Explores the enduring significance and emotional power of British history painting. From vast 18th-century allegorical works to artworks reacting to recent political events, it examines how artists have chosen to capture and interpret the past. Published to accompany an exhibition at Tate Britain.
Fighting History is the first book to engage with the story of British history painting and its survival into contemporary practice today. Beautifully illustrated with works from the Tate collection, as well as a number of paintings from other institutions and from practicing artists, the book traces the tradition of history painting from the baroque allegory of the seventeenth-century court to contemporary works by Dexter Dalwood, Jeremy Deller, Michael Fullerton, and others. Three short essays address themes in history painting, from the question of the shifting meanings of 'history painting' to an account of the great radical artists in the genre. In an interview with Dexter Dalwood, one of Britain's most celebrated contemporary painters, the artist explains the enduring significance of history painting in twentieth-century art and in his own practice. Includes contributions from Mark Salber Phillips, Dexter Dalwood, Clare Barlow and M. G. Sullivan.