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The Arundel Society
Dates: British, 1849 - 1897
Biographical Account:

The Arundel Society was founded in 1848 to ‘elevate the standard of taste in England, and... exert a beneficial influence upon our native and national schools of painting and sculpture’ (Art Journal, 1869). It was named after the second Earl of Arundel, Thomas Howard (1585-1646) who was an art collector.


The Society published poster- sized copies, books and casts of over 600 works of European art of the 1400s to 1500s and marketed them to the public. The reproductions were available to Society members, but wider audiences could see them in showrooms and educational establishments. By doing this they made artworks available to people who had little chance of seeing the real works.


It was a long process to produce these copies. First the Society asked artists to copy the works of art in watercolour; these copies were mass-produced firstly by engraving and from1852 as chromolithographs, or coloured prints. John Ruskin was on the Society’s council and wrote the text for some of its books. He added a number of Arundel Society prints to the Ruskin collection.

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