About Politics and Portraits in the United States and France during the Age of Revolution
This collection of essays explore the way portraits intersected with politics during the Revolutionary and Imperial Eras in The United States and France.
The portraits examined in this book highlight the challenges artists faced in the conceptualization, concretization, and promotion of political identity in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Portrait scholars T. Lawrence Larkin, Brandon Brame Fortune, Philippe Bordes, Amy Freund, and Margaretta Lovell provide thematic introductions dedicated to separate trends in the fashioning of Revolutionary and Federal/Imperial identity including the challenges of representing a strong leader, republican assembly, free citizen, and the uncovering of overlooked people or patterns. These thematic introductions are followed by essays that offer case studies of artists negotiating the desires and interests of their prominent patrons including Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, among others. These essays analyze how artists in the United States and France grappled with how abstract notions of individual liberty, delegated powers, and collective governance can be invested in drawn, painted, printed, or mapped likenesses of high-ranking individuals during the Age of Revolution.