Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

Hardcover | June 24, 2014

byAmy Freund

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Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France challenges widely held assumptions about both the genre of portraiture and the political and cultural role of images in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century. After 1789, portraiture came to dominate French visual culture because it addressed the central challenge of the Revolution: how to turn subjects into citizens. Revolutionary portraits allowed sitters and artists to appropriate the means of representation, both aesthetic and political, and articulate new forms of selfhood and citizenship, often in astonishingly creative ways. The triumph of revolutionary portraiture also marks a turning point in the history of art, when seriousness of purpose and aesthetic ambition passed from the formulation of historical narratives to the depiction of contemporary individuals. This shift had major consequences for the course of modern art production and its engagement with the political and the contingent.

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From the Publisher

Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France challenges widely held assumptions about both the genre of portraiture and the political and cultural role of images in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century. After 1789, portraiture came to dominate French visual culture because it addressed the central challenge of the Revo...

Amy Freund is Assistant Professor and the Kleinheinz Family Endowment for the Arts and Education Endowed Chair in Art History at Southern Methodist University
Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 10.26 × 9.26 × 1.23 inPublished:June 24, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271061944

ISBN - 13:9780271061948

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Selling Citizenship

2 The Legislative Body

3 Aux Armes, Citoyens!

The Terror

4 The Citoyenne Tallien in Prison

5 The National Elysée

6 Duty and Happiness

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Amy Freund’s rich and beautifully illustrated study, Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France, tackles the fascinating collaborative role played by portrait artists and their sitters in the ‘reimagining of selfhood’ (5) and construction of the ‘citizen’ within the context of the new political and social order(s) from the fall of the Bastille to the rise of Napoleon. By tightly focusing on the period 1789–1804, Freund highlights the close correlation between changing régimes—from the Estates-General to the National Assembly, through the Terror, the Directory, and the Consulate—and the visual representation of French subjecthood, identity, and political agency.”—Alexandra K. Wettlaufer, Nineteenth-Century French Studies