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Chapter 3

Re-presenting Contemporary History

Changing audiences, expectations, and experiences required new approaches to the representation of historical subjekts in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Paintings of contemporary history became weapons of political propaganda and later, instruments of political critique and vehicles of social reform. In devising images that glorified contemporary heroes, artists often distorted the truth and utilized familiar and venerable formulas that conveyed desirable associations. The Napoleonic wars led to escalating nationalist sentiments, which resulted in the establishment of national museums.

Readings:

Berman, Patricia G.  In Another Light: Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Vendome Press, 2007

Boime, Albert. Art in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1800. Chicago and London: University  of Chicago Press, 1987

Bryson, Norman. Tradition and Desire: From David to Delacroix. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984

Clark, T.J. “Painting in the Year 2,” Farewell to an Idea. Episodes from a History of Modernism. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999, 15-53

Craske, Matthew. Art in Europe, 1700-1830. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997

Crow, Thomas. Emulation: David, Drouais, and Girodet in the Art of Revolutionary France. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995

Eitner, Lorenz. Neoclassicism and Romanticism 1750-1850, vol. 1: Enlightenment and Revolution. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1970

Hobsbawm, Eric. The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848. New York: Vintage Books

Hunt, Lynn. Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984

Israel, Jonathan. A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009

Janson, H.W. 19th-Century Sculpture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1985

Porterfield, Todd B. Staging Empire: Napoleon, Ingres, and David. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006

Ribner, Jonathan P. Broken Tablets: The Cult of the Law in French Art from David to Delacroix. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1993

Rosenblum, Robert. Transformations in Late Eighteenth Century Art. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967

Solomon-Godeau, Abigail. Male Trouble: A Crisis in Representation. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997

Subtitle: 
Re-presenting Contemporary History

Web Resources

Napoleon Foundation

GeorgeMasonU: French Revolution

smarthistory.com: Raft of the Medusa

 

Map of locations 

Europe in 1815

 

Poland - maps of 1772, 1793, 1795 partitions

Map of Germany in the 18th century - threre were several hundred independent entities (kingdoms, duchies, monasteries, free cities) which made it relatively easy for Napoleon's armies to conquer them