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Art in the Stacks: French Neoclassical Painting, March 23


The passions of mythological gods have been the subject of painting since the Greeks and Romans first told their stories to create an allegorical world for the lust and greed of humanity.  Lucky for us, the beauty and scandal portrayed by artists have been our feast ever since. 

Without exception, on Tuesday, March 23, Katie Hanson will address the amorous Greco-Roman mythological subjects in paintings by Anne-Louis Girodet, Pierre Guérin, and Jacques-Louis David.  Her presentation, “Mythopoesis in French Neoclassical Painting, 1790-1810,” will analyze paintings to reveal a previously unnoted thematic trend within French Neoclassical Painting.  This trend will be contextualized within a revalorization of myth-making in the late eighteenth century that obtains to contemporaneous mythography and theories of allegory in France, as yet overlooked in art-historical scholarship.  Join us for her presentation at 7:30 pm, in Room 300, in the Art & Architecture Reading Room, at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street and Fifth Ave.

Ms. Hanson received her Master’s degree in art history from Williams College and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center.  She has taught art history at City College and at the American University of Paris and has worked in the curatorial departments at the Morgan Library and Museum, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  She currently holds a CUNY Writing Fellowship.

To further satiate your curiosity, materials on this subject found either in the Library's circulating or reference collections include:
Emulation: David, Drouais & Girodet in the Art of Revolutionary France by Thomas Crow
Jacques-Louis David: Art in Metamorphosis by Dorothy Johnson
Geometries of Silence: Three Approaches to Neoclassical Art by Anna Ottani Cavina
Pen vs. Paintbrush: Girodet, Balzac & the Myth of Pygmalion in Post Revolutionary France by Alexandra K. Wettlaufer
Girodet, 1767-1824 by Sylvain Bellenger
Encylopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology by Mike Dixon Kennedy

A spring series of presentations and lectures highlights current research in the fine arts by scholars utilizing The Wertheim Study located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Upcoming Art in the Stacks programs include:

  • March 23, Tuesday, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. - Mythopoesis in French Neoclassical Painting, 1790-1810 with Katie Hanson
  • April 27, Tuesday, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. - Bernardo Strozzi: A Tale of Two Cities with Dr. Andaleeb Badiee Banta
  • May 25, Tuesday, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. - The Institutional Politics of Scholarship with Craig Houser

All programs in this Series will be held in Room 300, in the Art & Architecture Reading Room, at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street and Fifth Ave.


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There is a exhibition in Paris (musée d'Orsay, then also moving to the USA, Getty Museum) on the neoclassical painter Jean-Leon Gerome. A revival of neoclassical art?

Sounds like a possibility,

Sounds like a possibility, Alessandro. Hopefully, you will be able to see the exhibition. It sounds great.

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