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The Perfect Foil : Francois-Andre Vincent and the Revolution in French Painting - Elizabeth C. Mansfield

The Perfect Foil

Francois-Andre Vincent and the Revolution in French Painting

Paperback Published: 1st March 2012
ISBN: 9780816675814
Number Of Pages: 320

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Art history is haunted by the foil: the dark star whose diminished luster sets off another’s brilliance. Relegated to this role by modern historians of Revolutionary-era French art, François-André Vincent (1746–1816) is chiefly viewed in the reflection of his contemporary, Jacques-Louis David. The Perfect Foil frees Vincent from this distorting mirror. Offering a nuanced and historically accurate account of Vincent’s life and work, Elizabeth C. Mansfield reveals the artist’s profound influence on the visual culture of the French Revolution—and, paradoxically, on the art historical narrative that would consign him to obscurity.

The Vincent of The Perfect Foil is an artist whose life and work responded to cultural conditions—religious difference, emotional bonds, institutional pressures—only now finding their way into art historical accounts of the period. A successful academician despite his status as a member of the Protestant minority, a leading reformer of arts institutions during the Revolution, the progenitor of French Romanticism, and the husband of one of the period’s most celebrated women artists, François-André Vincent emerges in these pages as an embodiment of the ambivalences and contradictions of life in France in the wake of the Enlightenment.

By giving us a detailed and faithful portrait of this artist poised at the turning point of history, Mansfield restores a critically important body of work to its rightful place in the story of French art and reorients Revolutionary-era French art history toward a broader, more inclusive understanding of the period.

Industry Reviews

"Elizabeth Mansfield's The Perfect Foil is a remarkable piece of scholarship that both transcends and transforms the genre of the art historical monograph. It is a sophisticated work that expands the way we conceive of how the visual arts and politics interacted during the French Revolution. Mansfield's provocative and methodological surefootedness will make readers aware of the contingencies that inform their own thinking." -Julie Anne Plax, author of Watteau and the Cultural Politics of Eighteenth Century France

Prefacep. vii
p. 1
Growing Up an Artist on the Rue Neuve des Petits Champsp. 23
The Prix de Romep. 47
The Judgment of Parisp. 75
Painting Women of Virtue and Women of Virtusp. 97
The Revolution in French Artp. 131
Down with the Tyrantp. 159
The Unfinished Masterpiecep. 189
Conclusionp. 211
Acknowledgmentsp. 217
Notesp. 219
Indexp. 289
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780816675814
ISBN-10: 0816675813
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st March 2012
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.73

Earn 147 Qantas Points
on this Book