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Necklines The Art of Jacques-Louis David After the Terror cover
  • ISBN: 9780300074215
  • ISBN10: 0300074212

Necklines The Art of Jacques-Louis David After the Terror

by Ewa Lajer-Burcharth

  • List Price: $80.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/1999
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Description
Twice imprisoned after the fall of Robespierre, French painter Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) faced an artistic and personal crisis as the political and cultural values he had embraced crumbled in the mid-1790s. This strikingly original book examines the crucial period of David's artistic career as he struggled both to "save his neck" and to recast his identity in the aftermath of the Reign of Terror. Ewa Lajer-Burcharth examines David's work in the context of the larger cultural and social formations emerging in France and offers a fascinating new perspective on his paintings and on French artistic culture at an important moment in its history.

The book begins with a close examination of the work David produced while in prison. Lajer-Burcharth first considers the artist's self-representation focusing on Self-Portrait and Abandoned Psyche, and addresses his crisis of individual identity. She goes on to look at David's effort to redefine himself as a history painter after the Terror and at his engagement with the collective memory of the Revolution. In her analysis of the broader search for a new republican identity, the author frames her discussion around David's Sabine Women, the sketches for which he had prepared in prison, and places special attention on the privileged role of women and femininity as signs that both David and other citizens employed to establish distance and difference from the Terror. The book concludes with a brilliant interpretation of David's unfinished portrait of Juliette Recamier and its complex relation to the process of cultural reinvention of the self as a function of desire.

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374pp., 155 black & white illustrations, 11 colour plates.
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