Pictures at an Exhibition: Milton, Machiavelli, Monet, Mussorgsky and marketing

Phil Harris (Co‐Director, Centre for Corporate & Public Affairs, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Patricia Rees (Senior Lecturer, Department of Management, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Publication date: 1 December 2000


Looks at the current state of marketing through the mediating eyes of Milton, Machiavelli, Monet and Mussorgsky. Mussorgsky’s emotional and relational music Pictures at an Exhibition is used as a interlinking inspirational pastiche of characters and events as we promenade and observe some of the remorseless characters and creative passion that drives marketing ever onward. Milton is perceived as the great mediator and defender of the true faith, and is symbolised by the music portraying the Great Gate of Kiev through which truth passes to gain entry to paradise, symbolising our discipline’s ultimate goal. Machiavelli reflects the enquiring mind, enlightenment and is perceived as the true advocate of the realities of the discipline and the search for power. Monet provides the creative guiding light and insight into the perceived image. Contemporary marketing concepts are also added to the thoughts of the mediators. Marketing needs to regenerate itself and not fear change or ambiguity in its quest to seek the truth. It needs to avoid shibboleths, false and unarmed prophets, learn from history and show passion and courage or be deemed beyond redemption.



Harris, P. and Rees, P. (2000), "Pictures at an Exhibition: Milton, Machiavelli, Monet, Mussorgsky and marketing", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 18 No. 6/7, pp. 368-373.

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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