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Emma Barker

Greuze and the Painting of Sentiment, Cambridge University Press, 2005

This offers a reassessment of the work of the eighteenth-century French artist, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, and reconstructs the wider movement in French painting of which he was the leading figure. It is based on extensive research into a wide range of contemporary sources and draws on new approaches to late eighteenth-century culture that have been developed by literary scholars and historians. It argues that the scenes of family life that Greuze exhibited in the Paris salon between 1755 and 1769 exemplified and promoted an enlightened social vision. It also charts the subsequent evolution of Greuze’s imagery as he shifted towards darker and more sensational works of family conflict, as well as discussing the work of younger artists who imitated his work, including Jean-Honoré Fragonard.


‘Barker adds layers of nuance and detail to the easy associations often claimed for Greuze’s art and ‘enlightened’ values ... deeply researched ...’ The Burlington Magazine

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book cover