Philip Corbet (1802-1877): The life and art of a forgotten Regency painter.
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This thesis examines the life and work of British painter Philip Corbet (1802-1877). Corbet has become largely forgotten since his death and very little literature concerning his life has ever been published. My primary aim was therefore to assemble the first extensive biography of the painter, whilst undertaking a more in-depth analysis of his work than has yet been attempted. This involved bringing together the small amount written about him, whilst adding to this with information found in my own research in archive centres in Shrewsbury, the town where he spent much of his career. The list of primary sources read includes a number of letters written by the painter himself. The paper’s theoretical approach, its visual analysis, approached his work by creating links between Corbet’s paintings and certain seventeenth-century Dutch painters, as well as his British predecessors and contemporaries. The Dutch influence evident in some of his work is rare in this period of his British art, marking him out as a more notable figure than his current reputation would suggest. The resulting paper is one that surpasses any other piece of writing on the painter in terms of its depths. The biography is more detailed than any other written,but different periods of his life vary in the amount of source material and thus vary in detail. Much of time in Shrewsbury is well covered, for example, whilst his early and later years require further research. The analysis of his paintings was limited by the limited number of examples of his work available to view, but I have managed to add to this list to the extent that the hallmarks of his style and methods can be detected. The visual analysis will suggest that Corbet’s engagement with Dutch painting peaked in the late 1820s, but that his interest in the period was maintained throughout his life.