Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

William Beckford, 1760-1844: An Eye for the Magnificent (Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design & Culture) Hardcover – 2 Nov 2001

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover, 2 Nov 2001
click to open popover

Special offers and product promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (2 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300090684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300090680
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 3.2 x 31.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,151,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description


'an illuminating array of essays on every aspect of Beckford's extravagant passion for art.' -- Richard Cork, The Times, 9 January 2002


The British collector William Beckford helped to define many of the most significant parameters of nineteenth-century collecting, as he was unbound by conventional intellectual or aesthetic prejudice. He was among the first of the great connoisseurs to collect Asian and Islamic art while breaking with the taste of his contemporaries. He assembled an eclectic and luxurious collection that included ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art, as well as seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and early-nineteenth-century objects. His active participation in the design of various objects reveals a discriminating aesthetic sensibility that set him apart from his contemporaries. His influence also extended beyond his day: generations of renowned private collectors in Great Britain, on the Continent, and in the United States have reflected his interest in the art of many cultures and periods. This magnificent book describes Beckford's flamboyant personality and unconventional life. Authorities tell us that at an early age, Beckford was known as "England's wealthiest son", due to a prodigal income generated from Jamaican sugar plantations.

As a youth, he travelled widely and made his mark as a novelist, composer of music, and impresario of design. His most ambitious project was his fantastic residence Fonthill Abbey; the construction and furnishing of this Gothic Revival edifice consumed nearly twenty-five years of Beckford's life and vast amounts of his fortune, branding him with a reputation as a recluse and eccentric. In addition to providing details about Beckford's life, the book discusses 175 of the finest works of art that once were part of Beckford's legendary collections and examines his travels and great building projects. This richly illustrated book is the catalogue for an exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture from October 2001 to January 2002 and at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, from February to April 2002.

See all Product description

Customer reviews

There are no customer reviews yet.
Share your thoughts with other customers

Where's My Stuff?

Delivery and Returns

Need Help?