Art & architecture History Painting in France

Left: David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1801

Right: Géricault, The Wounded Cuirassier, 1814

Discuss the ways in which these pictures employ—and manipulate—the respective conventions of battle painting and equestrian portraiture. Bearing in mind the historical circumstances under which each picture was painted, consider the different ways in which they generate meaning. You are encouraged to refer to course readings—and additional images—to support your arguments.

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Essay Question One (@ 750 words)

Left: David, Oath of the Horatii, 1784

Right: Couture, Romans of the Decadence, 1847

Discuss the relationship between history painting and the considerable transformation of French society that took place between 1784 and 1847. You will want to consider:

  1. a) the formal and thematic conventions of the genre;

b); the changing relationship between history painting and other genres;

  1. c) the effects on history painting of changing political regimes;
  2. d) the ways in which history painting comments on contemporary issues and events.

These two paintings date from the beginning and the end of the period in question, so obviously you will want to refer to additional images. Remember to refer to your readings to support your arguments.

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