Enfilade

Lecture | Richard Taws, The Dauphin and his Doubles

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on May 22, 2014

From the Sydney Intellectual History Network:

Richard Taws, The Dauphin and his Doubles:
Visualizing Royal Imposture after the French Revolution
The University of Sydney, 10 June 2014

Co-presented with the Sydney Intellectual History Network (SIHN)

Portrait of Jean-Marie Hervagault, from Le Faux Dauphin actuellement en France, ou histoire d’un imposteur, se disant le dernier fils de Louis XVI (Paris: Lerouge, 1803)

Portrait of Jean-Marie Hervagault, from Le Faux Dauphin actuellement en France, ou histoire d’un imposteur, se disant le dernier fils de Louis XVI (Paris: Lerouge, 1803)

This lecture considers the authenticating agency attributed to images of the dauphin Louis-Charles, the son and heir of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, as they circulated globally in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Louis-Charles died at the age of ten in the Temple prison in 1795; yet, rumours soon spread that he had been freed in a secret royalist escape plot and continued to live somewhere, most probably in the French colonies or North America. During the course of the nineteenth century the numerous images of Louis-Charles produced before, during and after the French Revolution were invoked regularly as the primary standard of proof against which to judge the many imposters who subsequently came forward from around the world, accompanied by lurid tales of adventure, to announce themselves the ‘lost’ dauphin.

The appropriation of eighteenth-century images of Louis-Charles by these pretenders, as well as the paintings, prints and photographs they had made of themselves, were, in a rapidly transforming media ecology, closely connected to competing claims about the utility of different media in the production of the French past.

Richard Taws teaches eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art, with a particular interest in the visual culture of the French Revolution and its aftermath. He taught previously at McGill University, Canada, and has been a Getty Postdoctoral Fellow (2006–07) and a Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2010). He is a member of the editorial board of Art History and the current recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2013–15). Richard’s recent research focuses on everyday, ephemeral and obsolete forms of visual culture and related issues to do with time, materiality and value in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His first book, The Politics of the Provisional: Art and Ephemera in Revolutionary France (2013), examines how provisional images and objects made in 1790s France mediated both the Revolution’s memory and its future, with important implications for how citizens became constructed as political subjects.

Wednesday, 10 June 2014, 6.00–7.30pm
Law School LT 106
Level 1, Sydney Law School Annex
Eastern Avenue
The University of Sydney

Registration information for this free event is available here»

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