cover of book

Visualizing the Revolution: Politics and Pictorial Arts in Late Eighteenth-Century France
by Hubertus Kohle and Rolf Reichardt
Reaktion Books, 2008
Cloth: 978-1-86189-312-3 | eISBN: 978-1-86189-635-3


The French Revolution was marked by a wealth of imagery and visual symbolism that inspired the masses to fight for freedom. Visualizing the Revolution surveys the rich and multifaceted visual culture of the French Revolution, exploring its creation and how it conveyed the new revolutionary sensibilities of the era.

            Unlike most studies on art of the French Revolution, Visualizing the Revolution embraces a wide range of artistic genres—including prints, architecture, painting, and sculpture—and also draws upon archival documents to investigate the period’s aesthetic concerns. The authors break new ground in methodology and interpretative practice as they tease out the web of connections between these various historical artifacts and argue for the central place of the arts in the transmission of ideas and the political manipulation of the populace. The book translates the provocatively new visual language revealed in these artworks and writings and shows how its emphasis on metaphor, allegory, and symbolism transformed French mass visual culture.  An innovative and lushly illustrated study, Visualizing the Revolution is a worthy new contribution to scholarship on the French Revolution and the history of French art.

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