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3.7 Massacres of Chios – a critical stir

Chauvin viewed both Delacroix’s subject and his technique as barbaric: the painting dealt with no eternal truths and delivered no inspiring lesson. Other complaints were voiced about the rough brushwork that called attention to itself in such a non-academic manner. The ‘cadaverous tint’ of the bodies also drew criticism. Gros, whose own compositional experiments had inspired Delacroix, allegedly called the picture the ‘massacre of painting’ (quoted in Johnson, 1981, p.87), while Ste
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Acknowledgements

This course was written by Dr Linda Walsh.

This free course is an adapted extract from the course A207 From Enlightenment to Romanticism c.1780-1830, which is currently out of presentation

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Author(s): The Open University

References

Preéz Sánchez, A.E. and Sayre, E.A. (1989) Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment (exhibition catalogue), Boston, Toronto and London, Bulfinch Press.
Tomlinson, J. (1992) Goya in the Twilight of Enlightenment, New Haven and London, Yale University Press.
Tomlinson, J. (1994) Francisco Goya y Lucientes, 1746–1828, London, Phaidon. (This contains as append
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3.2 The propaganda function of Jaffa

When Jaffa was exhibited in 1804, it was greeted with great acclaim and would thus seem to have fulfilled the propaganda purpose for which it was intended. Like The Battle of Nazareth, it deals with the later stages of the Egyptian campaign after the French had invaded Syria, which, like Egypt, formed part of the Ottoman (Turkish) empire. The French assault on Jaffa in March 1799 culminated in the massacre on Bonaparte's orders of some 2,500–3,000 Turks, who had surrendered th
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3.1.1 Bonaparte Visiting the Plague-Stricken of Jaffa

First and foremost, Jaffa (like Eylau) contributed to the personality cult of Napoleon, which formed the core of the regime's propaganda. In this respect, however, it is important to note that this painting, exhibited in the Salon of 1804, was actually one of the first military scenes commissioned by the regime to exalt Napoleon in this way. This was largely because it took some time before the propaganda machine needed to organize a large-scale system of official patronage was
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3.1 The limits of propaganda

Although portraits of Napoleon were manufactured on a large scale and distributed widely, they could only act as propaganda for the regime up to a certain point. Given the institutional circumstances sketched out in the introduction to this course, the most effective way to use art as propaganda was with large-scale history paintings that would attract the attention and excite the interest of a large audience when they were exhibited in the Salon. State patronage for such painting was revived
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2.7 Legitimating the regime

The failure of Ingres's painting is revealing of the problems of political legitimation faced by the regime. If it was difficult to justify the authority of a ruler who had seized power, it was even harder to justify a monarchy based on usurpation (the authority Napoleon had usurped being either that of the Bourbon dynasty from a royalist point of view or that of the people from a republican one). Ingres's image of timeless, otherworldly majesty can thus be seen as compensating, or rather try
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2.5 The emperor

With Napoleon's coronation as emperor in 1804, a new type of official image was once again required. Portraits of the emperor in his ceremonial robes were commissioned from several established artists; these all revived a traditional type of royal portraiture from the eighteenth century. The example shown in Plate 10 is by a former David student, Francois Gérard (1770–1837), by now a fashionable portrait painter (see Author(s): The Open University

2.4 The First Consul

Clickto see plate 11 Antoine-Jean Gros, Bonaparte as First Consul, 1802, oil on canvas, 205 x 127 cm, Musée Nationale de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris. Photo: Bridgeman Art Library

Exercise

Look at Gros's Bon
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2.3 The military leader

Let us now consider another relatively early portrait, David's Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, in which the then First Consul is shown at the Great Saint Bernard at the start of the campaign which led to the defeat of the Austrians at Marengo in June 1800 (see Plate 10). In fact, Bonaparte had actually crossed the Alps on a humble mule rather than
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2.2 Hero or great man?

Exercise

Read the following passage from the Encydopédie article ‘Hero’, considering what qualities identify the hero as opposed to the great man. Which type of man seems to owe more to innate talent and ge
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • analyse paintings centred on the human figure in terms of how a work's form and content together produce its meaning

  • explain how and why French painting came to be used and controlled by the Napoleonic regime

  • discuss the problems of interpretation raised by Gros's Napoleonic paintings

  • locate Napoleonic painting within the broad shift from Neoclassicism to Romanticism in French art.
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References

Anon. (1861) ‘Carte de visite portraits’, The Photographic News, vol.5, no. 150, pp.341–2.
Anon. (1863) ‘Photography and bad taste’, The Photographic News, vol.7, no.240, 10 April, pp. 174–5. Reprinted from the London Review.
Anon. (1884) ‘By the bye – the stronger will’, The Photographic News, vol.28, no. 1346, p.388.

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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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6.3 Seaside photography

Image 88 Photographer/Painter: Anon. Subject: New Brighton beach featuri
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6.2.2 Informational content

Obviously for the purpose of historical record, portraits taken in the context of the family home can be more informative than those taken inside the studio with its make-believe settings.

Activity 24

Compare the
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5.6.3 Honeymoons

Image 65 Photographer/Painter: Alfred Pettit, Keswick. Subject: Ben Naylor and his new wife C
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5.6.2 Engagement and marriage

Of all rites of passage celebrated in the Victorian family album, those taken at the time of engagement and marriage are by far the most numerous. This testifies to the importance vested in marriage by the Victorians. The custom of commissioning oil or miniature portraits at the time of an engagement or marriage was well established before the advent of photography. Photography enabled couples on more modest incomes to indulge a practice that became widespread among working-class families by
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5.6.1 Young adults

Activity 20

Look closely at Images 54 and 55. Can you identify the two features which distinguished a girl from a young woman in the Victorian and Edwardian period?


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4.9.3 Limited characterisation

The other function of lighting was, inevitably, to assist characterization. Since Robinson advised portrait photographers to show sitters as moderately calm ladies and gentlemen, the lighting in commercial work is usually quiet and uniform, without dramatic contrasts of light and shade. This was intended to suggest tranquillity, harmony and self-control, in keeping with the limited stereotypical characterization discussed previously.

The use of lighting to convey dramatic characterizati
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