"The Artist and the State, 1777-1855 ": The Politics of Universal History in British and French Painting

The Artist and the State, 1777-1855: The Politics of Universal History in British & French Painting is the first book-length study to examine political uses of 'universal history', or the philosophy of history, in European art from 1777 to 1855. Daniel R. Guernsey discusses a range of mural paintings and sculptural works produced in England and France between the American Revolution and the Universal Exposition of 1855, comparing the ways artists such as James Barry, Eug? Delacroix, Paul Chenavard, David d'Angers, and Gustave Courbet expressed linear or cyclical histories of progress and decline. By considering the work of these important European artists together, he reveals not only the rich artistic interaction that took place between England and France - as well as Germany - at this time, but also how the notion of 'universal history' was to become a major preoccupation in the work of these individual artists, each one participating in shaping a highly significant mode of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century political art.