The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735 is creating a searchable corpus of the principal primary materials relating to the arts in early modern Britain. It will present new research in the form of a biographical dictionary, a database of art sales, a topographical dictionary and a group of subject-based texts. It will provide tools for further research with a database of financial records and a large checklist of works of art. The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735 is a major initiative of Court, Country, City: British Art 1660-1735. It is a long-term project, based at the University of York, which collaborates with other scholars and institutions and welcomes the involvement of its users. The website will be published as a developing work in progress: substantial additions of data will be uploaded every three months, and functional enhancements will keep pace with the growing body of material.
There is a huge opportunity to discover much more about the period through a closer knowledge of its documentary sources. While some major sources – such as George Vertue’s notebooks – are well known, others – such as Charles Beale’s notebooks – are much less studied. Cumulatively, even very modest sources – a painter’s receipt, or a trade card – can have a significant impact. The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735 aims to catalogue and, where possible, transcribe all the primary sources that can be discovered over the 11 years of the project.