The reappraisal in recent years of the art of Neo-classicism and of previously neglected or despised painters of the nineteenth century has not always been accompained by apparently less glamorous research into the insitutions which enabled such art to fluorish. We still lack any modern, over-all survey of the roles played by Salons, Museums and Critics; and even inestigations, into individual cases are rare enough. This is unfortunate because it was always benn recognised that the art itself was profoundly affected by these institutions which, in differing ways, assumed some of the functions of more traditional and well-established patronage. The authors of the papers published in tis volume have thus enjoyed the advantage of breaking new ground and of making significant contributions to an important field which is bound to be studied ever more closely in the future. Correspondingly they have been unable to rely on the solid foundations which we have come to expect before embarking on new research. The fight against ignorance and prejudice will nowhere be harder than in trying to understand the background to a century of artistic creation which is still loocked at through eyes seriously affected by the commercial and political interests of our own times.
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