The Interiorization of Identity: Portrait Busts and The Politics of Selfhood In Pre- And Early Revolutionary France

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

In Anne-Flore Millet’s portrait of Marie-Antoinette awaiting her execution in the Conciergerie, the queen is seated, in a nearly-monochromatic interior, in front of a grated prison-like window and next to a grisailles-painted sculptural portrait of her husband, King Louis XVI (Figure 6. 1) . Although this representational formula of a sitter next to a bust on a table was common in eighteenth-century imagery, in reality, portrait busts rarely stood on tables within French interiors. This chapter seeks to explore the motivation and aims of the artists using this formula, which communicated a familiar yet imaginary setting. The main argument is that portrait busts in pre- and early Revolutionary France functioned as reflections of certain selfhoods and that, when placed in an interior setting, the bust emblematized mental interiority.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesigning the French Interior
Subtitle of host publicationThe Modern Home and Mass Media
EditorsAnca I. Lasc, Georgina Downey , Mark Taylor
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Pages83-93
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780857857835, 9781474254991
ISBN (Print)9780857856593
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Engineering

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