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Look Inside The Modern Portrait in Nineteenth-Century France

The Modern Portrait in Nineteenth-Century France

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  • Date Published: May 2001
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521773614

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About the Authors
  • 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 directly threatened with obsolescence by the proliferation of photographic images. In six case studies, McPherson explores the complex interplay between painting and photography, while also addressing the sociocultural, stylistic, and phenomenological complexities of the modern portrait. 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.

    • Highly interdisciplinary
    • Will appeal to an educated audience outside of the academy
    • Offers color plates
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2001 Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research and Publication

    Reviews & endorsements

    '[McPherson's] focus on the history of portraiture has produced a body of essays, exhibitions, and this monograph, exceptional in quality and filling a major void in the scholarship on portraiture in general and modern portraiture in particular.' Southeastern College Art Conference Award Citation

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521773614
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 261 x 183 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.99kg
    • contains: 101 b/w illus. 6 colour illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: likeness, transfiguration, and modern identity: portraiture and the problematics of representation
    1. Courbet and Baudelaire: portraiture against the grain of photography
    2. La Divine Comtesse: (re)presenting the anatomy of the Courtesan
    3. Sarah Bernhardt: portrait of the actress as spectacle
    4. Cézanne: self-portraiture and the problematics of representation
    5. Jacques-Emile Blanche: the Ecriture of a portraitist
    6. Proust and Vuillard: the artist as metaphysician
    Epilogue: portraiture as a disappearing and reappearing act.

  • Author

    Heather McPherson, University of Alabama, Birmingham


    • Winner of the 2001 Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research and Publication

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