Historical Portraiture: French
(also see Morisot, Vigée Le Brun)
Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France by Amy Freund - Hardcover: 312 pages Publisher: Penn State University Press (June 30, 2014) Best Seller

Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France challenges widely held assumptions about both the genre of portraiture and the political and cultural role of images in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century. After 1789, portraiture came to dominate French visual culture because it addressed the central challenge of the Revolution: how to turn subjects into citizens.

The Painted Face: Portraits of Women in France, 1814-1914 by Ms. Tamar Garb (Author) – Hardcover: 288 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (September 26, 2007)

The meaning of a painted portrait and even its subject may be far more complex than expected, Tamar Garb reveals in this book. She charts for the first time the history of French female portraiture from its heyday in the early nineteenth century to its demise in the early twentieth century, showing how these paintings illuminate evolving social attitudes and aesthetic concerns in France over the course of the century.

The author builds the discussion around six canonic works by Ingres, Manet, Cassatt, Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse, beginning with Ingres’s idealized portrait of Mme de Sennones and ending with Matisse’s elegiac last portrait of his wife. During the hundred years that separate these works, the female portrait went from being the ideal genre for the expression of painting’s capacity to describe and embellish “nature,” to the prime locus of its refusal to do so. Picasso’s Cubism, and specifically Ma Jolie, provides the fulcrum of this shift.


Renoir's Women by Ann Dumas, John Collins – Hardcover: 127 pages Publisher: Merrell (September 2005)

Reader Review: I purchased this book after viewing this exhibition and i must say it includes alot of paintings that were not in the exhibit and all that were. The reproductions are beautiful, the text is very informative, however, i wish some of the images were larger. Nonetheless, definately a incredible addition to my collection of art books. Thanks!

Portraiture in Paris Around 1800: Cooper Penrose by Jacques-Louis David by Philippe Bordes – Paperback: 80 pages Publisher: Timken Museum of Art (June 1, 2004)

Focusing on portrait painting in Paris during the Consulate (November 1799 to May 1804), this book explores the contextual nexus in which the Portrait of Cooper Penrose was created. Philippe Bordes considers how this picture relates to other works painted by David during this period and to portraits painted by the artist's contemporaries, and also explores the political and social consequences of David's attitude to Bonaparte, the artist's relations with his clients, and the state of his family finances during this period.

This investigation of the Portrait of Cooper Penrose constitutes the most complete analysis of the picture ever undetaken. Bordes proposes that Penrose selected David as his portraitist not only because of his international renown as an artist, but also because of his reputation as a Revolutionary.

Facing the Public: Portraiture in the Aftermath of the French Revolution by Anthony Halliday – Hardcover, 280 pages (February 2000) Manchester Univ Press


Facing the Public: Portraiture in the Aftermath of the French Revolution by Anthony Halliday – Paperback, 280 pages (February 2000) Manchester Univ Press

Emphasizing the social and theoretical framework of portrait production in the 1790s, the author argues that the history of art in the French Revolution looks significantly different from the view that arises from the study of public narrative art. He contends that the Revolution did not bring about the decline of artistic production, it simply changed the subjects of the production.

Academie Royale: A History in Portraits by Hannah Williams – Hardcover: 366 pages; Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Company; New edition (March 28, 2015)

From its establishment in 1648 until its disbanding in 1793 after the French Revolution, the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture was the centre of the Parisian art world. Taking the reader behind the scenes of this elite bastion of French art theory, education, and practice, this engaging study uncovers the fascinating histories - official and unofficial - of that artistic community. Through an innovative approach to portraits - their values, functions, and lives as objects - this book explores two faces of the Academie.

The Portraits of Madame de Pompadour: Celebrating the Femme Savante (The Discovery Series) by Elise Goodman – Hardcover, 208 pages Publisher: University of California Press – 1st edition (March 2, 2000)

The femme savante portraits of Mme de Pompadour (1721-1764), the beautiful and cultivated woman who became the official mistress of Louis XV, are the focus of Elise Goodman's innovative study. The portraits are generally admired as the most glamorous, celebrated likenesses of a woman created during the French Enlightenment, and Goodman's book is the first to fully examine them in the context of the highly saturated feminist atmosphere that existed at the time.

The Modern Portrait in Nineteenth-Century France by Heather McPherson – Hardcover: 308 pages Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 26, 2001)

The Modern Portrait in Nineteenth-Century France examines the evolution of portraiture after the advent of photography. Heather McPherson focuses on the portrait as a contested site of representation and the diverse strategies that artists deployed to revitalize the portrait during the second half of the nineteenth century, when the genre was threatened with obsolescence by the ubiquitous photographic image. By considering portraiture within the broader cultural matrix of history, biography, artistic and literary crosscurrents, and shifts in the production and consumption of images, McPherson deftly situates the modern portrait at the epicenter of nineteenth-century visual culture.

Degas Portraits by Edgar Degas (Editor), Marianne Karabelnik (Editor), Felix Baumann (Editor) – Hardcover, 372 pages (March 1995) Merrell Holerton Publishers


The French Portrait: 1550-1850 by Alan Wintermute – Hardcover (June 1996) University of Washington Press

This book is divided into two parts. The first section is an historical survey of the development of French portraiture tracing its roots back to Jean Fouquet and his gothic forebears and thence following its progress through the Renaissance onto the triumphs of the Rococo, culminating with the neo-classical masterpieces of David and Ingres. This study is the first such survey to have been made available to the English-speaking public for many years. It is written to serve both as an accessible introduction to this fascinating genre and as a useful work of reference on the subject. It is illustrated with over seventy-five color plates. This volume was published to accompany an exhibition devoted to French portraiture which was held at Colnaghi's New York galleries. The full-page plates illustrate the exhibited works. They are then discussed in the brief catalogue entries which form the second part of this publication.

Renoir's Portraits: Impressions of an Age by Colin B. Bailey, Linda Nochlin, Anne Distel, Auguste Renoir – Hardcover, 344 pages Yale Univ Press, 1997

This sumptuously illustrated book is the first devoted exclusively to Renoir`s portraiture, and in it are gathered the finest examples of the portraits he painted during each period of his prolific career. In these delightful paintings Renoir creates uniquely endearing and enduring images of pleasure, comfort, and prosperity.

Masterpieces from Versailles: Three Centuries of French Portraiture by Alden R Gordon – Unknown Binding: 127 pages Publisher: For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Office (1983)



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