Academic Session 23: UEA 2015

41st Annual Conference & Bookfair
Sainsbury Institute for Art, UEA, Norwich
9 – 11 April 2015

Petits-maîtres: ‘Minor’ genres and their meanings in post-revolutionary France

Session Convenor:

Richard Taws, University College London,

While studies of French art of the late 18th and early 19th centuries have tended historically to privilege the work of a few prominent artists, increased attention has been paid more recently to artists working in less prestigious genres, in other media, and to those who helped disseminate their work. This session focuses on, among others, the genre painters and miniaturists, flower and animal painters, landscapists and portraitists, and printmakers of all types who were active in France from the beginning of the French Revolution through to the end of the July Monarchy. In the aftermath of the Revolution, a diverse range of artists working in ‘minor’ genres negotiated the shifting parameters of artistic practice, documenting (some more explicitly than others) a modern world subject to rapid social and political change. Meanwhile, new venues for the display and dissemination of art, alongside technical innovations in printmaking, created novel opportunities for reproductive image-makers and publishers.

This session presents papers that examine how the new political, social and commercial circumstances of early 19th-century France enabled or constrained artistic practices of this kind, considering art from this period in relation to other media, techniques, institutions, spectacles, careers, audiences, and social practices.

Steven Adams (University of Hertfordshire) Art and Vaudeville: The formation of the petit maître in post-revolutionary France

Stephen Bann
(Bristol University) A Draughtsman’s Contract: Court and country in the work of Louis Lafitte

Allison Goudie (The National Gallery, London) Of Silhouettes and Sovereignty, Anagrams and Abdication: Post-revolutionary royal portraiture in print

Iris Moon (Metropolitan Museum of Art) Instruments of Agitation: The Napoleon fan and commemorative image-objects in post-revolutionary France

Daniel Harkett (Rhode Island School of Design) Putting Art Beyond the Reach of Time: Marie-Victoire Jaquotot, reproductive painting on porcelain and post-revolutionary fantasies of preservation

Ralph Ghoche (Barnard College, Columbia University) The ‘Petite École’ and the Promotion of ‘Minor’ Genres during the July Monarchy