The Diary of Joseph Farington:
Volume 5, August 1801 - March 1803; Volume 6, April 1803 - December 1804

Joseph Farington, Kenneth Garlick, Angus Macintyre

Publicaton Date
September 1979
Standard Number
Yale University Press
905 pages, volumes 5 & 6 of 16.

Joseph Farington (1747-1821) was a professional topographical artist who lived most of his life in London.  Through his extensive involvement in the affairs of the Royal Academy, his wide circle of friends, and his membership in several clubs and societies, he touched the life of his times at many points.  His diary, now for the first time being published in full, is an invaluable source for the history of English art and artists.

In this third pair of volumes, the chief interest is provided by Farington’s account of his visit to Paris, in company with Fuseli, during the Peace of Amiens in 1802.  West, Opie, Flaxman, Hoppner, and Turner were among the other English artists who visited Paris at the same time, as did Charles James Fox and his followers.  Farington provides much material on French art and artists, notably on David and his pupils, and on the works of art looted from other parts of Europe, especially from Italy, which were on view in the Louvre.  There are vivid descriptions of Napoleon and of the atmosphere of Paris during the Consulate.  During these years Farington also undertook tours of the Lake District, Scotland, and the Wye valley.  He portrays in detail the pre-Regency society of these years, ranging from the small change of gossip and social life to the serious matters of art and politics.