‘Truth of Character from Truth of Feeling’: William Hazlitt, ‘Gusto’ and the Linguistic History of Writing on Art - Tate Research Repository
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‘Truth of Character from Truth of Feeling’: William Hazlitt, ‘Gusto’ and the Linguistic History of Writing on Art

2015

Abstract

Adapting and applying speech act theories of language use, this paper offers a new understanding of the innovative import of William Hazlitt’s art criticism. Textual and rhetorical analysis of a sample of his critical writing – the 1821 essay ‘On a Landscape of Nicolas Poussin’ – illustrates Hazlitt’s development of ‘characterisation’, a mode of representation of the individual artwork focusing on its perceptual and affective appeal to a responsive viewer.

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