The Gamin de Paris in Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture: Delacroix, Hugo, and the French Social Imaginary (Routledge Research in Art History) (Hardcover)

The Gamin de Paris in Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture: Delacroix, Hugo, and the French Social Imaginary (Routledge Research in Art History) By Marilyn R. Brown Cover Image

The Gamin de Paris in Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture: Delacroix, Hugo, and the French Social Imaginary (Routledge Research in Art History) (Hardcover)

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The revolutionary boy at the barricades was memorably envisioned in Eug ne Delacroix's painting Liberty Leading the People (1830) and Victor Hugo's novel Les Mis rables (1862). Over the course of the nineteenth century, images of the Paris urchin entered the collective social imaginary as cultural and psychic sites of memory, whether in avant-garde or more conventional visual culture. Visual and literary paradigms of the mythical gamin de Paris were born of recurring political revolutions (1830, 1832, 1848, 1871) and of masculine, bourgeois identity constructions that responded to continuing struggles over visions and fantasies of nationhood. With the destabilization of traditional, patriarchal family models, the diminishing of the father's symbolic role, and the intensification of the brotherly urchin's psychosexual relationship with the allegorical motherland, what had initially been socially marginal eventually became symbolically central in classed and gendered inventions and repeated re-inventions of "fraternity," "people," and "nation." Within a fundamentally split conception of "the people," the bohemian boy insurrectionary, an embodiment of freedom, was transformed by ongoing discourses of power and reform, of victimization and agency, into a capitalist entrepreneur, schoolboy, colonizer, and budding military defender of the fatherland. A contested figure of the city became a contradictory emblem of the nation.

Marilyn R. Brown is author of Degas and the Business of Art: A Cotton Office in New Orleans (CAA Monograph, 1994) and editor of, and contributor to, Picturing Children: Constructions of Childhood Between Rousseau and Freud (Ashgate, 2002; Routledge 2017). She is professor of art history at the University of Colorado.
Product Details ISBN: 9781138231139
ISBN-10: 1138231134
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: May 12th, 2017
Pages: 152
Language: English
Series: Routledge Research in Art History