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Word and Image : French Painting of the Ancien Regime - Norman Bryson

Word and Image

French Painting of the Ancien Regime

Paperback Published: 28th November 1983
ISBN: 9780521276542
Number Of Pages: 300

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This book, now recognised as a classic, has done perhaps more than any other single work to change the face of art criticism in the twentieth century. Whereas previous books on French painting looked only at the history of painting as an evolution of artistic styles (baroque, rococo, neo-classical, and so on), Norman Bryson examines the evolution of narrative styles: the kinds of stories paintings tell, the ways they communicate their information, the different techniques of presenting the body as an instrument for incorporating textual messages. The procedure is applied to a number of painters: LeBrun, Watteau, Greuze, David and others, and the author demonstrates that the relation of formal and 'literary' elements was regarded by painters and critics in the eighteenth century as the primary issue to be confronted in the production of a painting.

'Word and Image repays the effort it demands in heaped measure, because Norman Bryson writes with rare intellectual exhilaration. On page after page, he detonates fresh ideas carrying far wider repercussions than his immediate subject matter. He himself has a way of turning pedagogy into pyrotechnics, just as the painters whom he discusses here with such commitment - LeBrun, Watteau, Greuze, Chardin, David - transform moral enigmas into paint.' Marina Warner, The Sunday Times

List of illustrations
Discourse, figure
The legible body: LeBrun
Watteau and reverie
Transformations in rococo space
Greuze and the pursuit of happiness
Diderot and the word
Diderot and the image
Conclusion: style or sign?
List of societies affiliated to CINOA
Select bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521276542
ISBN-10: 0521276543
Series: Cambridge Paperback Library
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 300
Published: 28th November 1983
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.71 x 17.48  x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.76