In the late nineteenth century, the development of a relatively new invention-the moving picture-dramatically changed visual culture. Films not only captured the public imagination, they altered the way the world was represented to and received by the eager viewing audience. This groundbreaking book explores the history of visual media in Britain during this key period, when the nineteenth century was closing and the twentieth just beginning.
Lynda Nead shows in this original study how the period witnessed a transformation from stasis to movement across the entire range of visual media, including painting, photography, and film as well as stage magic, lantern pictures, early film posters, and astronomy. She looks at the effects of this transformation from a wide variety of perspectives, demonstrating how the idea of motion haunted all visual media and altered both viewers' expectations of the image and their modes of perception. Nead portrays a fascinating cultural landscape in the midst of change, filling in the details with a rich selection of illustrations.
Lynda Nead is Pevsner Professor of History of Art, Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of Victorian Babylon: People, Streets and Images in Nineteenth-Century London, published by Yale University Press.