Review by Choice Review
Published to document a 1991 symposium on artistic expression during the "July Monarchy," these nine diverse essays are united by their common attention to the record of a regime enframed by two popular uprisings. One put Louis-Phillippe on the throne in 1830; a second toppled his government in 1848. The opening pieces treat issues related to caricature and other forms of popular imagery. J. Cuno argues that the editor, Philippon, sought more to define than to discourage class distinctions. E.K. Menon finds in the fictive Mr. Mayeux a striking personification of the inherent ambiguities of the July Monarchy. M.P. Driskel presents Charlet as the inventor of the proletarian worker as the true hero of the Revolution. Weisberg then proceeds to explore the emergence of Proto-Realism in French art of the period. With regard to underlying questions of historical vision, M. Marrinan sees the King's Museum of History at Versailles as a persuasive "narrative machine," while K. Munholland relates his interests in the Medieval Crusades to his current military adventures in North Africa. Chu explores historicism as a consuming--even defining--fascination of the age. Given that framework, D. Van Zanten links concurrent plans for work on the Louvre to a desire to symbolize political power. A. Boime concludes with a defense of the traditional notion of the "juste-milieu" as a key to defining the cultural essence of an age that continues to resist generalization. Stimulating; copiously documented; nicely illustrated. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate and beyond. F. A. Trapp; emeritus, Amherst College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.