Chains: David, Canova, and the Fall of the Public Hero in Postrevolutionary France

Chains: David, Canova, and the Fall of the Public Hero in Postrevolutionary France

by Satish Padiyar
     
 

ISBN-10: 0271029633

ISBN-13: 9780271029634

Pub. Date: 08/28/2007

Publisher: Penn State University Press

One of Jacques-Louis David’s most ambitious and darkly enigmatic paintings, Leonidas at the Pass of Thermopylae, hangs today in the Louvre, largely ignored. Focusing on this painting, Chains embarks on a discourse about the perception of the body, sexuality, and subjectivity in early nineteenth-century European art.

In addition to David,

Overview

One of Jacques-Louis David’s most ambitious and darkly enigmatic paintings, Leonidas at the Pass of Thermopylae, hangs today in the Louvre, largely ignored. Focusing on this painting, Chains embarks on a discourse about the perception of the body, sexuality, and subjectivity in early nineteenth-century European art.

In addition to David, Chains explores the sculptural oeuvre of David’s contemporary and rival, Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. Padiyar argues that, like David’s postrevolutionary work, Canova’s innovative sculptures embodied a new, distinctively modern type of subjectivity. The book aims to take a fresh view of the status of the male body in the work of these two late neoclassical artists by linking them in novel, sometimes unexpected ways with key figures of the late Enlightenment. In postrevolutionary Europe, philosophical and literary figures such as Immanuel Kant and the Marquis de Sade pushed the language of neoclassicism to its limits. Chains argues that such innovations produced a new, distinctively sexed, politicized, and aestheticized heroic male body that emerged as an incidental aftereffect of the French Revolution.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271029634
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2007
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.59(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Heroism After the French Revolution: Davids Leonidas at Thermopylae

2. Inheriting Greek Eros: Anacreontism and Homosexual Desire

3. Kant and the Postrevolutionary Subject: The Aesthetics of Freedom

4. Subject and Surface: Canova and the Reinvention of Classical Sculpture

5. Sade/David, in Chains

Appendix

Select Bibliography

Index

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