Paul Delaroche: History Painted

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Reaktion Books, 1997 - Art - 304 pages
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  Paul Delaroche’s works were heralded as masterpieces in the nineteenth century, and the man himself was lauded in 1853 by one Italian critic as “at the summit of all living painters.” But while his paintings themselves are still familiar to many, Delaroche the artist fell into almost total obscurity during the twentieth century. Stephen Bann addresses this lacuna in art scholarship, presenting an in-depth examination of Delaroche’s career.
            Bann situates Delaroche and his wide-ranging oeuvre in the context of early nineteenth-century visual culture. From his early historical paintings to experimental pieces influenced by photography, the book analyzes each stage of Delaroche’s artistic development—as well as his major masterpieces such as The Execution of Lady Jane Grey and The Princes in the Tower. Bann also analyzes the numerous reproductions of Delaroche’s works in a variety of visual mediums, including engravings by Mercuri and Henriquel-Dupont, lithographs, popular prints, and the photographs that illustrated Delaroche’s first retrospective catalog.
            An unparalleled and lushly illustrated study, Paul Delaroche restores a neglected master to his rightful place in nineteenth-century European art.

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About the author (1997)

Stephen Bann is Professor in the Department of History of Art at the University of Bristol, and has published widely in the field of contemporary art. He is co-editor of Interpreting Contemporary Art(Reaktion, 1991), editor of Frankenstein, Creation and Monstrosity(Reaktion, 1994) and author of Romanticism and the Rise of History(1995) and Jannis Kounellis(Reaktion, 2003).

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