Enfilade

Reviewed: ‘The Temperamental Nude’

Posted in books, Member News, reviews by Editor on July 23, 2011

Recently added to caa.reviews:

Tony Halliday, The Temperamental Nude: Class, Medicine and Representation in Eighteenth-Century France, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2010), 272 pages, ISBN: 9780729409940, £55.

Reviewed by Dorothy Johnson, University of Iowa; posted 14 July 2011.

In “The Temperamental Nude: Class, Medicine and Representation in Eighteenth-Century France,” the late Tony Halliday studies a neglected facet of visual representation in Enlightenment culture, namely, the revival and significance of the theory of the temperaments and its impact on the depiction of the human figure, specifically the male figure, in painting, sculpture, and prints. His study focuses principally on mid- to late eighteenth-century France, with particular emphasis on the Revolutionary period. The contested idea of the new citizen (who was male according to French convention and law) and his fluctuating image in the visual arts during the Revolution, Republic, and Directory (1789–99) constitute the principal matter of the book. . . .

The full review is available here» (CAA membership required)