Enfilade

Art History, June 2017

Posted in journal articles, reviews by Editor on May 23, 2017

The eighteenth century in the current issue of Art History:

Art History 40.3 (June 2017)

A R T I C L E S

Louis-Michel Van Loo, Carle Van Loo and His Family, 1757; oil on canvas, 200 × 156 cm (Musée National du Château de Versailles).

• Emma Barker, ” ‘No Picture More Charming’: The Family Portrait in Eighteenth-Century France,” pp. 526–53.

During the eighteenth century, so it is conventionally argued, the family portrait underwent a decisive transformation. Hitherto stiff and formal, such pictures took on a new informality and intimacy in response to the rise of a new set of domestic ideals. In the case of French family portraiture, this narrative has continued to be rehearsed in a largely uncritical way. What has not been adequately grasped to date is the way that such pictures functioned to legitimate the sitters and, more particularly, the male head of the family in the eyes of an external beholder. Although sometimes commissioned by a royal or noble family in response to a dynastic crisis, they most often functioned to consolidate the social ascent of wealthy commoners. The changes that the family portrait underwent during this period are bound up with the shift of political authority away from the absolute monarch towards the public sphere.

R E V I E W S

• Michael Schreffler, Review of Ananda Cohen Suarez, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes (University of Texas Press, 2016), pp. 672–74.

• T. A. Heslop, Review of Christy Anderson, Anne Dunlop, and Pamela H. Smith, eds., The Matter of Art: Materials, Practices, Cultural Logics, c. 1250–1750 (Manchester University Press, 2014), pp. 681–82.

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