In the March 2012 Issue of ‘French History’

Posted in journal articles by Editor on April 28, 2012

Selections from the current issue of French History:

Julian Wright and Penny Roberts, “Editors’ Note,” French History 26 (March 2012).

This issue allows us to mark a number of points about the continuing importance of the study of the French Revolution. Without having planned it as a special issue, it so happened that we have been able to publish together a number of important new studies of the French Revolutionary decade and its historiography. . .

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Claire Trévien, “Le monde à l’envers: The Carnivalesque in Prints of the Construction of the Fête de la Fédération of 1790,” French History 26 (March 2012).

Abstract: This article explores representations of the carnivalesque during the construction of the Fête de la Fédération of 1790. Bakhtin’s assertion that the carnival is always separate from official festivities is exemplified by this spontaneous manifestation which was shunned by officials and disregarded appropriate class and gender roles. This article focuses on the pictorial depiction of this unique event and discusses how a study of its iconography also reflects the suppression of the carnivalesque in early revolutionary Paris.

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David Gilks, “Art and Politics during the ‘First’ Directory: Artists’ Petitions and the Quarrel over the Confiscation of Works of Art from Italy in 1796,” French History 26 (March 2012).

Abstract: This article examines the place of artists’ petitions in the quarrel over confiscating works of art. It argues that the dispute provided opportunities for its participants to advance a series of distinct agendas that reflected political and professional concerns rather than judgements about the art in question. By tracing the earliest stages of the quarrel and radically reinterpreting Quatremère’s crucial contribution—his Letters on the Plan to Abduct the Monuments of Italy—as part of his reactionary politics, the article clarifies the meaning of the ensuing artists’ petitions. It argues that while Quatremère duped ‘insider’ artists into supporting the Papist cause by signing his petition questioning the confiscations, the artists themselves instead signed as a means to re-assert their status and right to patronage. The vituperative responses to his petition included a counter-petition supporting art confiscations; it was signed by ‘outsider’ artists, reluctant to let their more famous co-professionals monopolize the debate at their expense.

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