Review by Choice Review
Eighteen short but densely informative essays, most by British scholars of French literature, undertake to clarify the complex totality of the relations between visual art and literature in 19th-century France. P. Bourdieu's lucid overview of the rise of the art for art's sake aesthetic, articulated in literary art criticism and novels inspired by the more radical refusals of painters, serves as a frame for closer studies of Baudelaire's Delacroix, Huysmans's C'ezanne, Zola's Manet and Manet's Zola, Val'ery and Rodin's Orpheus, and Balzac and Ingres's portraits. The succinct discussion by M. Moriarty of the new roles that publishers and dealers assumed in the 19th century, reflecting the artists' demand for autonomy and, at the same time, "responding to the needs of an entrepreneurial bourgeoisie," is similarly supported and developed by other essays on book illustration, early photography, printing, and lithography. In the outstanding "'A tout prix devenir quelqu'un': The Women of the Acad'emie Julian," G. Greer argues convincingly that the price female artists paid was too high, literally and figuratively, for new opportunities of working from the nude model; her title also points to a problem that some readers will have with the anthology: translations are meager (as are reproductions of the art works discussed), and some essays are rife with quotations. The volume makes the point that many questions of interest to art historians and literary scholars--in 19th-century France, at least--must be posed in an interdisciplinary framework. Introduction; notes. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional. W. B. Holmes; University of Rhode Island
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.