various ways in which different communities came into contact with one another in the 19th century and the results of such artistic and cultural exchanges.

Nicholas Alfrey is writing about the French reaction to the exhibition of Constable’s paintings in 1824 and 1826.

Ting Chang published a book on European travellers and collectors of Asian art, and the museums they created in Paris in the late 19th century. She is now working on British and French representation of China in formats that are not typically examined by art historians, such as educational games and toys, optical devices, panoramas and other spectacles across the 19th century.

Fintan Cullen examines issues of national identity in representations of Ireland's colonial relationship with Britain from the 18th to the 20th centuries. He is writing a book on the exile and migration of Irish artists in the long 19th century.

Richard Wrigley published, among other books, a monograph on the experiences and representations of Rome by French artists in the 18th and 19th centuries. He will curate an exhibition of the Scotsman Robert Macpherson’s photographs of Rome.

Photograph by Charles Thurston Thompson, 'Venetian mirror circa 1700, from the collection of Mr. John Webb', albumen print, 1853

Photograph by Charles Thurston Thompson, 'Venetian mirror circa 1700, from the collection of Mr. John Webb', albumen print, 1853.


What we cover

  • Art and national identity
  • Intercultural contact, exchange, appropriation, influence
  • Movement, migration, fusion, interpretation, innovation

Associated publications

Nicholas Alfrey, “Les marécages de John Constable,” Tate Papers, forthcoming

Fintan Cullen, “Representing the Irish Emigrant: Humour to Pathos?” Visual Culture in Britain 18:2 (2017): 176-191

Ting Chang, "Crowdsourcing avant la lettre: Henri Cordier's Correspondence and the Network of French Sinology, 1875-1925," L'Esprit Créateur, 56: 3 (2016): 47-60

Richard Wrigley, Roman Fever: Influence, Infection, and the Image of Rome, 1700-1870 (Yale University Press, 2013)

Associated funders

Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Institut National d’Histoire de L’Art, Paris, France


“From Ruin to Museum: Nottingham Castle Museum and the development of regional museums in 19th-century Britain and Europe” (3-4 July 2018), organised by Richard Wrigley in collaboration with Nottingham Castle and Art Gallery.

Ting Chang was invited to give a paper titled “Emile Guimet's Network for Research and Collecting Asian Objects, ca.1876-1918,” in “All the Beauty of the World. The Western Market for non-European Artefacts” Conference, Institute for Art History and Historical Urbanism, Technical University Berlin in collaboration with the Institut d'histoire moderne et contemporaine (CNRS) and the Labex TransferS (PSL), Berlin, 13-15 October 2016.


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Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies

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