OverviewCould there be a deep relationship between matter and art that is brought out by the study of writings in the nineteenth century? Matter, materialism, material interests: these are all categories typically wielded to come to conclusions beyond the realm of ideas, beyond the artificial or conventional. And certainly the glamour of matter, objects, and things, is felt everywhere in current culture. What happens, however, if we think of matter as an idea, if we resist the ostensibly antithetical nature of its relationship to artifice? Moving between influential theoretical approaches to art and matter and recent developments in art history and the history of institutions, this is a study of the inextricable link between matter and art in the nineteenth century. It offers a fresh consideration of the significance of a number of understudied but deeply important nineteenth-century writers such as John Ruskin, Walter Pater, and Vernon Lee, as well as of figures of wide interest such as Blake, Keats, and George Eliot.