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The paper explores the question of why native-English painters (seen as ‘base mechaniks’) were so late to adopt the styles and techniques of continental painting at that time, so that the celebrated painters (e.g., ‘picture-makers’) of the day were invariably ‘strangers’ or Englishmen who had studied abroad. I find the explanations in the economic and political contexts in which native English painters worked. 

Robert Tittler is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Concordia University.

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