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Charles Willson Peale: Art and Selfhood in the Early Republic Hardcover – August 9, 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"A masterly portrait, and an interpretive tour de force." - Charles C. Eldredge, author of Tales from the Easel "This is an invaluable critical study of Charles Willson Peale - clear, erudite, and imaginative. Ward shows what went wrong as well as right in Peale's lifelong attempts at self-fashioning, giving us a richer picture than ever before of this restless American figure." - Alexander Nemerov, author of The Body of Raphaelle Peale; "One of the hallmarks of public life after the Revolution was the desire of notable Americans to fashion their own enduring reputations. This exquisite book lucidly and compellingly investigates how Charles Willson Peale expressed and controlled his image. David C. Ward takes us on a remarkable journey through the labyrinth of a major artist's evolving self-consciousness during the early Republic." - Paul Staiti, Mount Holyoke College"

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"At last, Charles Willson Peale is revealed, compleat and complex: as the familiar and essential artist and scientist, to be sure, but also as the patriot, parent, publicist, and more. David Ward's astute examination of this unique polymath introduces unexpected aspects of the man and, in so doing, sheds new light on the genius of the American Enlightenment. A masterly portrait, and an interpretive tour de force."—Charles C. Eldredge, author of Tales from the Easel: American Narrative Paintings

"This is an invaluable critical study of Charles Willson Peale—clear, erudite, and imaginative. Ward shows what went wrong as well as right in Peale's lifelong attempts at self-fashioning, giving us a richer picture than ever before of this restless American figure."—Alexander Nemerov, author of The Body of Raphaelle Peale: Still Life and Selfhood, 1812-1824

"One of the hallmarks of public life after the Revolution was the desire of notable Americans to fashion their own enduring reputations. This exquisite book lucidly and compellingly investigates how Charles Willson Peale expressed and controlled his image—in his ostensibly private autobiographical writing as well as in public forums such as self-portraiture and the production of spectacles and events. David C. Ward reassembles the visual and verbal conversations Peale conducted with and within himself over the course of five decades, and in doing so takes us on a remarkable journey through the labyrinth of a major artist's evolving self-consciousness during the early Republic."—Paul Staiti, Professor of Fine Arts on the Alumnae Foundation, Mount Holyoke College
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (August 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520239601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520239609
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,376,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By H. Lake on November 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As Peale was a wonderfully typical yet extraordinary Enlightenment man, so David C. Ward reflects these sometimes complex combinations in his multi-layered style. Written with elegant poeticism yet laiden with fact and academic detail, this book is a joy to read. A wonderful balance between autobiographical insight into Peale's character and a scholarly take on 'enlightened' American society, Ward triumphally balances both the subject and the reader's attention. By applying, for example, philosophical insight to his subject, to art and to historical events with seamless ease, Ward makes a great contribution to the study of an age and a man.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book allowed me to better understand Charles Willson Peale. A man who gave a lot to our developing country.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Ward has a charming way with words and his subject is very interesting.
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