- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (June 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300088876
- ISBN-13: 978-0300088878
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,039,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Extremities: Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
It is Grigsby's notion-not surprising on the face of it-that some of the great French paintings of the period between 1794 and 1826 ought to be examined against the hectic background of national colonial aspirations and the politics of slavery. Along with extended studies of Gros's "Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa," Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa," and Delacroix's "Massacres of Chios" and "Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi," there are equally elaborated essays on Girodet's lesser-known "Portrait of Citizen Belley" and "Revolt of Cairo." Each of these six investigative meditations manifests the author's superb understanding of the historical and cultural environment in which the paintings was executed and a real sensibility to its figurative properties. Yet at the same time the author distances us from them by a veil of arcane theory and psychosexual assertion. Thus, for example, Grigsby (history of art, Berkeley) forges a nuanced reading of the politics and art criticism surrounding Gros's "Plague" victims while propounding an array of dubious notions about its latent eroticism. Similarly, the exfoliation of Gericault's "Raft" is illuminated in terms of contemporary colonial and racial ideology and yet is befogged by lucubrations on cannibalism and bizarre intimations of sexuality. In short, a volume destined for controversy and yet requisite for advanced art history libraries.
Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Powerfully argued, eloquent, and exciting...An original contribution, and a touchstone for future studies of the period. -- Choice