What Jane Saw
May 27, 2013 7:38 AM   Subscribe

On May 24th, 1813, Jane Austen visited a blockbuster art exhibition--the first major retrospective of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the premier English portraitist of the 18th century. Debuting 200 years to the day later, What Jane Saw is a room-by-room virtual recreation of the exhibition, based on the original catalog of the paintings and contemporary depictions of the building where it was held.
posted by Horace Rumpole (8 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
My name is Joshua Reynolds, too!!! I'm not a knight, though.
posted by josher71 at 7:48 AM on May 27, 2013

Excellent stuff, a nice way to present these images and background.
posted by carter at 7:54 AM on May 27, 2013

They should have the cast of Jane Austen's Mafia visit, you know, for some historical context.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:10 AM on May 27, 2013

It's pretty unfortunate that they've found it necessary to associate the work of one artist with what is essentially just a random person who happens to have ended up more famous.

I understand why they would do that (whatever the virtual gallery equivalent of "bums on seats" is), but, you know. It's still weird.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:11 AM on May 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I went through this last night, and it is absolutely fascinating, not just for the Austen references (which are interesting enough on their own) but for the historical context and for the history of the paintings as they pass down to the present day. It'll take an hour or more to just skim the exhibit and supporting materials online.
posted by immlass at 9:08 AM on May 27, 2013

An ingenuous example of history presented as a vast map of intersections. Thank you for sharing this, M. Rumpole!
posted by pickles_have_souls at 9:49 AM on May 27, 2013

What an excellent website; thanks very much for posting this.
posted by verstegan at 2:32 PM on May 27, 2013

See also Janine Barchas' discussion of the site at YouTube.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:22 PM on May 27, 2013

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