The French Revolution of 1789 overthrew not just the church and aristocracy but also all traditional ideas of time, place and measurement. The new citizens used imagery from the Roman Republic to encapsulate their new civic rights and responsibilities. However, it would be the rising star of the Republican army, Napoleon Bonaparte who would seize the day with a new type of personal propaganda painting.
This series of three lectures will study the new subject matter of painting created during the formation of the Dutch Republic in 1581, the era of the French Revolution of 1789 and the rise of the Parisian bourgeoisie during the Second Empire from 1851. Religious art was no longer capable of depicting emerging ideas about civic and private virtue.
SYLVIA SAGONA is an internationally recognised specialist on 19th century French society. She retired from the French Department at The University of Melbourne to work on historical documentaries for French and Australian television and is currently researching a film on the invention of the restaurant in Paris in the 18th century.
Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748-1825), The Oath of the Horatii (Le Serment des Horaces), 1784, oil on canvas, 3.30 x 4.25 m (10' 10" x 13' 11”), collection of the Musée du Louvre, Paris, Public Domain