The Art Journal

The Art Journal

Infobox Journal

discipline = Victorian art
abbreviation =
publisher = Hodgson & Graves;
Samuel Carter Hall;
George Virtue
country = UK
frequency =
history = "Art Union", 1839 — 1849
"Art Journal", 1849 — 1912
openaccess =
website =

The Art Journal, published in London, was the most important Victorian journal on art. It was founded in 1839 by Hodgson & Graves, print publishers, 6 Pall Mall with the title the "Art Union Monthly Journal", the first issue, 750 copies, appearing 15 February, 1839.

Hodgson & Graves hired Samuel Carter Hall as editor, assisted by James Dafforne. Hall soon became principal proprietor, but, unable to turn a profit on his own, the London publisher George Virtue purchased into Hall's "Art Union Monthly Journal" in 1848, retaining Hall as editor. Virtue renamed the periodical "The Art Journal" in 1849.cite web |url= |title=Original Drawings by W.H. Bartlett |accessdate=2008-03-05]

In 1851, Hall's engravings, 150 pictures from the private collection of the Queen and Prince Albert, were featured in "The Art Journal" as the "Great Exhibition of 1851". Though this feature was popular, the publication remained unprofitable, forcing Hall to sell off his share of the journal to Virtue, while staying on as editor. In 1852, the journal finally turned a profit.cite web |url= |title=Original Drawings by W.H. Bartlett |accessdate=2008-03-05]

As editor, Hall exposed the profits that custom-houses were earning by importing old masters, and showed how paintings are manufactured in England. Simultaneously, "The Art Journal" became notable for its honest portrayal of fine arts, but its opposition to fake and misattributed Old Masters, such as a Raphael or a Titian, affected the market in such works adversely.

The early issues of the Journal strongly supported the artists of The Clique and after 1850 it became associated with opposition to the emerging Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), which Hall considered to be a reactionary movement. Its articles attacked the PRB and its supporter John Ruskin. The most notable essayists included: R. N. Wornum, Thomas Wright, F. W. Fairholt, Edward Lewes Cutts, and Llewellynn Jewitt.cite web |url=,M1 |last=Stephen |first=Leslie |title=Dictionary of National Biography |publisher=Smith, Elder, & Co |location=London |year=1890 |page=88 |oclc=2763972 |accessdate=2008-03-05] [cite web |url= |title=The Art-Journal, 1850-1880: Antiquarians, the Medieval Revival, and The Reception of Pre-Raphaelitism |last=Landow |first=George P. |date=July 1999 |work="This article originally appeared in The Pre-Raphaelite Review 2 (1979), 71-76." | |accessdate=2008-03-04]

After Hall's retirement in 1880, the journal changed its position, faced with strong competition from the Magazine of Art and the changing public taste influenced by Impressionism. However, it was unable to retain its position and ceased publication in 1912.

The publication has been referred to, at various times, as "London Art Journal" and "Art-journal".


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