The Origins of French Art Criticism: From the Ancien Régime to the Restoration

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9780198173960: The Origins of French Art Criticism: From the Ancien Régime to the Restoration

This is the first comprehensive survey of the formation of French art criticism that looks beyond the celebrated leading lights, such as Diderot and Stendhal, to examine the historical circumstances which made art criticism a flourishing journalistic venture. Between the mid-eighteenth century and the 1820s, art critical writing became an established feature of the Parisian art world. Wrigley considers the discourse of art criticism in the context of the dynamic political changes witnessed during this period, locating the history of criticism within patterns of publishing, censorship, and authorship and paying particular attention to the Salon exhibitions which provided the central focus for both official and dissenting estimations of the state of French art.

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About the Author:

Dr Richard Wrigley is senior lecturer in Art History, Thames Valley University.

Review:

'Massively researched and patiently argued. It should become essential reading for anyone interested in the early modern period. Criticism constitutes a major contribution to the growing literature on late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century French art.'
Andrew McClellan, Tufts University, Burlington Magazine

`Wrigley presents a great deal of extremely useful information in his book, which is not too brief, but never too long, without offering an obtrusive conceptual framework. His account thus is infinitely more valuabe than most of currently fashionalb speculative art history, for is makes
acceddible a great boidy of evidence deriveed from years of archival research...The cumulative effect of this extremely important analysis is revelatory,,,what is most valuable are the drawings showing the actual appearance of these Salons, for they give the reader the illusion of actually looking
in upon the artworld whose representations by critics Wrigley has lovingly reconstructed.'
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

Wrigley presents a great deal of extremely useful information in his book, which is not brief, but never too long, without offering an obtrusive conceptional framework. His account thus is infinitely more valuable than most of the currently fashionable speculative art history, for it makes
accessible a great body of evidence derived from years of archival research...The cummulative effect of this extremely important analysis is revelatory...what is most valuable are the drawings showing the actual appearance of these Salons, for they give the reader the illusion of actually looking in
upon the artworld whose representations by critics Wrigley has lovingly reconstructed.

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