Distinguished Images: Prints and the Visual Economy in Nineteenth-Century France

Distinguished Images: Prints and the Visual Economy in Nineteenth-Century France

by Stephen Bann


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This multifaceted book reviews the vast range of types of printmaking that flourished in France during the 19th century. Studies of this period’s printmaking tend to be confined to histories of individual processes, such as lithography or steel engraving. This study surveys the field as a whole and discusses the relationships between the various media in the context of an overall “visual economy.”

Lithography, etching, and engraving are all examined through new research on noteworthy artists of the period, including Hyacinthe Aubry-Lecomte, Léopold Flameng, Ferdinand Gaillard, Aimé de Lemud, Nadar, and Charles Waltner. Rather than simply tracing the rise of Modernism in the 19th century, Distinguished Images reconstitutes the period’s cultural milieu through a series of case studies written with an eye to overarching forces at play. The result is the most original analysis of printmaking to appear in many years—a striking new account of a system in which printmaking, printmakers, and art critics played heretofore unrecognized or misunderstood roles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300177275
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 06/11/2013
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 10.40(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Stephen Bann is emeritus professor and senior research fellow, Bristol University, United Kingdom.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Note to the Reader ix

Introduction: The View from 1863 1

1 Reproducing the Mono Lisa 21

2 Representing Normandy 47

3 Nadar in Retrospect 87

4 Is Lithography an Art? Aubry-Lecomte and Lemud 121

5 Exit Etching: Flameng, Waltner, Gaillard 169

Notes 218

Bibliography 243

Index 251

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