DeLaura, David J.  “The Context of Browning’s Painter Poems: Aesthetics, Polemics, Historics,” PMLA Vol. 95, No. 3 (May 1980): 367-388.
DeLaura contends that the neo-Catholic art thesis of Alexis François Rio as set forth in his 1836 De la poésie chrétienne is essential for an adequate interpretation of Robert Browning’s painter poems of the 1840s and 1850s.  He also discusses how Kingsley was earlier influenced by Rio’s work and argues that Kingsley’s artistic views and his rejection of the Rio thesis constituted an important source for Browning’s artistic ideas.  He examines the passage in Yeast where Kingsley has Barnakill present a Protestant view of art and a repudiation of the Roman Catholic approach to art.  He also discusses Kingsley’s treatment in Alton Locke where he “uses the context of painting to develop the more positive aspect of the new Protestant aesthetic of realism” (377).  Moreover, DeLaura, in his examination of Kingley’s review of Jameson’s 1849 Sacred and Legendary Art, sees his antipathy to Rio’s Catholic view of art to have a strong sexual basis.  In this work his “tone of intense leering and almost scurrilous derision . . . is a measure of how deeply disturbing and threatening Kingsley found the new ‘ascetic’ rewriting of art history” (377).

Browning; Art; Catholicism; Sexuality; Yeast; Alton Locke.

Muller, Charles H.  “Poetics and Providence in Kingsley’s Two Years Ago,” UNISA English Studies Vol. 17, No. 2 (1979): 29-39.
In this study of the respective roles of art and God in Two Years Ago Muller contends strongly that it was "Kingsley's recognition of Providence's role in his fiction which undermined the value of his art.  It made his art obstrusively didactic. . . . However, it was chiefly because of Kingsley's belief in the poetic - or, rather, religious - licence of Christian art that he considered himself free to obtrude his moral commentary" (38).

Two Years Ago; Art; Religion.

Zemka, Sue. Victorian Testaments: The Bible, Christology, and Literary Authority in Early-Nineteenth-Century British Culture (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997).
Zemka discusses Kingsley's 1849 review of Anna Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art, the first of her four-part study of medieval and Renaissance European art. It was a laudatory review and though Kingsley displays his customary antipathy to Catholicism he agrees with Jameson's view that English Protestant culture's best defense against the incursions of Catholicism "is a cautious appropriation of Catholic culture's superior sense of the beautiful" (106).

Art; Catholicism.

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