Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France 9780271065694

Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France challenges widely held assumptions about both the genre of portraiture

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portraiture and politic s in revolutionary france

portraiture and politics in revolutionary france

amy freund

The Pennsylvania State University Press University Park, Pennsylvania

THIS BOOK IS MADE POSSIBLE BY A COLLABORATIVE GRANT FROM THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION. An earlier version of chapter 2 first appeared in “The Legislative Body: Print Portraits of the National Assembly, 1789–1791,” Eighteenth-​Century Studies 41 (Spring 2008): 337–58. © The Johns Hopkins University Press. An earlier version of chapter 4,“The Citoyenne Tallien in Prison,” was published by the College Art Association in the September 2011 issue of the Art Bulletin. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-​Publication Data Freund, Amy, author. Portraiture and politics in revolutionary France / Amy Freund. p.  cm Summary: “Examines the genre of portraiture and the political and cultural role of images in Revolutionary France. Focuses on portraiture as a privileged site for the elaboration of modern notions of selfhood and political agency”—​Provided by publisher. Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 978-0-271-06194-8 (cloth : alk. paper) 1. Portraits, French—18th century. 2. Portraits—​Political aspects—France—History—18th century. 3. France—History—​Revolution, 1789–1799—​Portraits. I. Title. n7604.f74 2014 704.9’42094409033—​dc23 2013032622 Copyright © 2014 The Pennsylvania State University All rights reserved Printed in Hong Kong through Asia Pacific Offset, Inc. Published by The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA 16802–1003 The Pennsylvania State University Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses. It is the policy of The Pennsylvania State University Press to use acid-​free paper. Publications on uncoated stock satisfy the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—​Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Material, ansi z39.48–1992. Additional credits: frontispiece, Laneuville, The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (fig. 53), detail; p. v, Bellier, The Citizen Nau-Deville in the Uniform of the National Guard (fig. 35), detail; p. 14, Dumont, Luigi Cherubini (fig. 8), detail; p. 48, anon., Charles-François, comte de Marsanne de Fontjuliane (fig. 25), detail; p. 80, Wertmüller, Jean-Ernest Schickler (fig. 34), detail; p. 126, Laneuville, The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (fig. 53), detail; p. 160, Gérard, Louis-Marie Revelliere-Lépeaux (fig. 65), detail; p. 198, Vincent, Portrait of Marianne Boyer-Fonfrède and Her Son (fig. 89), detail.


List of Illustrations  /  vii Acknowledgments / xv Introduction / 1

one Selling Citizenship  /  15

two The Legislative Body  /  49

three Aux Armes, Citoyens! / 81 The Terror  /  109

four The Citoyenne Tallien in Prison  /  127

five The National Elysée / 161

six Duty and Happiness  /  199 Conclusion / 235 Notes / 245 Bibliography / 263 Index / 275


1 Anonymous, Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate (The French people’s expeditious means of removing the furniture of an aristocrat), 1790. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  2 2 Martin Drolling, Michel Belot, 1791. Inv. 381, Musée des beaux-​arts d’Orléans. Photo: Musée des beaux-​ arts d’Orléans.  /  3 3 Nicolas Henri Jeaurat de Bertry, An Allegory of the Revolution with a Portrait Medallion of Jean-​Jacques Rousseau, 1794. Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photo: Snark / Art Resource, New York.  /  18 4 Jacques-​Louis David, Jacobus Blauw, 1795. Inv. ng 8495, National Gallery, London. Bought, 1984. Photo © National Gallery, London / Art Resource, New York. / 20 5 Charles Paul Landon, The Count Pierre-​Jean de Bourcet and His Family, 1791. mg 1388, Musée de Grenoble. Photo © Musée de Grenoble, © Videomuseum, © Direction des musées de France, 2007.  /  21

8 François Dumont, Luigi Cherubini, Salon of 1793. RF157, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo © RMN-​ Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York.  /  31 9 Anonymous, The Citizen Hesmart with a Bust of Gluck, 1794. Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photo © Musée Carnavalet / Roger-​Viollet / The Image Works. / 35 10 Pierre-​Maximilien Delafontaine, Bertrand Andrieux Ice-​Skating, n.d. [Salon of 1798]. Musée de la Monnaie de Paris. Photo: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York. / 36 11 Robert Lefèvre, Portrait of a Man in the Landscape, n.d. [1798]. Musée des beaux-​arts de Caen. Photo © Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library International. / 37 12 François Gérard, Jean-​Baptiste Isabey and His Daughter (studio replica), n.d. Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Photo © Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York.  /  38

6 Porcelain plate with black hat motif, ca. 1792–93. Inv. C. 2006, Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photo © Patrick Pierrain / Musée Carnavalet /Roger-​Viollet / The Image Works.  /  24

13 Louis Gauffier, Portrait of the Family of a Diplomat in Italy (studio replica), ca. 1797–99. Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Gérard Blot.  /  39

7 Louis-​Léopold Boilly, An Assembly of Artists in the Studio of Isabey, Salon of 1798. C.P.P. 35, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo: Scala / Art Resource, New York. / 30

14 Louis-​Léopold Boilly, Madame Arnault de Gorse, n.d. RF1948 Musée du Louvre, Paris. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource. Photo: Franck Raux.  /  42

15 Jacques-​Louis David, Napoleon Bonaparte, 1797–98. RF1942-18, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo © Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York.  /  43

22 Jean-​Baptiste Morret, after Le Barbier, Prise de Berg-Op-​Zoom, 1787. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  60

16 Joseph Siffred Duplessis, Louis XVI, King of France, 1777. Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Photo © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York.  /  50

23 Anonymous, Deputy of the Nobility to the Estates-​ General of 1789, ca. 1789. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  63

17 Pierre-​Michel Alix, after Anonymous, Honoré-​ Riqueti Mirabeau, ca. 1791. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  51 18 Anonymous, after Jean Baptiste Ponce Lambert, Charles-​François Bouche, député d’Aix en Provence, ca. 1789–91. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  56 19 Jean Baptiste Ponce Lambert, Charles-​François Bouche, ca. 1789–91. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  57 20 François Robert Ingouf, after a drawing by Clément-​Pierre Marillier based on a pastel by Claude Pougin de Saint-​Aubin, Pierre de Marivaux, 1781. Biblio­thèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  59 21 Roger, after Antoine Louis François Sergent, Portrait of Ulric Frédéric Woldemar, comte de Lowendal, 1787. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  60

viii / Illustrations

24 Anonymous, Deputy of the Third Estate to the Estates-​General of 1789, ca. 1789. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  63 25 Anonymous, Charles-​François, comte de Marsanne de Fontjuliane, ca. 1789–91. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  65 26 Anonymous, Pierre Hébrard de Fau, ca. 1789–91. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF. / 66 27 Pierre-​Charles Coqueret, after Jean Baptiste Ponce Lambert, Charles-​Antoine Chasset, ca. 1789–91. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF. / 67 28 Anonymous, Michel Gérard, ca. 1789–91. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  69 29 Jacques-​Louis David, The Tennis Court Oath, 1791. Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Photo © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. / 72

30 Jacques-​Louis David, Thirius de Pautrizel, 1795. Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1990.47.2. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.  /  76 31 Wilbrode-Magloire-​Nicolas Courbe, Honoré Gabriel de Riquetti, comte de Mirabeau, 1789–91. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  77 32 Anonymous, Ma finte, Monsieur, je crois que vot habit d’Officier m’irois ben (My word, Monsieur, I believe your officer’s uniform will suit me fine), 1789. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  83 33 Pierre Mérard, Bust of a National Guard Officer, 1790. Inv. 1998.4, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille. Photo © Collection Musée de la Révolution française / Domaine de Vizille.  /  84 34 Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller, Jean-​Ernest Schickler, ca. 1789. Inv. 1998.2, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille. Photo © Collection Musée de la Révolution française / Domaine de Vizille.  /  85 35 Jean-François-​Marie Bellier, The Citizen Nau-​ Deville in the Uniform of the National Guard, 1790. Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photo: Scala / White Images / Art Resource, New York.  /  87 36 Hyacinthe Rigaud, Henri Louis de La Tour d’Auvergne, comte d’Evreux, Maréchal de France, ca. 1720.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment Fund, 59.119. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, New York.  /  88 37 Joseph Siffred Duplessis, Simon-​Claude, Chevalier de Grassin, 1770s. Inv. 10397, Musée de l’Armée, Paris. Photo: Musée de l’Armée / Dist. RMN-​ Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York.  /  89 38 Philibert-​Louis Debucourt, Almanach national, dédié aux Amis de la Constitution (National Almanac, dedicated to the Friends of the Constitution), 1790. Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photo © Musée Carnavalet / Roger-​Viollet / The Image Works. / 91 39 Bizard, Portrait of a National Guard Officer Protecting a Sugar Cargo (Charles-​Alexis Alexandre), 1792. Inv. 1986.270, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille. Photo © Collection Musée de la Révolution française / Domaine de Vizille.  /  94 40 Jean-​Marie Hooghstoel, M. Estellé, Insignia Merchant, rue Saint-​Honoré, in the Uniform of Captain of the National Guard in 1790, ca. 1790. Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photo © Musée Carnavalet / Roger-​ Viollet / The Image Works.  /  100 41 Jean-​Jacques Hauer, Family Portrait with National Guard Officers, 1789–90. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection,

Illustrations / ix

1975.1.149. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, New York.  /  104 42 Rémy-​Furcy Descarsin, Portrait of a National Guard Officer and His Wife, 1791. Inv. 2004.14, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille. Photo © Collection Musée de la Révolution française / Domaine de Vizille. / 106 43 Anonymous, Matière à reflection pour les jongleurs couronnées [sic] (Food for thought for crowned jugglers), 1793. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  110 44 Jean-​François Gilles Colson, Mademoiselle Lange, 1792. Inv. I 0208, Bibliothèque-Musée de la Comédie-​Française. Photo © Collections de la Comédie-​Française.  /  111 45 Simon-​Bernard Lenoir, Madame Vestris as Electra, n.d. [1770s]. Inv. bm-​p0229, Bibliothèque-Musée de la Comédie-​Française. Photo © Collections de la Comédie-​Française.  /  113 46 Jean Raoux, Mademoiselle Prévost as a Bacchante, 1723. Musée des beaux-​arts, Tours. Image © RMN-​ Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Bulloz. / 114 47 Jean-​Marc Nattier, Charlotte-​Louise de Rohan-​ Guéménée, princesse de Masseran, 1738. mv 7873, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Gérard Blot.  /  114

x / Illustrations

48 Jacques-​Louis David, Louise Pastoret and Her Son, 1791–92. Clyde M. Carr Fund and Major Acquisitions Endowment, 1967.228. The Art Institute of Chicago. Photo © The Art Institute of Chicago. / 115 49 Jean-​Antoine Gros, The Republic, 1794. mv 5498, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Gérard Blot.  /  117 50 Henri-​Pierre Danloux, Jean-​François de La Marche, Bishop of Saint-Pol-​de-Léon, 1793. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo © Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York. / 119 51 Claude Drevet, after Hyacinthe Rigaud, Henri-​ Oswald, Cardinal de La Tour d’Auvergne, 1749. lp 65-44, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Franck Raux.  /  120 52 Jacques-​Louis David, The Death of Marat, 1793. Inv. 3261, Musée d’art ancien, Musées royaux des beaux-​ arts de Belgique, Brussels. Photo © Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York.  /  121 53 Jean-​Louis Laneuville, The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut, Salon of 1796. Private collection.  /  128 54 Anonymous, Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1790–92. Musée Lambinet, Versailles. Photo: Scala / Art Resource, New York.  /  130

55 Godefroy Engelmann, after Thérésia Cabarrus, Portrait of Three of Thérésia Cabarrus’s Children, 1816. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF. / 134

62 François-​André Vincent, Marie de Broutin, baronne de Chalvet-​Souville, 1793. © Musée du Louvre, Paris, © Direction des Musées de France. Photo © RMN-​ Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York.  /  151

56 Jean-​Louis Laneuville, Portrait of Jean-Antoine-​ Joseph de Bry, ca. 1793. Inv. 77.54.1, Indiana University Art Museum. Photo: Michael Cavanagh and Kevin Montague.  /  139

63 Joseph-​Benoît Suvée, The Invention of Drawing, Salon of 1793. Musée des beaux-​arts, Bruges.  /  152

57 Jean-​Jacques Karpff, Revolutionary Scene: Civic Oath, 1793. Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France. Photo © Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France. / 142 58 Jacques-​Louis David, Anne-Marie-​Louise Thélusson, comtesse de Sorcy, 1790. Inv. huw 21, Neue Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich. Photo: bpk, Berlin / Neue Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen / Art Resource, New York.  /  143 59 Charles Paul Landon, Portrait of a Woman, 1793. mg 2003-5, Musée des beaux-​arts, Grenoble. Photo © Musée de Grenoble.  /  144 60 Henry Dupont, after Joseph-​Benoît Suvée, Portrait of André Chénier, 1838. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  147 61 A. B. Massol, after François Marie Isidore Quéverdo, Marie Anne Charlotte Corday, 1795. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF. / 148

64 François Gérard, Madame Tallien, ca. 1805. Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photo © The Image Works. / 157 65 François Gérard, Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux, 1797–98. MBA J 66, Musée des beaux-​arts d’Angers. Image © Musées des beaux-​arts d’Angers. Photo: Pierre David.  /  162 66 Jean-​Baptiste François Desoria, Charles-Louis-​ François Letourneur, 1796. mv 4617, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Photo © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. / 164 67 Jean-​Marc Nattier, Portrait of a Gentleman as a Hunter, 1727. bf.1992.1, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston.  /  170 68 Jean-​Marc Nattier, Portrait of a Woman as Diana, 1735. Musée d’art et d’histoire, Cholet, France. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Michele Bellot.  /  171 69 Gérard van Spaendonck and Piat-​Joseph Sauvage, The Family Meal, ca. 1797–98. mba 488, Musée des

Illustrations / xi

beaux-​arts d’Angers, on deposit from the Musée du Louvre. Image © Musées des beaux-​arts d’Angers. Photo: Pierre David.  /  174 70 Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller, Marie-​Antoinette and Her Children, Salon of 1785. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Photo: Scala / White Images / Art Resource, New York. / 176 71 Adélaïde Labille-​Guiard, Portrait of Madame Victoire with a Statue of Friendship, Salon of 1789. mv 3960, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York.  /  177 72 Pierre-​Paul Prud’hon, Portrait of a Man (possibly Charles-​Louis Cadet de Gassincourt), 1791. Musée Jacquemart-​André, Paris. Photo: Scala / Art Resource, New York.  /  178 73 Jean-​Baptiste Greuze (attr.), The Marquis de Girardin, ca. 1790. Musée de l’abbaye royale, Chaalis, France. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Bulloz.  /  179 74 Jacques-​Louis David, Emilie Sériziat and Child, Salon of 1795. rf1282, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York. / 180 75 Jacques-​Louis David, Pierre Sériziat, Salon of 1795. rf1281, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo: Erich Les­ sing / Art Resource, New York.  /  181

xii / Illustrations

76 Henri Marais, after François Gérard, Alexis, 1798. Réserve des livres rares, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF.  /  183 77 François Gérard, Belisarius, 1797. Inv. 5005.1, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.  /  184 78 François Gérard, Cupid and Psyche, Salon of 1798. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo © Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York.  /  185 79 Pierre-​Antoine Demachy, Festival of the Supreme Being, n.d. [ca. 1794]. Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photo: Gianni Dagli Orti / The Art Archive at Art Resource, New York.  /  190 80a James Gillray, New Morality, or The Promis’d Installment of the High-​Priest of the Philanthropes, with the Homage of Leviathan and His Suite, 1798. British Museum, London. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum / Art Resource, New York.  /  192 80b James Gillray, New Morality, or The Promis’d Installment of the High-​Priest of the Philanthropes, with the Homage of Leviathan and His Suite, 1798 (detail). British Museum, London. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum / Art Resource, New York. / 192 81 François-​André Vincent, The Boyer-​Fonfrède Family, 1801. mv 4788, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Photo © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York.  /  200

82 Robert Levrac-​Tournières, Portrait of a Family in an Interior, 1721. Inv. 720, Musée des beaux-​ arts, Nantes. Photo © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York.  /  204

1798. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund, 2003.6.3. Photo © The Cleveland Museum of Art.  /  218

83 Nicolas-​Bernard Lépicié, Marc-​Étienne Quatremère and Family, 1780. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Hervé Lewandowski.  /  205

89 François-​André Vincent, Portrait of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède and Her Son, 1796. rf1938-73, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: René-​Gabriel Ojeda. / 218

84 Anonymous, Festival of the Supreme Being, 1794. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF. / 209

90 François-​André Vincent, Duty and Happiness, 1795. Location unknown. Image from La Gazette de l’Hôtel Drouot, no. 43, November 27, 1992.  /  219

85 Anonymous, Portrait of Camille Desmoulins, His Wife, Lucile, and Their Son, Horace, ca. 1792–93. mv 5651, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Photo © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York.  /  211

91 François-​André Vincent, Comfort the Unfortunate, 1795. Location unknown. Image from La Gazette de l’Hôtel Drouot, no. 43, November 27, 1992.  /  220

86 Manufacture de Niederviller, Fraternity, ca. 1794– 95. Inv. 1993.23.03, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille. Photo © Collection Musée de la Révolution française / Domaine de Vizille.  /  215 87 Charles Norry, Project for Meynier’s Gallery of Muses, House of M. Boyer-​Fonfrède, ca. 1795. Inv. D 97–1-48, Musée Paul-​Dupuy, Toulouse (on deposit from Musée du vieux Toulouse, inv. mvt 80-106 or 50-157).  /  217 88 Charles Meynier, Apollo, God of Light, Eloquence, and the Fine Arts with Urania, Muse of Astronomy,

92 François-​André Vincent, The Plowing Lesson, 1795. Location unknown.  /  221 93 François-​André Vincent, The Plowing Lesson, ca. 1796–97. Prat Collection, Paris.  /  222 94 François-​André Vincent, Merchants at the Port of Marseille, 1795. Musée de la Marine de Marseille. Photo: Scala / White Images / Art Resource, New York. / 223 95 Raphael, The Holy Family, 1518. Inv. 604, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Image © Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York. Photo: René-​Gabriel Ojeda. / 224

Illustrations / xiii

96 François-​André Vincent, Agriculture, Salon of 1798. Musée des beaux-​arts de Bordeaux. Photo: Scala / White Images / Art Resource, New York. / 225 97 Anonymous, The Fashionable Mother, ca. 1799. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Photo: BnF. / 232 98 Unknown, Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats, ca. 1796. The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.  /  236 99 Jacques-​Louis David, Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon and Josephine at Notre-​Dame on

xiv / Illustrations

December 2, 1804, 1808. Inv. 3699, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Hervé Lewandowski.  /  238 100 Louis-​Léopold Boilly, The Public Viewing David’s “Coronation” at the Louvre, 1810. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 2012.156. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, New York.  /  240 101 Anonymous, Family Portrait, ca. 1800–1805. Musée de Tessé, Le Mans. Image © RMN-​Grand Palais / Art Resource, New York. Photo: Bulloz.  /  242


Like a portrait, a book is a collaborative enterprise, dependent on the investments—​intellectual, emotional, and financial—​made by a surprisingly large number of sympathetic people. I am very fortunate to have benefited from the support of numerous institutions, colleagues, friends, and family members in the course of researching and writing this book. My first thanks go to Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, who has supported this project since the beginning and who has always challenged me to expand my thinking and deepen my analysis. Darcy’s extraordinary knowledge of revolutionary art and politics, her gift for writing about pictures, and her generosity to her students serve as a model for my own research and teaching. I am also grateful to Tim Clark, Carla Hesse, and Margaretta Lovell, who helped shape the project at its origins, and who all provided models of engaged scholarship. In Berkeley, Paris, and Dallas–Fort Worth, I have been lucky to find friends and colleagues who provided encouragement, criticism, and fellowship. Heather MacDonald shared her living space and knowledge of the eighteenth century with me on two continents; her friendship and expertise were indispensable to the writing of this book. In France, a dedicated group of historians and art historians helped me refine my work. Warm thanks go to the evolving membership of my working group in Paris: Lucia Tripodes, Jennifer Sessions, Jennifer Olmsted, Ellen McBreen, John Tain, and Steve Monteiro. Jennifer Sessions in particular has been a constant source of feedback and moral support. My understanding of French history was further enriched by conversations with Alison Matthews David, Charly Coleman, Greg Brown, Paul Cohen, Andrew Jainchill, Colin Jones,

Ben Kafka, and Chuck Walton. Mary Sheriff and Ann Bermingham, who organized and led a seminar on sensibility and visual culture in the summer of 2004, created a particularly productive forum for the discussion of eighteenth-​century art at a crucial stage in my project. Meredith Martin and Nina Dubin have both been exceptionally sensible interlocutors on a wide range of topics in eighteenth-​century French visual culture; their responses to my work helped me refine my ideas and reframe my argument at a critical moment in the project’s evolution. Mary Sheriff and Melissa Hyde have been ideal senior colleagues and mentors, reading chapters, providing advice, and leading expeditions to museums, châteaux, and parks at the farthest reaches of the Parisian regional rail system. On the other side of the world, my colleagues at TCU have been a constant source of support and encouragement, particularly Lori Boornazian Diel, Babette Bohn, and Mark Thistlethwaite. The members of my Dallas–Fort Worth working group, Jessica May, Heather MacDonald, Amy Buono, Eric Stryker, Paula Lupkin, Ben Lima, and Sarah Kozlowski, have provided a valuable intellectual support system. Jessica May in particular patiently dispensed wise writing and career advice that helped me bring the project to a conclusion. My senior colleagues in Dallas, Olivier Meslay and Rick Brettell, have likewise provided support and feedback and have helped make the Metroplex into fertile ground for scholarship on eighteenth- and nineteenth-​century French art. My thinking about revolutionary portraiture has also been shaped by feedback from students and faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I presented versions of two of the chapters in this book.

My work has benefited from the help of many French scholars and curators. Philippe Bordes has been consistently generous with comments and contacts. Anne Lafont shared her understanding of revolutionary art, particularly the work of Anne-​Louis Girodet. Isabelle Mayer Michalon’s knowledge of the work of Charles Meynier was extremely helpful in reconstructing the tangled web of the Boyer-​Fonfrède family’s art patronage. I was also fortunate to encounter helpful and tolerant curators, registrars, and librarians in provincial and Parisian museums and archives. Their generosity with their collections and expertise considerably widened my knowledge of revolutionary portraiture. I am particularly grateful to Ellie Goodman at Penn State Press and to the anonymous readers of the book manuscript; their comments were instrumental in shaping the final product. I would also like to thank the anonymous readers at the Art Bulletin for their helpful comments on an earlier version of chapter 4, which was published by the College Art Association in the September 2011 issue. Likewise, chapter 2 benefited from the suggestions of the anonymous readers of the version published in the spring 2008 issue of Eighteenth-​Century Studies. Thanks are also due to Martha MacLeod, whose heroic assistance with image research and permissions was crucial to the last stages of writing and revision. At some point in the writing of this book, I realized that most of the sitters whose portraits I was studying had followed a similar trajectory: they moved to Paris and went bankrupt. It is due to the generous support of the University of California, Berkeley, Texas Christian University, and several other fellowship-​granting institutions

xvi / Acknowledgments

that I did not suffer the same fate. My initial research was funded by a Berkeley Multi-​Year Fellowship, the Bourse Chateaubriand, a Samuel H. Kress Fellowship in the History of Art at Foreign Institutions, and a research grant from the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Northern California. A Haakon Fellowship from the Art History Department at Southern Methodist University provided the ideal introduction to a teaching career; I am especially grateful to Janis Bergman-​Carton, Adam Herring, and Alexis McCrossen for making my time at SMU so rewarding. A two-​year Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., was instrumental in the development of the book project, providing a model intellectual community and the luxury of time to deepen my research and refine my methodological framework. A semester-​long John H. Daniels Research Fellowship at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia, allowed me to pursue further research on portraiture in the landscape and gave me firsthand experience of the benefits of meditation in the countryside. TCU supported the completion of the book with a Junior Faculty Research Award and a Research and Creative Activity Award. My parents, Barbara and James Freund, have been a constant source of both emotional and financial support throughout the researching and writing of this book. They have cheerfully put up with my extended absences from the United States (the trips to visit me in Paris probably lightened the blow) and have helped, in more ways than I can list, bring this project to completion. Finally, I want to thank Charles Hatfield, my ideal reader.


In November 1790, a Parisian mob sacked the house of an unpopular nobleman. In an anonymous print executed soon after the event, titled Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate (The French people’s expeditious means of removing the furniture of an aristocrat), a group of men and women appears in the windows of the house, breaking glass and throwing furnishings out into the courtyard, where debris is already accumulating (fig. 1).1 Conspicuous among these items are three portraits. The first, seen through a window on the second floor, appears to be a full-​length portrait of Louis XVI, judging from the pose and the crown and scepter just visible in the right foreground of the image. One of the looters points to the canvas and doffs his hat. On the floor below, another man holds an oval portrait of a woman. He seems shocked by the appearance of the sitter, who is depicted bare-​breasted or with a very low décolleté, her breasts separated and emphasized by a dark sash. Finally, a portrait of a prelate with a very noticeable decoration around his neck lies in the courtyard, already damaged by its flight. Next to this portrait lies an open book inscribed with the moral of the print, “Ah ça va bien Puni / son Les aristocrates” (Ah, everything’s going well, Punished / are [or “let’s punish”—​the engraver’s spelling is approximate] the aristocrats).

This depiction of violence and class resentment points to the extraordinary symbolic power of portraiture in revolutionary France. The portraits in this print are part of the furniture of the despised aristocracy, three more candidates for defenestration. But they also symbolize, even more than marquetry furniture or expensive textiles, the political regime with which they are associated. In 1790, when a constitutional monarchy still seemed possible, the portrait of Louis XVI commands respect, albeit possibly tinged with irony; the looter shows the portrait the deference he would show the sitter, demonstrating the persistent belief that an image is invested with the power and status of the individual it depicts. The portrait of the scantily clad woman, held in the arms of another member of the crowd, seems to attract as well as repel—​in this world turned upside down, the print suggests, a member of the peuple français might aspire to the affections of a noblewoman. No one, however, respects or desires the portrait of the clergyman languishing in the courtyard. It has already been half-​destroyed, much like the clerical authority for which it stands. For the producers and viewers of this print, portraits represent all that is despicable about the ancien régime. The very vehemence of the reaction to the portraits demonstrates their power to embody not only particular people

Figure 1  Anonymous, Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate (The French people’s expeditious means of removing the furniture of an aristocrat), 1790. Engraving, 17.5 × 12.5 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Figure 2 (opposite)  Martin Drolling, Michel Belot, 1791. Oil on canvas, 73 × 59 cm. Inv. 381, Musée des beaux-​arts d’Orléans.

2  / Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

but also abstractions: aristocratic immorality, clerical corruption, good government. The destruction of portraiture during the Revolution was far outpaced by the production of new portraits by artists and sitters eager to record their participation in the Revolution’s expanded narrative of political sovereignty. Martin Drolling’s 1791 portrait of his father-in-​law, Michel Belot, a painter and color merchant, demonstrates portraiture’s ability to concretize political abstractions (fig. 2). The clarity of Drolling’s depiction of Belot’s physiognomy firmly anchors the portrait in the contingencies of personal likeness. The artist’s attention to material specificity extends to his rendering of the pamphlet in Belot’s hand, the concrete trace of the abstractions of civic identity and the individual’s sublimation in the collective. Its fragmentary title—​Projet . . . au fran . . . mir—​alludes to an address published by Honoré-​Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, a leading orator of the early years of the Revolution whose death in 1791 inspired an outpouring of public grief.2 Belot, his face brightly lit and isolated against a brushy dark brown background, furrows his brow and gazes upward, as if contemplating the ramifications of the political tract he holds. Drolling’s use of bright highlights along the edges of the pages and on his father-in-​law’s forehead makes a formal connection between the pamphlet, emblem of the public sphere, and the intellection of the private citizen who holds it. The agitated strokes of paint radiating from Belot’s head make visible his engagement with the world of politics. Drolling’s portrait of Michel Belot is a modest painting. Its power lies not so much in its radical departure from the conventions of portraiture—​there is nothing

Introduction / 3

particularly innovative about the half-​length format or the sitter’s costume and pose—​as in the way it manipulates those conventions in order to make a painter and small businessman into a participant in the body politic. This transformation would have been impossible during the ancien régime, when men like Belot had no claim to political agency. Drolling’s portrait, and countless others like it, created a new kind of political identity by harnessing one of the genre’s key strengths. Portraiture is both a private and a public art form, speaking specifically about a sitter or sitters but in a language that any viewer can understand. Unlike history painting, which was traditionally considered the appropriate visual form for exalted ideas (appropriately allegorized, or packaged in dignified mythological, biblical, or historical narratives), portraiture invites bodily identification and personal empathy with a contemporary, someone whose clothes, accessories, and occupation are within the viewer’s immediate frame of reference. The portrait of Belot encourages its viewers to follow the sitter’s thought process, proposing a model for our own intellectual engagement with political change. This oscillation between individual identity and communal ideals meant that even in the most radical moments of the Revolution, when conditions for art production and consumption seemed least propitious, portraiture’s popularity and power were never in doubt. Indeed, the special concerns of portrait making—​the memorialization of contemporary life, the conferral of dignity on the individual, and the evocation of bodily and psychological presence—​came to dominate the visual culture of the era. Portraiture was central to French culture between 1789 and 1804 because it grappled with the fundamental

4  / Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

problem of revolutionary political ideology—​how to make new people for the new France. The Revolution swept away the social and political structures of the ancien régime in the name of individual liberty and social equality. The absolute monarchy, and the society of fixed orders and privileged corporate bodies over which it theoretically presided, was replaced with popular sovereignty, in which political authority rests with the people. In order for this regenerated nation to function, the individuals who composed the newly anointed body politic had somehow to be transformed from subjects into citizens, and rendered both free and contributors to the common good. Portraiture was the mode of representation most sensitive to these issues because it required artist and sitter alike to think through the markers of personal identity and render them legible to viewers. Drolling and Belot responded to this challenge by working within existing portrait conventions. Other portraitists and their clients looked for more dramatic and innovative ways to reconstruct the self in revolutionary terms, developing new modes of portraiture for new social and political circumstances. The extraordinary resilience and creativity of portraiture over the course of the Revolution is also due to its character as a collaborative art. With the exception of images produced entirely on the artist’s initiative and executed without the knowledge of the person depicted (as in the case of the many unauthorized portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte, or the cottage industry in posthumous images of Jean-​Paul Marat), a portrait is the product of a negotiation between an artist, a commissioner, and the sitter or sitters. In order to produce a

coherent image, all of these parties must reconcile their ideas about how best to represent physical likeness, character, and social status. This negotiation became particularly fraught after 1789, as traditional social and political hierarchies were dismantled and the structures of personal identity came into question. French citizens were faced with the task of reformulating the basic elements of selfhood—​the structure of the family, the dictates of religion, the relationship between wealth and social status, and the roles of men and women in the new polity. Revolutionary lawmakers attacked these problems from the top down, legislating sweeping changes in the nation’s political, social, and cultural structures. But portraits show us this process from the bottom up, providing evidence of how a wide range of newly anointed citizens reacted to revolutionary change, and how they adapted their self-​images in response to national events. The chapters that follow explore the visual language of revolutionary portraits and demonstrate how portraiture came to play such an important role in the era’s cultural imagination. My analysis of portraiture’s contribution to the reimagining of selfhood after 1789 depends, much like the portraits themselves, on striking a balance between the individual and the collective. This book about portraiture as a genre is based on the close analysis of a handful of portraits. Concentrating on a few case studies allows us to think carefully about the relationship between a portrait’s visual language and the commissioner’s and artist’s ambitions. But the look and meaning of each particular portrait also depend on the more general material and cultural circumstances of its production. A portrait is shaped by the aesthetic theories

and practices of its era; it is usually (but not always) the product of a transaction between an artist and a paying customer; and it participates in discourses about the self and its relationship to larger sociopolitical categories. These three domains—​the aesthetic, the economic, and the subjective—​were closely intertwined during the revolutionary era, and the institutions that shaped each were undergoing dramatic change. The first category, aesthetic theory and artistic practice, has been the center of art-​historical research since the publication of Thomas Crow’s groundbreaking Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-​Century Paris in 1985. Crow’s focus on the evolution of public art exhibitions and art criticism provides a compelling narrative about the intersections of aesthetics and prerevolutionary political thought. In Crow’s account, artists of the second half of the eighteenth century devoted their creative energies to playing to, and against, the expectations of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, the new cadre of professional art critics, and the actual audiences at the biannual Salon exhibitions. Those expectations were shaped by a very particular set of aesthetic theories promoted by the Academy. According to the hierarchy of genres codified by André Félibien in the mid-​seventeenth century, portraiture was the second ​most important category of painting, after history painting.3 Portraiture could claim this relatively elevated rank because it represented the human body. However, its putative lack of narrative complexity and moral import, and above all its status as an imitative rather than an inventive art, undermined its prestige. Portraiture was, moreover, associated with the vanity and ambitions of its sitters, and portraitists were

Introduction / 5

often stigmatized as base flatterers.4 Even worse, critics viewed the genre as in competition with history painting, and they commonly bemoaned the tendency of talented young artists to succumb to the temptation of portraiture’s easy money.5 The rise of professional art criticism in the middle of the eighteenth century gave new impetus to the condemnation of portraiture. For instance, Étienne La Font de Saint-​Yenne, the best-​known and most vehement midcentury advocate of the revival of history painting, spoke out in the strongest possible terms against the proliferation of portraiture, which he described as “the genre of painting that is today the most abundant, the most practiced, and the most advantageous to even the most mediocre brushes.” In a now famous diatribe, he accused portraitists of “flattering a simpering face, often misshapen or decrepit, almost always without physiognomy, multiplying obscure beings, without character, without name, without place and without merit.”6 For La Font de Saint-​Yenne, portraiture was the opposite of public art, appealing only to the relatives of the sitter, exposing worthless individuals to the public eye, and offering no example of virtue to the viewer. However, he was willing to make an exception for portraits of kings, ministers, generals, famous authors, and other people whose visages could recall for their viewers some shared notion of talent or merit.7 Indeed, likenesses of the royal family and of great men of France were promoted by the Academy and critics alike as the one form of portraiture capable of inspiring noble sentiments in their viewers, even as portraits of less exalted figures were condemned as socially or aesthetically offensive.

6  / Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

When the Revolution opened the Salon to all artists (rather than just academicians), the number of portraits in the public exhibition rose precipitously, and the critics protested in much the same terms as La Font de Saint-​ Yenne had nearly fifty years earlier. Now, however, portraiture had new advocates. The poet André Chénier argued in a 1792 newspaper article that the genre had progressed so much since earlier in the century that distinctions between portraiture and history painting were no longer meaningful: “truth, simplicity, naiveté, are no different for a painter of portraits than for a history painter.”8 To cast aside the distinctions between portraiture and history painting was to overturn years of academic dogma and to dignify the entire genre. The qualities of truth, simplicity, and naiveté that Chénier claimed for modern portraiture (which he contrasted with the false, tasteless, and unnatural portraiture of yesteryear) were also, not coincidentally, the qualities of a good revolutionary citizen. Other critics defended portraiture in more explicitly political terms. For instance, in his review of the Salon of 1798, the republican art critic Pierre-Jean-​Baptiste Chaussard wrote, “Portraiture, a fairly insignificant genre under a monarchy—​because one man counts for everything, and the others for nothing—​should acquire under a Republic a new degree of interest: it can consecrate virtues, talents, service, and memory. It is in a Republic that the images of the hero, the useful man, the estimable woman are greeted with respect: from a moral and political point of view, the genre of the portrait should be elevated.”9 Chaussard argued that the Revolution had changed the value of portraiture, endowing images of the

merely useful or estimable individual with new worth. No longer could the critic sneer about the obscurity of the sitters whose portraits hung in the Salon. In a republic, Chaussard implied, every individual was potentially significant by virtue of his or her citizenship. Each portrait, therefore, was the bearer of political and moral meaning. Chaussard went on to claim that portraiture could aspire to the status of history painting on formal as well as ideological grounds, thus countering the traditional allegations that portraiture was merely an imitative art. He argued that portraitists in fact had more opportunities for invention than history painters: “The artist even has an advantage: his subject is his alone, he determines it; while historical subjects are susceptible to being treated differently by several brushes. In putting his characters en scène, in giving them an action, the artist enters into the class of history painters.”10 Chaussard’s conviction that portraiture could become history painting, if the artist exercised his or her powers of invention, flew in the face of the traditional arguments against portraiture. Indeed, other critics who were just as enthusiastic about dignifying the genre argued that portraitists, in order to excel, ought to avoid crossing the line between history painting and portraiture.11 Artists and sitters themselves were eager to experiment with composition and pose, and some practitioners overtly aimed at creating portraits that looked like history paintings. But whether or not revolutionary portraits took on the formal qualities of the noblest genre, they were increasingly called upon to shoulder the burdens of moral exemplarity and ideological import that had once belonged to history painting.

The story of how portraiture became so central to the revolutionary art world, and to the rethinking of self and society, moves beyond familiar narratives about history painting and its struggles to adapt its traditional vocabulary to new subjects and political exigencies. Tony Halliday, in Facing the Public: Portraiture in the Aftermath of the French Revolution (1999), integrates portraiture into Crow’s narrative of the Salon and its viewers, and he extends that narrative into the revolutionary era. Halliday approaches the problem of portrait production and use primarily from the artist’s point of view, tracing the ways in which portraitists constructed their own identities as practitioners of a liberal art, and how they and critics valorized the genre as a whole. His work convincingly places portraiture at the center of revolutionary aesthetic discourses, stressing the elevation of the portrait to the status of public art. However, Halliday’s analysis of Salon criticism and of changing attitudes toward portraiture as a genre gives us only a partial view of the culture of portraiture during the Revolution. Many of the most interesting portraits of the revolutionary era were not displayed at the Salon, instead moving directly from the artist’s studio to the home of the commissioner. Moreover, any assessment of the strategies and impact of revolutionary portraits must account for the collaborative nature of the portrait process. Most of portraiture’s contemporary advocates preferred to draw a veil over the commissioner’s role, an approach duplicated by many of the genre’s subsequent historians. Chaussard’s defense of portraiture claimed that the artist was solely responsible for the composition of the image—​that “the subject is his alone.” In his eagerness to

Introduction / 7

assimilate portraiture to history painting, and to counter claims that the portraitist was debased by his or her servility to the sitter, the critic suppressed altogether the hand of the commissioner in the creation of the portrait. In fact, as the Moyen expéditif print reminds us, portraits were objects of luxury consumption, produced to order for demanding clients. A portrait, after all, was a direct representation of the sitter’s identity, and he or she was likely to have an opinion about how that identity was recorded for posterity. Revolutionary portraits were products of negotiation between established visual conventions of representing the individual and new ideas of selfhood, between an artist’s ambitions and a sitter’s desire for self-​presentation, and between the resulting image and its viewing (or looting) public. My analysis of these portraits takes into account the aesthetic framework provided by the academic tradition, but it also places revolutionary portraiture in the context of a thriving and thoroughly commercial art market. Portraiture—​indeed, all art production in France—​had been shaped by market forces since at least the seventeenth century. The Revolution did not mark a sharp break with the basic dynamics of earlier portrait production. But the political and social upheaval that accompanied it served to amplify the portrait market—​probably in terms of the quantity of portraits produced, and certainly in terms of the ideological weight those portraits were meant to carry. Moreover, the collapse of the Academy and the breakdown in the official hierarchy of genres after 1789 made the role of money, and the patrons who spread it around, more visible.12 The look and meaning of revolutionary portraits were determined by market

8  / Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

conditions as much as by aesthetic and critical discourses, if not more so. By mapping the portrait market and examining how its mechanics affected the images it generated, we can better grasp the importance of portraiture to the history of revolutionary art, and to the articulation of the revolutionary self. From the initial conception of the image to its display and reception, the portrait process was marked by the preconceptions and demands of at least three, if not four, distinct parties: the artist, the commissioner, the sitter(s), and the viewer. The best-​documented actors in the portrait market are the artists themselves; we can reconstruct the material conditions of their practice and their strategies of self-​promotion. The identity and behavior of the clients are more difficult to pin down. However, through evidence provided by correspondence and memoirs, we can begin to understand what kinds of people commissioned portraits and how they made the decisions that shaped the final image. By tracing the display and reception of the object produced by the artist-​ client interaction, we can reconstruct viewers’ reactions to revolutionary portraits. Display and reception can of course be studied in the context of the Salon and other public exhibition spaces. However, the majority of revolutionary portraits were viewed in other contexts—​in the artist’s studio, in the home, or, in the case of miniatures, on the body. Moreover, the display of portraits was rarely static; they were given as gifts, recirculated as copies, and reproduced as prints. Even portraits destined for domestic settings had a public life. The permeable boundaries between private and public space in early modern Europe were further eroded by revolutionary insistence on

transparency between the lives of citizens and the larger community, and many portraits that were never intended to hang on the Salon walls nonetheless invoked contemporary aesthetic and political discourses. The third factor that, in concert with aesthetic and economic concerns, shaped portraiture between 1789 and 1804 was the changing definition of the self. In revolutionary France, as in other cultures and eras in which portraiture was valued, a portrait defined and represented the self in a variety of ways: it recorded physical likeness, asserted social status, reinforced gender hierarchies, affirmed kinship ties, and preserved the memory of the sitter for posterity. In the extraordinary circumstances of the Revolution, portraits also made the abstract principles of a fragile new social and political order concrete and visible. The Revolution began by vesting sovereignty in the people and eroding the authority of the king. Within a few years, the monarchy had been abolished and political legitimacy transferred entirely to the people and their legislators. This radical transformation of the nature of sovereignty was accompanied by a revolution in the structures of personal identity. The nobility was dismantled, the Catholic Church was forced to give up its property and prerogatives, and new laws legalized divorce and undermined paternal authority. The historian Jan Goldstein argues that the collapse of the political and social structures of the ancien régime, and the kinds of selfhood that were associated with them, was a “powerful incitement to psychological discourse,” setting off a wave of anxiety about the stability of personal identity.13 Given the Revolution’s dramatic efforts to refashion both self and society, and the “self-​talk” that Goldstein

sees proliferating in the postrevolutionary period, I have found that the most productive way to think about the revolutionary self is to engage with revolutionary voices.14 I take as a model T. J. Clark’s study of Jacques-​ Louis David’s 1794 self-​portrait, which analyzes how the painting works with, or against, late eighteenth-​century discourses about the self.15 The revolutionary quest for new and stable forms of identity involved many different ways of thinking about the self: as male or female, as part of a familial or national collective or as a triumphantly autonomous individual, as a sensitive interlocutor of its fellow citizens or as a representative of the state’s authority. That quest shaped the thousands of portraits produced by artists and sitters who were also trying to reformulate the self for the Revolution. Each portrait makes its own claims about the revolutionary self, drawing on particular forms of “self-​talk”; my discussions of individual portraits bring to light different revolutionary definitions of the self according to the nature of the artist’s and sitter’s choices. This study attempts to keep in play all three of these ways of understanding a revolutionary portrait—​as an expression of an aesthetic system inherited from the ancien régime but shaken to its core by the Revolution, as a product of a new consumer culture, and as an intervention in heated debates about the nature of the self in a new society. The choices made by particular artists and clients in the course of the commission can be difficult to recover. However, my re-​creation of the general circumstances of portrait production allows us to read particular images against revolutionary ideas of personal, social, and political identity. The result, I hope, is a rich and

Introduction / 9

historically responsible analysis of the visual language of revolutionary portraiture that allows us to see the portraits for what they were and are: sometimes confused, sometimes belligerent, sometimes touching arguments about the revolutionary self, in which the voices of the artist and the sitter merge with those of their fellow citizens in an eloquent cacophony. Of the many thousands of revolutionary portraits produced between 1789 and 1804, I have chosen a handful as case studies. The choice inevitably involved more or less defensible exclusions. My argument takes as its main focus Paris, the largest and best-​documented portrait market in France, and the city where the nation’s political and artistic institutions were centered. My case studies include oil paintings and prints but give short shrift to sculptures and miniatures. Sculpted portraits were expensive, time-​consuming, and relatively rare during the years of the Revolution; they appear only in passing in this book. Miniatures, by contrast, were relatively cheap and very common. They feature as supporting actors in many of my case studies, but I do not provide a sustained argument about the medium and its particularities.16 My study of painting and printmaking is itself necessarily partial. Most of the portraits I discuss, with the notable exception of Jean-​Louis Laneuville’s portrait of Thérésia Cabarrus, are of men. This exclusion follows that of revolutionary political theory; women were barred from active citizenship, and portraiture’s engagement with politics generally reflected this interdiction. This gendering of politics in portraiture extends, at least in part, to female artists. Although the Revolution saw a dramatic

10  / Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

leap in the number of female portraitists, they are underrepresented among the portraits I analyze here—​possibly because sitters felt that male artists were better suited to making arguments about new political definitions of the self. Finally, the work of David, the most thoroughly studied of all revolutionary artists, figures here largely as a foil to portraits by other artists. This is not because David did not produce important portraits between 1789 and 1804—​he certainly did—​but because his paintings and drawings occupied only a small (if exalted) corner of the larger portraiture market. Those portraits have been discussed, often brilliantly, by many scholars. The work of David’s colleagues and competitors, however, remains much less well known, and it was these artists who, in large part, shaped the culture of revolutionary portraiture. Instead of aspiring to exhaustiveness, I have emphasized important modes of portraiture and made my argument about their place in revolutionary political culture through specific works, situating these case studies against a larger analysis of the portrait market. My discussion of portraiture begins with the portrait process and its role in the development of revolutionary selfhood. Chapter 1 places the practice of portraiture at the crossroads between two new concepts of identity: the regenerated citizen and the self as consumer. Revolutionary ideas about selfhood and political agency intersected with, and were amplified by, a thriving portrait market. I analyze the physical, economic, and social geographies of that market through primary evidence provided by artists’ account books, artist and sitter correspondence, exhibition catalogues, and contemporary almanacs and travel accounts.

The subsequent chapters explore five different modes of revolutionary portraiture. These case studies reveal the parallel developments in portraiture and concepts of selfhood from the opening of the Estates-​General in 1789 to Napoleon’s declaration of empire in 1804. The chronological narrative begins with chapter 2, which introduces the problem of political portraiture by analyzing a 1789–91 series of print portraits of the deputies to the National Assembly. The chapter traces the deputy portraits’ roots in the eighteenth-​century cult of the great man and their formal antecedents in ancien régime print portraits, arguing that their creative reuse of these conventions and their deliberate departures from tradition contributed to a new theory of political representation. Chapter 3 considers the phenomenon of the National Guard portrait, an image type that proliferated between 1789 and 1792. National Guard portraits allowed bourgeois men, previously excluded from the officer corps, to craft images of themselves as active citizens and to articulate their positions in the heated revolutionary debates about class, authority, and military intervention in national affairs. The sheer number and exuberance of these images, and their engagement with political events during the first years of the Revolution, demonstrate the widespread enthusiasm for new modes of portraiture and self-​definition, and the equally widespread confusion about what a new social hierarchy might look like. The political and aesthetic experimentation of the early 1790s culminated in the Terror, a period of radicalism and violence that lasted from the spring of 1793 to the summer of 1794. In a short essay between chapters 3 and 4, I argue that the Terror made political

self-​representation very difficult and at the same time provided the occasion for radical (and radically ill-​ judged) forms of portraiture. Chapter 4 considers portraiture in the immediate aftermath of the Terror through an analysis of Jean-​Louis Laneuville’s 1796 prison portrait of Thérésia Cabarrus, also known as Madame Tallien. Cabarrus was an enthusiastic participant in revolutionary politics, and Laneuville’s portrait reveals both the possibilities for self-​representation that the Revolution offered to women and the limits of women’s political agency under the post-​Terror regime. Chapter 5 analyzes revolutionary images of sitters in the landscape, taking as its primary example a monumental 1798 portrait by François Gérard of Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux, one of the five directors of the post-​Terror government. By depicting his sitter as a man of sensibility contemplating the wonders of nature, Gérard transforms landscape portraiture into a vehicle for revolutionary ideas about the moral virtues of the “natural” life as well as for Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s own political program. The sixth and final chapter, on the image of the family during the Revolution, examines a series of portraits and allegorical compositions by François-​André Vincent commissioned by the Boyer-​Fonfrède family. These elaborate multifigure paintings and drawings, produced between 1795 and 1801, propose a model of citizenship based on the family and private virtues that engages directly with the more conservative politics of the late 1790s. The Boyer-​Fonfrède images also attest to the ways in which Vincent, a successful history painter before the Revolution, took advantage of the vitality of the portrait market to fuse the ideological complexity of history

Introduction / 11

painting with the immediacy of portraiture. Finally, the conclusion sketches out the fate of revolutionary portraiture after the rise of Napoleon, and the ways in which portraiture’s priorities shaped art into the nineteenth century. The portraits under consideration here, both those that explicitly evoke the political turmoil of the era and those that implicitly suggest new ways of being in the

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world, respond to and shape revolutionary discourses about art and personal identity. Often, they do this more eloquently than the critics and politicians who were addressing the same issues in print. Portraits can express nostalgia for the past, make arguments for change, and tell boldfaced lies. It is this multivocality that allows the portraits produced between 1789 and 1804 to speak to, and of, the contradictory achievements of the Revolution.


  selling citizenship

In 1794 the painter Pierre Lacour received a portrait commission from the president of his local revolutionary tribunal. During the two required sittings, the conversation turned to politics. The discussion, however, was constrained by the evident caution of the portraitist confronted by a man who could send him to the guillotine: “It was necessary to resign yourself to having this terrible terrorist in front of you, fixing his eyes on yours for close to an entire hour, studying the expression of your physiognomy according to the subject of conversation; and what could one discuss with such a man, and in such circumstances? The Republic, his enemies the royalists, aristocrats, suspects, etc. . . . And then, in order to escape the compromising label of suspect, it was necessary to make oneself, without noticeable posturing, into a frank patriot and good republican.”1 In this case, the task of capturing a likeness was a process of self-​representation for both the sitter and the artist. The sitter scrutinized the artist as much as the artist scrutinized the sitter, complicating the traditional dynamic of portraiture and making the portrait transaction into a mutual examination. The artist was forced to perform his patriotism, even as he created an image that itself was a performance of patriotism. The circumstances of this tense encounter were replicated throughout revolutionary France, not only during the Terror but with each successive change of government.

Two years after the fraught political discussion in Lacour’s studio, another artist, the sculptor Jean-​Antoine Houdon, assessed the dangers of portrait production during the Revolution. This time, however, the concerns were strictly commercial. In an August 1796 letter to his friend Lié Louis Périn-​Salbreux, a miniaturist, Houdon counseled the absent Périn in forceful terms to return to the capital. I would believe myself to be neglecting my duties as a friend if I did not recall to you, Monsieur, that which you know just as well, and indeed better, than I—​that in this country, artists must profit at all moments from fashion [la mode], that in Paris it is not enough to be skillful, one must also be up to date [du jour]. At this stage of life, an artist must not relax for one moment, he must be at his brush from sunrise to sunset, and if he lets fashion [le vogue] cool off for even one instant, or if he takes another road, he is finished. You know these truths, Monsieur; you are at precisely the moment of your life at which they are applicable, you are fighting [luttez] against Isabey, you must not abandon the field to him, and for the last three months you have certainly given him the upper hand. . . . Therefore, Monsieur, come back to this Capital where you are awaited with impatience, and forgive me my advice,

which is founded, I swear to you, only on my friendship, the interest which is due to you, and the grief of knowing that your long absence has made you give up four portraits.2 In Houdon’s appraisal of the portrait business, the artist was an aggressive agent in pursuit of reputation and profit who had to react rapidly to market pressures and edge out the competition in a constant struggle to capitalize on fleeting fashions. Périn was neglecting his “fortune” and his “intérêt,” failing to “profiter,” letting “la mode” or “le vogue” pass him by, and ceding valuable terrain to fellow miniaturist Jean-​Baptiste Isabey. The clients for whose favor the portraitist was competing make no concrete appearance in Houdon’s letter; they are represented by the vague and capricious forces of “la mode,” and the sad fact of the four portraits “missed” by the negligent Périn. Were revolutionary portraits the visible traces of intense personal and political reflection? Or were they commodities produced and sold in a fiercely competitive market? In fact, they were both. Commissioning a portrait after 1789 meant thinking about yourself in terms of a new and contentious set of claims about citizenship and social hierarchy. Whether you rejected or embraced these claims, you had to present yourself to an artist and confront his or her own ideas about the revolutionary self and how to represent it. The final result of this negotiation would be exposed to viewers who were themselves personally implicated in the sweeping cultural and political changes put into motion by the Revolution. However, the portrait process was first, and probably

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foremost, in most cases, a business transaction. Like many late eighteenth-​century business transactions—​ buying clothes, getting one’s hair dressed, commissioning a piece of furniture—​a portrait sitting involved personal interaction with someone of a different class and often a different gender, with all the attendant social and sexual tensions. But, at the end of the day, these transactions (portrait commission included) were also about money paid and goods and services rendered. This means that in order to understand revolutionary portraiture’s address to its viewers, we need to account for two factors: political ideology and consumer culture. These two factors, as it happens, are deeply intertwined. This chapter explores the ways in which portraiture accommodated and promoted revolutionary ideas about selfhood, particularly the concept of personal and political transparency. It also situates the portrait market within French consumer culture and considers the relationship between consumption and self-​ representation. Finally, it reconstructs the economic and social negotiations that constituted the portrait business itself. It was through these negotiations that new ideas about personal identity and society were realized in the form of unconventional full-​length portraits, thousands of unremarkable bust-​length paintings, and countless miniatures, drawings, and prints.

Regeneration and Transparency Portraiture is predicated on the idea that the face and body communicate to the viewer something essential

about the sitter. Revolutionary political theory made this common notion of bodily legibility into a fundamental civic virtue. Under the monarchy, society might (and did) value visual evidence of a person’s moral integrity, but unless that person was the king, it had little to do with national governance. Now that political sovereignty rested with the people, however, it was particularly important that the people be virtuous, and that their shared virtue be clearly manifested to one another and in the governance of the state. Transparency between citizens was the watchword of the new regime.3 This idea of transparency, like many revolutionary principles, had its origins in Enlightenment thought. The philosophe Jean-​Jacques Rousseau, much beloved by revolutionary thinkers, had popularized an ethics of emotional sincerity and self-​exposure in his novels, political and educational treatises, and particularly in his Confessions, a soul-​baring autobiography published posthumously in 1782 and 1789. L’ami Jean-​Jacques, as he was known to his many fervent fans, taught a generation of French men and women to regard personal transparency as the prerequisite for moral and political virtue.4 A 1794 allegory painted by Nicolas Henri Jeaurat de Bertry, a former academician and court painter, paid homage to the legacy of Rousseau’s notion of transparency and virtue by suspending his portrait over an all-​ seeing eye and a crowded field of revolutionary slogans and symbols, including, among other things, a column dedicated to “régénération,” a liberty tree, and a National Guardsman (fig. 3). In Jeaurat de Bertry’s composition, Rousseau presides over the realization of his political and personal principles. His image is associated with

unblinking vision and the literal legibility of revolutionary ideals; like the disembodied eye, he stares out at the viewer from his miniature frame, as if summoning us to live up to the transparency of the painting itself. Originally, Rousseau’s portrait was flanked by those of Jean-​Paul Marat and Louis-​Michel Le Peletier de Saint-​ Fargeau, two martyrs of the early Revolution whose reputations waned after the fall of the radical republic. The overpainting of their images and the resulting isolation of Rousseau testifies to the durability and universality of l’ami Jean-​Jacques’s appeal.5 The metaphor of the unblinking eye sums up the most extreme construction of revolutionary transparency. Maximilien Robespierre, the republic’s most radical leader, expressed the desire for constant and unimpeded communion between the individual and the polity in 1794, when, speaking on the floor of the legislature, he looked forward to a new political order, “where all souls are magnified by the continual communication of republican sentiments and by the need to merit the esteem of a great people.”6 Robespierre posits a self that is always demonstrating its republicanism and is constantly mindful of the critical gaze of its fellow citizens.7 The continual communication of republican sentiments was a goal difficult to realize in the flesh but attainable by a portrait, a permanent image of the soul, or at least of the body. Transparency was more than an ideal—​it engendered a range of practices that affected all aspects of French culture. From the first years of the Revolution, French political culture was driven by the fear of hidden plots against the new government, feeding a brisk trade in pamphlets and newspapers claiming to unmask conspirators. The

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Figure 3  Nicolas Henri Jeaurat de Bertry, An Allegory of the Revolution with a Portrait Medallion of Jean-​Jacques Rousseau, 1794. Oil on canvas. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

deputy Adrien Duport summarized this state of heightened awareness in a solemn injunction to the National Assembly in 1789: “Let our vigilant eye be turned in every direction.”8 The obsession with transparency and virtue also manifested itself in the issuing of certificats de civisme—​certificates of civic-mindedness—​that testified to the political virtue of the bearer and were required for

18  / Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

travel.9 The demand that all French citizens make their political commitments visible to the rest of the nation, and that they be held accountable for any deviations from political or personal virtue, placed a great deal of pressure on visual cues and people’s ability to read them. That pressure also created a language of self-​justification. As the historian Colin Lucas has argued, the purpose of patriotic

denunciation was to unveil the hidden; the accused had to offer a “counterdescription” of him- or herself that stressed his or her transparency.10 Citizens accused of crimes against the nation began to produce their own versions of their life stories in order to defend themselves. Published voluntarily by many prisoners beginning in 1793, and made mandatory in February 1794, these short autobiographical “political justifications” recounted their authors’ thoughts and deeds since 1789.11 By revealing minute details of personal behavior and inserting their authors into national dramas, these narratives positioned their authors as wholehearted participants in the polity. Portraiture fulfilled much the same purpose and used many of the same strategies, serving as a preemptive justification of sitters’ virtues and publicly declaring their commissioners’ position within the revolutionary collective. For revolutionary portraitists and sitters, the commitment to transparency took two forms: the illusion of personal intimacy between sitter and viewer, and the meticulous transcription of the surface textures of bodies and objects.12 These two techniques were often combined, especially in single-​figure portraits. Neither technique was new; on the contrary, both were age-​old weapons in portraiture’s arsenal, and both had been revived in the mid-​eighteenth century, by artists ranging from the pastellist Maurice Quentin de La Tour to the painter Elisabeth Vigée-​Lebrun, in response to Enlightenment theories of personhood. But these ways of picturing the self took on new meaning in the revolutionary context. Artists and sitters now had strong political motivations to avoid or subvert portrait conventions associated with the social hierarchies of the ancien régime and antirepublican

sophistry: allegorical disguises, pompous or intimidating poses, court dress. Instead, they turned to the simulation of bodily proximity and the depiction of goods in open circulation to construct their visual identity. David’s 1795 portrait of Jacobus Blauw, plenipotentiary minister of the Batavian Republic in Paris, exemplifies the first kind of transparency (fig. 4).13 Blauw, a tireless advocate for his country’s republican revolution and an acquaintance of David’s, is represented seated at a desk with a quill pen in his hand. Dressed in a simple broadcloth jacket and wearing his own hair in a close-​cropped modern style, Blauw gazes pensively to the viewer’s left. His head and torso are silhouetted against a neutral background executed in the scumbled technique favored by David and his fellow late eighteenth-​century portraitists. The shallow, featureless space, with its obvious surface texture and corresponding denial of depth, serves to press Blauw’s body against the picture plane and to collapse the physical distance between sitter and viewer. There is little else besides Blauw’s body in this portrait; the desk presents itself as a simple green box, and the chair is only a sliver of red upholstery. We are invited to consider the sitter in and of himself, as an intimate equivalent to our own selves. David’s efforts to bring the viewer closer to the sitter also depend on the use of accessories. The material goods depicted in Blauw’s portrait are relatively modest in both quality and quantity. Each object, however, is rendered in crystalline detail, inviting our scrutiny and offering itself as a potential site of meaning. Some of these details, like the dusting of hair powder on the sitter’s collar, reinforce the portrait’s sense of proximity and intimacy by

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Figure 4  Jacques-​Louis David, Jacobus Blauw, 1795. Oil on canvas, 92 × 73 cm. Inv. ng 8495, National Gallery, London. Bought, 1984. Figure 5 (opposite)  Charles Paul Landon, The Count Pierre-​Jean de Bourcet and His Family, 1791. Oil on canvas, 97 × 130 cm. mg 1388, Musée de Grenoble.

implying that Blauw is deep in thought, unmindful of the conventions of formal portraiture. Other objects, like the meticulously depicted inkwell in the lower right corner of the composition, signal the sitter’s identity in more subtle ways. The inkwell overlaps the edge of Blauw’s papers, drawing attention to his name and official title, written in large letters on the top sheet. Its ink-​stained walls are translucent enough to allow the viewer to see through

20  / Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

to the paper behind. David’s careful rendering and placement of this everyday object makes revolutionary transparency concrete; the inkwell literally makes Blauw’s political identity visible through his activity as a writer. The portrait’s transparency is of course a rhetorical stance. The painting remains a representation, and its strategies are no less artificial for their ostentatious honesty. Nonetheless, artists, sitters, and viewers alike

embraced this style of visual transparency as the best way to construct revolutionary selves. The portrait of Jacobus Blauw is the high-​end version of this aesthetic, but the basic elements of David’s formula were repeated in thousands of revolutionary portraits. Not every artist, however, could evoke bodily and psychic presence as ably as David. Indeed, such compositional strategies were impossible to replicate in smaller portraits or multifigure canvases. But transparency could be conveyed in other ways. In many portraits, the sheer accumulation

of consumer goods—​clothing, accessories, furniture, decorative objects, works of art—​rather than the virtuoso simulation of bodily presence communicated the sitter’s (or sitters’) personal and political identity. Charles Paul Landon’s 1791 portrait of the family of Pierre-​Jean de Bourcet exemplifies this technique (fig. 5). Landon, now remembered primarily as an art critic and administrator, trained as a history painter with François-​André Vincent and Jean-​Baptiste Regnault and won the Prix de Rome in 1792.14 Bourcet, a member of the court

Selling Citizenship / 21

nobility, served in the first years of the Revolution as a go-​between for the king and the émigré court in exile.15 The Bourcet portrait both commemorates the family’s loyalty to the monarchy and provides a counterrevolutionary narrative of the filial transmission of political virtue, all in the language of sharply delineated things. The family is pictured in an interior punctuated by material possessions: the bassinet in the center of the composition, the porcelain coffee or tea service on the gueridon at far right, the carpet under the Bourcets’ well-​ shod feet. At far left, the busts of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette rest on a kind of domestic altar decorated with white Bourbon lilies—​political symbols but also luxury commodities. The oval portrait leaning against the table amid several bound volumes and manuscripts represents Bourcet’s uncle, a prominent military geographer. These objects are grouped haphazardly on the floor as if to emphasize their status as everyday things. The ruffled, folded, and rolled sheets of paper pressed up to the picture plane invite the viewer’s touch. This invitation is echoed by the members of the Bourcet family, who touch one another’s clothing and the textiles of the bassinet and table. All of these things guarantee by their palpability the authenticity of the family’s likeness and politics. Landon’s portrait is unusual in that it employs the strategy of transparency—​apparently without irony—​ in the service of the Bourcet family’s monarchical sympathies. It appears to hide nothing—​neither the family’s wealth, nor their affection for one another, nor their loyalty to the king. That Landon and the Bourcets would embrace this visual rhetoric speaks to its widespread

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adoption during the Revolution as the language of virtue, and to the power of meticulously painted consumer goods as vehicles of political ideology. Then again, the Bourcets were not as univocally royalist as they seem at first glance. The eldest child, who receives a lesson in filial piety and loyalty to the Crown at his father’s knee, wears the uniform of the newly constituted National Guard, a potent symbol of revolutionary change.16 Landon’s portrait faithfully reflects the political conditions of 1791. Royalism and revolution were not yet contradictory terms, but transparency was already considered an essential quality of the citizens of the new regime. Transparency, then, was not just a partisan stance but a visual style adopted even by defenders of the monarchy. Inherited from the Enlightenment, and especially from the writings of Rousseau, personal transparency became inseparable from political virtue during the Revolution. In portraiture, the bodily intimacy and material specificity used to convey this form of virtue also served to concretize the new regime.17 The Revolution depended on the concept of abstract popular sovereignty. Artists and sitters struggled to work out a new visual vocabulary for this diffuse and unstable form of political agency. The historian Carla Hesse has argued that the abstract nature of legal authority during the Revolution led to a proliferation of concrete—​even minute—​laws that tried to pin down what constituted crimes against the nation.18 Revolutionary portraiture participates in what Hesse calls “the proliferation of specificity,” multiplying signs of bodily and material particularity in order to fix a revolutionary identity that was still quite vague and undefined.

The pressure to testify to one’s patriotism increased in direct proportion to anxieties about just how reliable any individual’s claims to revolutionary virtue actually were. Robespierre himself warned that external signs might not reflect true republicanism. As he told his fellow members of the Jacobin club during a debate on the wearing of the liberty bonnet (Robespierre was anti-​bonnet), “The friends of liberty will continue to recognize each other without any trouble by their language, by the sign of reason and virtue, while all the other emblems can be adopted by aristocrats and traitors.”19 The problem, of course, was that no one could be entirely sure how reason and virtue might manifest themselves, and that language too could be manipulated by aristocrats and traitors. The solution was to go beyond words, to look harder at one’s fellow citizens, in order to discern their true selves. “We don’t need any more discourses or correspondence. We need mute meetings in which each person divines in the others’ eyes what there is to do,” one member of the Jacobin club argued.20 If words and signs could be deceptive, and consensus could be formed only by gazing into the eyes of one’s fellow citizens, portraiture provided those eyes in perpetuity. Through his or her image and the image of his or her things, the sitter promised unmediated communion. Of course, a portrait was a representation and could never achieve perfect transparency. Artists, sitters, and viewers were all aware of the inherent artifice of the genre. But representation was taken very seriously during the Revolution (as the Jeaurat de Bertry allegory demonstrates), and the Jacobin anxiety about authenticity made no perceptible dent in the portrait market.

Shopping for the Revolutionary Self The Revolution promised, and demanded, regeneration. Its legislative and cultural initiatives revolved around the creation of a new man (and, secondarily, a new woman) considered essential to the reconstruction of the French nation. But political ideology, as I have argued, was only one of the forces governing revolutionary portraiture. Market dynamics were also key to portrait production. This confluence of revolutionary regeneration and consumer culture raises important questions. Was the ideal revolutionary self, that virtuous and transparent participant in the polity, consonant with the commercial nature of the portrait transaction? Could buying and displaying an image of oneself, an image that was also an object of luxury consumption, be a sign of anything other than vanity and ostentation? The history of consumer culture in eighteenth-​century France suggests that buying things was not incompatible with revolutionary virtue. Indeed, many historians argue that the spread of luxury consumption helped bring about social and political change. To understand how this could be the case, and how portraiture fits into this history, we need to look outside the art market at the buying and selling of luxury goods in general. The consumption of objects for pleasure and embellishment rather than merely for subsistence spread from social elites to a much wider swath of the French population over the course of the eighteenth century.21 Goods that had previously been reserved for the very wealthy, such as printed cottons, stockings, and fans, became accessible

Selling Citizenship / 23

to a wide range of people. The increased circulation of consumer goods fostered new strategies for representing oneself in the world. These models of selfhood also had social and political ramifications. William Sewell, Colin Jones, and Michael Kwass have all argued that late eighteenth-​century consumer culture, and the theoretical framework developed to rationalize it, helped pave the way for the Revolution by creating a network of producers and consumers motivated by the quest for personal acquisition and happiness—​a network that challenged traditional hierarchies.22 Historians of consumption are often too quick to suggest that shopping leads to freedom; it is dangerous to assume that the forms of selfhood generated by consumer culture were necessarily better or freer.23 More measured accounts of consumer culture, however, argue convincingly that the possibility of building personal identity on some other basis than birth or religion “helped to make thinkable the reconstruction of state and society on the basis of civic equality.”24 Buying and selling things, therefore, was not inherently antirevolutionary. Indeed, commerce was understood as necessary to the well-​being of the nation, and indeed as patriotic.25 Political identity itself was enthusiastically commercialized after 1789. The most widespread revolutionary consumer good was the red, white, and blue cockade that was worn by men and women alike, but patriotic symbols also found their way onto dishes, buttons, shoe buckles, wallpaper, and furniture.26 A porcelain plate from about 1792–93, decorated with a tricolor ribbon border and a high hat, for instance, served as constant reminder of revolutionary sentiments (fig. 6). The high hat became a symbol of liberal sentiment when

24  / Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France

Figure 6  Porcelain plate with black hat motif, ca. 1792–93. Inv. C. 2006, Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

the young and fashionable men who wore it became the leaders of the new National Assembly. The porcelain plate, a consumer good, uses the hat, another consumer good, to symbolize political commitment. The hat floats alone against a white background, independent of any particular head, sufficient unto itself as a marker of the Revolution. This kind of political merchandise brought the Revolution into the home and reminded family members and guests of the owners’ dedication to the new political ideals. Owning and using a plate or a suit button was a more lasting and personal experience than voting or attending civic festivals, and it was accessible to men, women, and children alike. Portraits, like these politically minded consumer goods, were a means of simultaneously redefining

individual identity and forging a consensus among individuals. Indeed, portraits embodied the possibility of reconciliation between individual self-​creation and collective identity. A portrait is an image of an individual created through a profoundly collaborative process. It is a luxury good that is completely personalized and nontransferable but intended to be viewed by many pairs of eyes, sometimes side by side with hundreds of very similar objects in a public exhibition. A portrait defines the identity of an individual (or of a group of related individuals), but it does so with the expectation of eliciting interest and sympathy from its viewers. Revolutionary sitters, viewers, and portraitists were all participants in late eighteenth-​century consumer society, and, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, in the revolutionary project of regeneration. The power of portraiture lay in its ability to bridge these two different cultures, both of which were inexorably reshaping the nature of self and society. Portraits, unlike other visual representations of revolutionary events and ideals, such as history paintings or prints, created new forms of selfhood for their viewers as well as for their sitters, inviting a direct and bodily form of empathy and emulation.27 The Revolution wanted to create new people for a new nation. The proliferation of portraiture and portraitists in Paris, the creative adaptation of old formulas and the invention of new ones, and the steadily increasing visibility of the genre demonstrate that the people were indeed re-creating themselves. The political theorists who yearned for a virtuous polity that spoke with one voice must have been appalled by the clamoring masses hanging their own images on the Salon walls. Those

ever-​multiplying portraits represented the messy reconciliation of individual liberty and the public good. In the portrait market, perhaps more than anywhere else, the effects, real and imagined, of the Revolution on individual subjectivity, the social order, and on the dominant visual culture were explored.

The Shape and Size of the Portrait Market If we were to judge by the number of academically accredited artists exhibiting portraits in the official Salons in the 1780s, the late eighteenth-​century portrait market would seem relatively circumscribed.28 In the Salon of 1787, the last before the beginning of the revolutionary upheaval, thirty-​two artists exhibited a total of about a hundred portraits. The situation at the Salon of 1789, which opened in the heat of the inaugural events of the Revolution but was still governed by the rules of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, was nearly identical.29 Even before the Revolution, however, the portraits on view at the biannual Salon represented only a tiny fraction of portrait production in Paris. Many artists learned their trade and exhibited their work outside the official system: in the exhibitions sponsored by the Académie de Saint-​Luc (the old painter’s guild), in the annual outdoor exhibition known as the Exposition de la Jeunesse, and in commercial exhibitions that sprang up in the 1780s.30 Portraiture generally made up half or more of the paintings in these alternative exhibition spaces. Despite the determination of the privileged

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royal corps to maintain its monopoly, it is clear that the thirty-​odd academicians who exhibited portraits in the last Salons of the ancien régime were vastly outnumbered by portraitists operating outside the academic system. The opening of the Salon in 1791 to all artists regardless of academic status (or quality of work) meant that many portraitists who had hitherto exhibited only in the alternative spaces, or not at all, rushed to display their work to a larger audience. The result was a chaotic mix of the work of academicians, professional nonacademicians, and amateurs. The results, at least on an aesthetic level, were mixed. As the engraver Johann Georg Wille famously remarked in his journal after a visit to the Salon, “I saw there the sublime, the beautiful and the good, the mediocre, the bad, and the execrable.”31 The sheer number of portraitists, however, testified to the volume of supply and demand. The catalogue lists 103 artists exhibiting portraits, three times as many as had participated in the previous Salons.32 The overall count rose steadily over the revolutionary period. By 1804, 141 artists were represented in the Salon by 341 or more works.33 The percentage of portraits in the total number of images also rose, from 21 percent in 1787 and 1789 to 37 percent in 1798 and 1799.34 The complaint of a critic at the 1796 Salon confirms the genre’s increasing public presence, and snidely lays the blame for the epidemic of portraits at the feet of the Revolution: “Portraits, portraits, and more portraits. Since we have all become brothers, the Salon has been made into a gallery of family portraits.”35 The artists who profited most from the opening of the Salon and the publicity it offered were those whose access to the Academy and its privileges had long been

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limited. Two categories of portraitists stand out for their entrepreneurial zeal in the postrevolutionary art world: female artists and miniaturists. Female artists had been active as professional portraitists in France throughout the eighteenth century. Indeed, portraiture in the 1780s was dominated by two women, Elisabeth Vigée-​Lebrun and Adélaïde Labille-​Guiard. After 1789, the public visibility of female artists’ work increased dramatically. In 1791, fifteen of the 103 portraitists exhibiting in the official Salon were women. An additional ten women sent portraits to that year’s Exposition de la Jeunesse. Of 130 total portraitists showing work in public that year, fully 19 percent were women. The number of exhibiting female portraitists continued to grow steadily; according to the official Salon statistics, the only consistent source over the whole revolutionary period, we arrive at a maximum (for the period 1787–1804) of twenty-​nine female portraitists in 1802.36 Artists who produced miniature portraits on ivory also benefited substantially from the open submission system. Indeed, one observer, the wife of a portraitist who had emigrated to London in search of work, complained in 1796 that miniaturists were the only portraitists still making a living: “Artists are dying of hunger; only the miniaturists are working on something.”37 This was not strictly true, but the medium enjoyed a surge in visibility and popularity during the Revolution. Miniatures had played scarcely any part in the official Academy but were popular among consumers—​they were relatively cheap and could be used to decorate luxury objects such as tobacco and candy boxes as well as worn on the body or kept in a pocket. The opening of the Salon gave miniature painters new visibility. The percentage of miniatures

in the total number of portraits displayed at the Salon rose from 6 percent in 1787 to a high of 25 percent in 1801, creating the impression that public space was being taken over by tiny portraits.38 Houdon’s letter to Périn, quoted above, conveys exactly this sense of a brisk trade in miniatures, crowded with producers and governed by the unyielding laws of the market.

Marketing Strategies A portrait, small or large, was a strange kind of consumer good. On one hand, portraits were perhaps the least commodified of all art objects in the late eighteenth century. They were expensive but in most cases had little or no resale value; a secondhand portrait was of no interest to collectors unless the sitter or artist was famous in his or her own right. Moreover, portraits—​excepting images of celebrities—​depended on a personal interaction between an artist and a patron and could not be produced on spec the way genre paintings or still lifes could. On the other hand, portraiture was a thoroughly commercial undertaking that required its practitioners to recruit a constant stream of new clients. To be a successful portraitist in the Revolution’s open market required, as Houdon’s letter to his friend demonstrates, a healthy measure of hustle.39 An artist who played the market skillfully could make a very comfortable living—​far more comfortable than a history painter dependent on ever-​diminishing state or private commissions. The association between portraiture and commerce was acknowledged—​and condemned—​by many critics,

especially those interested in promoting painting as a morally edifying form of intellectual activity. The nature of the transaction that produced a portrait compromised the artist’s artistic and financial disinterestedness, on which his or her claim to membership in the liberal professions was based.40 This, as we saw in Étienne La Font de Saint-​Yenne’s complaints, quoted in the introduction, was an age-​old line of criticism, one that only intensified during the Revolution.41 For example, the Journal de Paris, in its review of the Salon of 1796, used portraiture’s association with commerce as a stick with which to beat a government that had abandoned its duties as a sponsor of the arts. The critic began with the standard complaint about the number of portraits on view and the inverse relationship between quantity and quality, then placed the blame not on French artists but on market forces: The artist lives neither on glory nor on the love of his art, he must find in his work what the simple artisan seeks and finds in his own. The nature of the objects on view today proves the truth of this. Never have we seen so many portraits in one place. The reason is that private individuals can pay for them, and they cannot find a sufficient surplus in their fortunes to pay for large history pieces. If the government does not take it upon itself to provide some work in this genre, we dare predict that at the next exhibition, the same brushes that frighten and astonish us by offering us Belisarius in danger, Socrates drinking hemlock, or the adieux of Hector and Andromache, will consecrate themselves to offering us, in isolation, the father, the mother, the

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daughter, and the grandpa, under the same number. We will not miss the opportunity to reproach them for this prostitution, but the friends of art will in turn cite the question posed to old Horace: What do you want them to do.42 In this critic’s view, the essentially commercial service that commissioners demand of artists is as humiliating as prostitution; portraiture reduces men who might otherwise be devoting themselves to producing edifying scenes of antiquity to the position of women who service the needs of a series of individuals (the father, the mother, the daughter, the grandfather). The commissioners’ desire to record their likenesses is as base an impulse as paying for sexual satisfaction. The critic firmly condemns the practice of portraiture, but his position on the relationship between art and money is curiously ambivalent. The artist, the writer concedes, is no more capable than any other artisan of living on glory or love, and money is inseparable from the production of art. What’s at stake here is the source of that money—​private money corrupts, whereas public money exalts. “We must not forget,” the critic concludes, “that encouragement must result in profit for the art, and not the trade.” Portraitists themselves were less likely to separate the art from the trade. A lucrative commission often fostered, rather than hindered, aesthetic innovation, and the solicitation of clients was thus central to a successful and creative portrait practice. Beginning in 1791, artists exhibiting in the annual Salon were given the option of listing their addresses along with the description of their works, and almost all of them took advantage of this service. The

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presence of addresses in the catalogue (or livret) amounts to an avowal that the purpose of the Salon was to convert viewers into buyers, inviting the public to seek out individual artists who inhabited not the abstract space of the great French aesthetic tradition but the streets of Paris, often just a few blocks away from the halls of the Louvre, where their potential clients examined their work. A portrait was a luxury good. Like jars of pomade, Indian cottons, English painted tin, and snuffboxes, portraits were offered to wealthy customers who had just begun to adopt the practice of visiting shops themselves rather than receiving vendors at their own homes.43 In other words, finding a portraitist may very well have been part of a new culture of shopping. Parisian portraitists in fact tended to cluster in fashionable shopping districts, reinforcing their connection to the most prestigious dealers in other luxury goods. Up to 80 percent of portraitists lived and worked on the Right Bank around the Louvre, traditionally the residence of the Academy itself and its most privileged members.44 The concentration of portraitists extended to the commercial district north of the palace—​including the rue St. Honoré, the most important street in Paris for luxury shopping. Between Les Halles and the place de la Madeleine, it housed 119 boutiques, by one scholar’s count, and at least four portraitists.45 The rue St. Honoré had the advantage of abutting the southern end of the Palais-​ Royal, just a few blocks northwest of the Louvre. The Palais-​Royal, rebaptized the Palais de l’Egalité after the abolition of the monarchy, emerged in the 1780s as Paris’s preeminent center of high-​end commerce and elite sociability.46 Under its arcades hundreds of boutiques catered

to fashionable shoppers: dressmakers, jewelers, furniture makers, print sellers, art dealers, and bookstores. The Palais-​Royal continued to serve as a lively marketplace (and as a hotbed of political agitation) throughout the Revolution. Portraitists figured among the purveyors of luxury goods, selling the kinds of likenesses most likely to appeal to dazzled strollers with short attention spans. An aptly named 1789 guidebook, État actuel de Paris, ou le provincial à Paris: Ouvrage indispensable à ceux qui veulent connoître & parcourir Paris, sans faire aucune question, identified several portraitists working under the arcades, including a Madame Pilot who promised miniature portraits in profile after a single fifteen-​minute sitting, or in three-​quarter view after three sittings; a Monsieur Gonord who worked in wax, porcelain, plaster, miniature, or silhouette; and Messieurs Queneday and Chrétien, who were famous for a mechanized six-​minute portrait process known as the “physionotrace.”47 In this crowded market, portraitists could not afford to rely solely on the Salon to attract clients. The 1803 Almanach de beaux-​arts, a directory of the Parisian art trade, listed ninety-​one portraitists who had not sent works to the 1802 Salon, which already featured 127 portraitists. The Almanach de beaux-​arts listings are evidence not only of the existence of alternative forms of advertisement but also of the breadth of the market. A comparison of the 1802 Salon livret and the Almanach yields a tally of more than two hundred portraitists active in revolutionary Paris. With such ferocious competition, it is not surprising that portraitists’ strategies for selling their work resembled those used by other late eighteenth-​ century purveyors of luxury goods.48 The marchands

merciers of Paris in the 1770s and 1780s (the best-​studied group of merchants) attracted wealthy customers directly to their boutiques in the Palais-​Royal/St. Honoré neighborhood, where they presented a collection of various decorative objects and items of personal adornment. Their stores were decorated luxuriously, making the experience of shopping more like a visit to the home of someone of equal social rank than an artisan’s presentation of wares to a patron. Merchants promoted their establishments with elaborate trade cards, newspaper advertisements, and trinkets such as limited-​edition gold boxes emblazoned with the boutique’s name. The identity of each store was linked to the personality of its owner, implying a new kind of relationship between celebrity tastemakers and customers seeking counsel. Of course, merchants also played up the prestige of their clients to attract other customers; boutiques of all kinds trumpeted the patronage of the royal family, and the dressmaker Rose Bertin displayed portraits of her royal customers, Marie Antoinette foremost among them, in her store.49 Portraitists adopted many of these marketing strategies, both before and during the Revolution. Like the marchands merciers, they attracted clients to their ateliers rather than going to meet sitters in their own homes. This reversal of the traditional relationship between artisan and client created a certain illusion of equality between portraitist and client, and, in the case of the most successful portraitists, recast sitting for a portrait as a moment of sociability. The proliferation of images of portrait studios after 1789 attests to the public’s fascination with the portrait transaction and its social dynamic. Louis-​Léopold Boilly’s painting of the studio of the

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miniaturist Jean-​Baptiste Isabey, the subject of Houdon’s warnings to Périn-​Salbreux, was the hit of the Salon of 1798 (fig. 7). Its depiction of a crowd of popular young artists and actors in a neoclassical interior decorated by the ultrafashionable architects Charles Percier and Pierre-François-​Léonard Fontaine was a fine advertisement for the pleasures of visiting a portraitist’s studio.50 Portraitists also traded on their personalities and their reputations as tastemakers in order to build up their businesses. Every year, artists sent images of themselves to the Salons, peaking in 1798 with fifteen self-​portraits. Isabey was particularly talented at exploiting this form of advertisement. In addition to submitting his own drawings of himself and his family to the Salon, he also

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benefited from the homage of other artists, including Boilly’s 1798 studio scene and François Gérard’s attention-​grabbing life-​size portrait of Isabey and his daughter, shown at the Salon of 1796.51 The commission of a portrait was a commercial transaction, but unlike the acquisition of a piece of furniture or a gold box, it required a prolonged interaction with its producer and confidence in that producer’s ability to understand and represent one’s social identity. The changes wrought by the Revolution made the task of producing a legible, appealing, and politically appropriate representation of the self even more delicate. Self-​portraits assured the potential client that the artist was capable of such judgments.

Social polish could also be demonstrated by association. Portraitists, like marchands merciers, used the celebrity of their clients to attract new business. Exhibiting portraits of well-​known cultural or political figures was a particularly effective means of attracting attention at the Salon; with so many portraits on view, critics tended to pass over all but the most famous faces. A portraitist without famous clients could create buzz by painting celebrities on spec. For instance, the miniaturist François Dumont exhibited three portraits of well-​known actors and musicians in the Salon of 1793, including an elaborate likeness of the composer Luigi Cherubini (fig. 8). In Dumont’s account book, which records the names of his sitters and the prices they paid for their portraits, these three miniatures are marked as executed at the artist’s own initiative, without payment.52 These inventive celebrity portraits were intended to draw attention to the artist’s skill and social cachet, serving as trade cards for Dumont’s portrait business. Portraits that remained in the artist’s studio also served as publicity. Potential sitters who visited could examine examples of the portraitist’s work and imagine themselves in the company of illustrious (or notorious) previous clients. When the portraitist Henri-​Pierre Danloux emigrated from Paris to London in 1792, leaving behind a substantial portrait practice, he was forced to rebuild his reputation in order to attract a new clientele. His first portraits were executed at his own expense in order to furnish his studio with well-​known likenesses. Danloux recounted in his journal that he asked a friend to sit for a portrait “in order to have another [portrait] in my studio; since he is very well-​known, this would

Figure 7 (opposite)  Louis-​Léopold Boilly, An Assembly of Artists in the Studio of Isabey, Salon of 1798. Oil on canvas, 71.5 × 111 cm. C.P.P. 35, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Figure 8  François Dumont, Luigi Cherubini, Salon of 1793. Miniature on ivory, 17 × 12.5 cm. RF157, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

give me great pleasure.”53 He also solicited portrait commissions from the best-​known courtesans in London in order to attract further work from their lovers; he removed these portraits from his studio walls when respectable women visited.54 In Paris, the studios of famous portraitists were veritable tourist attractions. The German composer

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Johann Friedrich Reichardt visited the ateliers of David, Gérard, Isabey, and Vigée-​Lebrun during his stay in Paris during the winter of 1802–3. At Gérard’s studio in the Louvre, which he visited at least twice, he saw a portrait in progress of Napoleon’s mother and passed judgment on its degree of resemblance by comparing it to his recent sighting of the sitter at the opera. He also found there completed portraits of other famous sitters, including the generals Murat and Moreau and Juliette Récamier.55 At the same time that Reichardt was in Paris, the Englishman Bertie Greatheed was making a similar tour of artists’ studios. Greatheed, a wealthy English gentleman whose son was an aspiring artist, visited a wider range of artists than Reichardt had. Maria Cosway, the English-​born miniaturist, introduced him to a number of studios, including those of Gérard, David, Nisa Villers (or Villiers), Marie-​Guillemine Benoist, Antoine-​Denis Chaudet and his wife Elisabeth Chaudet, and Jacques Sablet.56 Greatheed had less to say than Reichardt about the portraits he saw in these studios, although he did refer disapprovingly to Gérard’s painting style as having a “husky finished manner like a Birmingham tea board.”57 As Greatheed and Reichardt’s itineraries demonstrate, the doors of portraitists’ studios were open to interested amateurs, even if they were not in the market for their own portrait. By promoting their own taste and skill, and by creating an atmosphere of refinement in their studios, portraitists, like the marchands merciers, advertised a kind of personal identity (both their own and their clients’) as much as they promoted a product. Portraiture occupied the intersection of two spaces, symbolized by the physical

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abutment of the Louvre with the rue St. Honoré and the Palais-​Royal: the space of a liberal profession patronized by the government and dignified by its relationship to taste and power, and the space of luxury commerce in which individual producers and merchants competed for the business of private clients. As the monarchy and the Academy lost their grip on cultural production, the market and the desires of the consumer became more important governing forces in portrait production. The collapse of the monarchy and the Academy that fueled this portrait market was part of a larger reinvention of France’s social structure. After 1789, portraiture relied less on ancien régime categories for its production of personal identity and more on revolutionary ideas about equality and citizenship. The balance between old and new in any particular portrait depended on the process of commission and execution, with all its attendant interactions between artist, sitter, and any other interested parties. These processes and relationships are difficult to reconstruct. Like many common social practices, the portrait transaction did not attract much comment by contemporaries. What commentary exists is often formulaic, contenting itself with clichés about sitters’ vanity and portraitists’ flattery that trace their origins to the sixteenth century.58 However, surviving primary sources—​ artists’ account books and correspondence, accounts by foreign visitors to Paris, and scattered evidence provided by sitters or by images of the portraitist’s studio—​make it possible to analyze the dynamics of the portrait process, and to apply that analysis to individual cases. Several portraitists have left either written or visual descriptions of their studios, and additional information

can be extrapolated from contemporary accounts. When Danloux arrived in London in 1792, he rented lodgings and a studio in the house of an auctioneer in Leicester Square, which was at once a thriving artistic neighborhood ( Joshua Reynolds lived and worked there until his death in 1792) and an area popular with French émigrés.59 In the portion of his lodgings that served as his studio, Danloux adjusted the light, covered the walls with green drapery to better set off the portraits displayed there, and set up what he referred to as his fauteuil de pose—​probably a normal chair set on a raised dais. When women came to visit or pose, Danloux bought fresh flowers. On one occasion, he went so far as to order cakes brought into the studio for a female sitter.60 Danloux’s studio was fairly modest, although his efforts to decorate and cater betray his eagerness to create a pleasant space for the reception of clients. Other portraitists operated on a larger scale. The painter Alexandre Roslin, another successful portraitist working in the Louvre, also had a substantial and well-​decorated studio at his disposal for the reception of clients. His 1793 posthumous inventory describes the contents of the studio, which overlooked the Seine from the third floor. Besides finished examples of Roslin’s own work and nine half-​finished portraits, the studio contained paintings by such French artists as Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Hubert Robert, and Anne Vallayer-​Coster, portraits by (or copies of portraits by) Rosalba Carriera, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Titian, framed portrait prints of various artists, and several miniatures. In a small room off the staircase were stored tools of the trade: a stack of fifty canvases, oil sketches of hands and feet, and six easels of

various sizes. The paintings and other objects in the main studio may have served as examples for Roslin and his students, but more probably they were part of a décor intended to impress visitors and establish Roslin’s own artistic lineage.61

The Portrait Negotiation The portraitist’s studio may have been designed to evoke elite sociability, but discussions between artist and sitter were by necessity both more intimate and more commercial than those of the private salon. The parties to the portrait transaction not only had to agree on medium, format, and price; they also had to come to terms about exactly how to visualize the sitter’s personal and social identity. The variability of the portrait-​client relationship is demonstrated by the surviving accounts of the portrait negotiation. The artistic reputation and social status of the best-​known portraitists could reduce the client to an almost abject deference, as is made clear in a letter from Jacobus Blauw to David on the subject of his portrait: “Don’t think, dear friend, that the sole desire to have my portrait painted prompted me to engage you. No: I esteemed you more than myself; I wanted to possess one of your masterpieces and I wanted even more for this portrait to be a monument for eternity to my intimacy with the foremost painter in Europe. Your talents, your reputation, your civisme, your misfortunes, the great services that you have rendered the French Revolution through the civic festivals that your genius directed, how many pretexts for my admiration!” For a client like this,

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anything the master proposed in terms of price or pose would do. The sitter was buying not just a likeness but a connection to a famous artist—​in this case, to a famously radical republican who had recently been imprisoned for his political commitments. But even a portrait inspired by an exalted sense of fraternity had to be bought and paid for. Blauw’s letter also includes payment: “Raoul will give you with this letter a trifling gage of my gratitude; it is hardly proportionate to the merit of the work.”62 The mention of money was a reminder, veiled in politesse, that the portrait was not just a pledge of friendship. If some sitters left everything to the discretion of the portraitist, others dictated every aspect of the finished image. The painter Philippe-​Auguste Hennequin, who was briefly a student of David, relates in his memoirs the story of his negotiations with a particularly demanding client, who wanted a portrait of her family to commemorate her granddaughter’s wedding. The client came to Hennequin sometime in 1792 or 1793 with definite ideas: she wanted a full-​length but small-​scale group portrait with figures of about three feet in height, and she wanted it finished before the wedding in three months’ time. Hennequin seized the opportunity to propose a complicated allegorical composition involving the Temple of Vesta and the Altar of Hymen. The client accepted the proposal, but upon viewing the finished portrait she objected to his choices of pose and costume: “ ‘ Why,’ said she, ‘have you lifted my robe up like that? I never tuck it up,’—‘Madame, this may be done in a painting without its being improper or out of place: besides, it is more in the antique style.’ At these last words, in which she saw an allusion to her age, she got up with an inconceivable

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vivacity, and from the height of her grandeur she berated me soundly, calling me impertinent and employing other more stinging epithets.”63 The affronted patron immediately demanded a reduction in price. Hennequin refused, and the matter went to court—​where the expert appraisers maintained the artist’s right to the full price of the portrait. Hennequin’s anecdote, as self-​serving as it is, points to the complicated negotiations and the potential clash of wills involved in the creation of a portrait, particularly an ambitious composition. The client wanted a modern likeness that would document her actual clothing; the artist wanted to use a more abstract and allegorical visual language less directly related to her day-to-​day life. The client, in fact, was pushing for more transparency. Before these issues of visual rhetoric were broached, the first choice facing portrait commissioners was the size of the portrait and of the figure or figures. The largest and most expensive of all painted portraits was the life-​ size full-​length format. Before 1789, this mode of portraiture had generally been reserved for the uppermost social echelons, and was aimed primarily at conveying dignity and social status. During the Revolution, the life-​size full-​length portrait was produced in a number of more casual, and more creative, variations. For instance, in 1794, during the most radical phase of the Revolution, a wealthy Parisian merchant who was both an amateur musician and a commander of the police force commissioned an unknown artist to paint a full-​length portrait of himself, instrument in hand, in the pose of an inspired performer (fig. 9). The image combines the persona of the fashionable man-about-​town with the visual language of

Figure 9  Anonymous, The Citizen Hesmart with a Bust of Gluck, 1794. Oil on canvas, 230 × 133 cm. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

portraits of celebrity musicians by artists like François Dumont. This hybrid identity conveniently masks the sitter’s role in policing the capital, an occupation that in 1794 could hardly have been more polarizing. Four years later, the painter Pierre-​Maximilien Delafontaine, a student of David, sent to the Salon an imposing portrait of the medallion engraver Bertrand Andrieux ice-​skating (fig. 10). The pose was without precedent in French portraiture, and the sitter’s dramatic gesture, the sense of action, and the inclusion of a detailed landscape background all set the portrait apart from ancien régime precedents.64 Delafontaine probably produced this portrait as a means of self-​promotion, since artists like Andrieux generally could not afford portraiture on this scale. The painting’s size and sensational composition would have served as an excellent advertisement of the artist’s ability to devise creative solutions for paying clients interested in innovative self-​presentation. Both of these portraits were produced for sitters who would probably not have commissioned full-​length portraits before the Revolution. Their inventiveness demonstrates the ways in which revolutionary portraitists, and their clients, reworked a standard format to fit new artistic and social hierarchies. Life-​size full-​length portraits remained relatively rare; they were both expensive and difficult to execute. However, the Revolution saw a boom in small-​scale full-​length portraits, which offered the descriptive and narrative possibilities of the larger format at a much more affordable price. In 1798, for instance, an unidentified man commissioned a portrait of himself set in a landscape from the painter Robert Lefèvre (fig. 11). The small-​scale full-​length format allowed the

artist to pack a great deal of information about the sitter’s costume, reading habits, and love of nature into a canvas measuring roughly 26 by 22 inches. Full-​length portraiture traditionally asserts the sitter’s personal and social power; the inclusion of the whole body and the space allotted to setting and accessories create a sense of presence and agency. The smaller format effectively democratized the full-​length portrait, giving people with

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moderate means access to an elite mode of portraiture and its possibilities for self-​creation.65 While full-​length portraiture became more common in France after 1789, more truncated likenesses remained the bread and butter of the portrait business. Standard revolutionary formats included three-​quarter length (cut off at the knee), half-​length (cut off at the waist), bust-​ length (with or without hands), and head only. The most

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basic and cheapest of these formats was the head or bust without hands, usually executed in a three-​quarter view. A letter from the miniaturist François-​Antoine Romany to his friend and fellow portraitist Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller on the eve of the Revolution commented flippantly on the simplicity and profitability of the bust portrait. Having received in December 1788 a request from Wertmüller, then working in Bordeaux, to send

a large blank canvas from Paris, Romany responded, “As soon as I receive your canvas order, it will be executed with exactitude. I presume that it’s for some large project. Those are not the kind that earn the most. A head, a bit of clothing slapped on, that’s what’s good.”66 Romany’s view of the standard bust as the most profitable mode of portraiture was probably typical among painters. Clients were also sensitive to its advantages: the bust against a blank background is by far the most common form of late eighteenth-​century portraiture, both before and after 1789. The same factors that made it cheap and easy to produce (a close focus on the face with minimal costume visible, a neutral, solid-​colored background) also gave the bust portrait the intimacy and intense psychological presence that revolutionary transparency demanded from citizens of the regenerated nation. The simple bust portrait required little decision making. More complicated portraits involved more choices: how the body was to be posed, what kind of background to use, what accessories or extra figures to include. The Salons and the active print trade did much to promote new kinds of portraiture, but artists themselves also developed mechanisms to codify their solutions to the problem of revolutionary portraiture. At least two portraitists whose careers were launched after 1789, François Gérard and Louis Gauffier, took it upon themselves to record their work in the form of reduced replicas of finished portraits. The Gérard collection is the more extensive; eighty-​four of these tiny oil paintings on canvas duplicate most, if not all, of the life-​size full-​length portraits the artist painted between 1796 and his death in 1837 (fig. 12).67 Similar miniature replicas of finished

Figure 10 (opposite)  Pierre-​Maximilien Delafontaine, Bertrand Andrieux Ice-​Skating, n.d. [Salon of 1798]. Oil on canvas, 179 × 130 cm. Musée de la Monnaie de Paris. Figure 11  Robert Lefèvre, Portrait of a Man in the Landscape, n.d. [1798]. Oil on canvas, 65 × 55 cm. Musée des beaux-​arts de Caen.

portraits were produced by Louis Gauffier, a French painter who had a successful portrait practice among the French occupying forces in Italy (fig. 13).68 Gauffier’s existing replicas are also executed in oil on canvas but are even smaller than Gérard’s and are grouped several on a canvas.69 The existence of these replicas in the studios of two portraitists separated by geography and circumstances

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suggests that keeping such records was a common practice in eighteenth-​century portrait studios.70 Revolutionary conditions made such pattern books particularly useful for several reasons. Members of the new elites were less likely than ancien régime commissioners to have similar full-​length portraits of their ancestors hanging in their houses, providing a mental framework and establishing visual patterns for their own images. Old political and social structures had been discredited by the

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Revolution, along with the cultural styles associated with them. As antiaristocratic rhetoric mounted, sitters and artists would hardly have wanted to recapitulate tainted ancien régime formulas—​particularly in full-​length portraits, which already smacked of Versailles. Indeed, both Gérard and Gauffier specialized in full-​length portraits set in the landscape, a mode of portraiture that was fairly rare during the ancien régime but experienced a boom in popularity during the Revolution. Their studio replicas would have helped educate their clientele about this newly fashionable form of portrait. As portraitists developed new formulas, clients could choose poses from the replicas that seemed safely “revolutionary,” having already been sanctioned by a previous sitter. Artists’ replicas instructed sitters about the possibilities of portraiture and helped create a new and coherent aesthetic for revolutionary political and social legitimacy. With or without studio replicas as guides, the artist and the client had to come to an agreement about format and pose. Price was an important consideration. A bust with hands cost significantly more than one without, the addition of accessories or a second figure could raise the price further, and a pose that was affordable on a cabinet-​size canvas could be exorbitantly expensive when painted at life size. Another determinant of price was the choice of artist. In an 1801 letter to Lucien Bonaparte concerning her search for a portraitist, the marquise of Santa Cruz listed financial concerns in the same breath as artistic quality. “I am going to meet Gérard,” she wrote, “who is said to be the best after David, and less expensive.”71 Artists were apparently aware of their competitors’ price scales and actively attempted to undercut each other. The Danish amateur T. C. Bruun

Figure 12 (opposite)  François Gérard, Jean-​Baptiste Isabey and His Daughter (studio replica), n.d. Oil on canvas, 32 × 24 cm. Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Figure 13  Louis Gauffier, Portrait of the Family of a Diplomat in Italy (studio replica), ca. 1797–99. Oil on canvas, 11 × 15 cm. Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles.

Neergaard remarked disapprovingly, “There are some who compromise their reputations so much that they work well or badly, in proportion to payment, and they go so far as to steal work from their colleagues by proposing more moderate prices than they agreed on.”72 What was the going rate for a portrait during the Revolution? Artists’ account books and contemporary accounts of the Parisian portrait market reveal a wide range of prices, from a few livres to tens of thousands of livres. The political and economic upheavals of the Revolution do not seem to have caused any precipitous decline in prices, despite the anxious testimony of individual artists. Antoine Vestier, a former academician, certainly felt that the Revolution had cut into his earnings. In a letter of 1790 he complained, “when by chance I do a portrait, no one wants to pay me even a quarter of what I was paid before the Revolution. . . . As a good patriot, I have made the sacrifice of time and money in order to support the public good [la chose publique] and if it is necessary to

sacrifice my dearest hopes for the whole nation I will do so with all my heart.”73 Vestier’s patriotic rhetoric, from the repeated references to sacrifice to the endorsement of “la chose publique,” does not hide his evident conviction that the Revolution had gutted the portrait market. However, his complaint about a drastic drop in portrait prices is not borne out by other evidence. The competitiveness of the post-1789 portrait market, combined with the instability of the economy, is likely to have made both clients and artists particularly sensitive to issues of pricing, but even at the height of the Terror, commissioners were willing to pay good money for their portraits. The miniaturist Jean-​Baptiste Augustin’s account book, for instance, records a steady stream of clients in 1793, the year when terror was declared the order of the day.74 The few surviving contracts also provide evidence about the portrait transaction. A brief note from David to the Irish art collector Cooper Penrose dictates a price and a payment schedule but gives little concrete information

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about pose: “Mr. Penrose can have complete faith in me, I will paint his portrait for him for two hundred gold louis. I will represent him in a manner worthy of both of us. This picture will be a monument that will testify to Ireland the virtues of a good father and the talents of the painter who will have rendered them. It will be handled in three payments, namely 50 louis at the start, 50 louis when the picture is roughed in, and the remaining 100 louis when the work is finished.”75 Penrose seems to have trusted David to compose the portrait—“in a manner worthy of both of us” is not a very clear set of specifications. Indeed, the note itself begins with the assurance (or rather the injunction) that Mr. Penrose can have complete confidence in the judgment of the artist. It is possible, however, that even in David’s studio, negotiations over pose may have taken place during the course of the required sittings; documents like this one may have been drawn up only to fix a price. In general, portraitists and clients agreed on a fee in advance, as we saw in the David contract and Hennequin’s anecdote about his difficult sitter—​although the latter story demonstrates that commissioners felt entitled to bargain the artist down after the fact. The testimony of six surviving account books or price lists from the revolutionary era, drawn up by Joseph Boze, François Dumont, Augustin, Jean-​Baptiste Sambat, Pierre Adolphe Hall, and Wertmüller, provides us with a range of prices and a record of how artists assigned value to their work.76 Other primary sources, such as court records and private correspondence, supplement this evidence. The cheapest portraits, such as the silhouettes and physionotraces produced by the artists of the

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Palais-​Royal, cost as little as 3 livres.77 A simple bust miniature by a modest but competent artist like Jean-​ Baptiste Sambat started at 72 livres, while the work of better-​known miniaturists, such as Dumont, Augustin, and Hall, averaged 240 livres. The addition of hands, accessories, or extra figures could push the price of a miniature up to 800 livres or more. Even at the low end of the range, a miniature by a leading artist exceeded the price of small oil paintings by mid-​range artists; quality and reputation trumped medium and size. Dumont’s most basic miniatures were considerably more expensive than Louis-​Léopold Boilly’s small busts in oil, which cost only 120 francs (the livre was officially converted to the franc in 1795, but both terms continued to be used).78 Dumont’s more elaborate efforts, such as a 600-​livre portrait of a woman at a fortepiano, were comparable in price to canvases by Joseph Boze, whose bust portraits ranged in price from 360 to 1,200 livres, or by Wertmüller, who charged between 380 and 600 livres for busts and half-​length portraits.79 By the same token, artists whose reputations as history painters served as a marker of artistic quality could charge much higher rates. In 1796, François-​André Vincent was charging 1,200 francs for a three-quarter-​length portrait of a man, and 1,800 francs for a pendant portrait of the sitter’s wife and son.80 David lived up to his reputation as the most expensive portraitist in Paris, if not all of Europe: the contracted price for the Cooper Penrose portrait, painted in 1801–2, was 200 louis, or 4,800 livres, at 24 livres to the louis.81 If portrait prices started as low as 3 livres, and if portraits in oil could be had for 120 livres, and high-​ quality single-​figure likenesses for less than 1,000 livres,

prices for life-​size full-​length portraits were significantly higher. David, unsurprisingly, topped out the scale with his equestrian portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte crossing the Alps, which he sold to the king of Spain in 1800 for 24,000 livres. Early in his career, Gérard’s price for a full-​length portrait was 2,000 livres; in 1806, after his reputation was established, the standard price rose to 4,000 livres.82 It was certainly possible to obtain a full-​ length portrait from a lesser-​known artist for substantially less than the prices charged by artists like Gérard and David. In 1790, for instance, an artist named Pierre-​ Louis Choizeau received 900 livres for a full-​length portrait measuring seven by five feet, less than Vincent charged for a three-quarter-​length portrait and a bargain compared to canvases of similar size by his better-​known peers.83 The prices of portraits tell us little on their own. By comparing them to the prices of other commodities, however, we can begin to understand what kind of investment a portrait represented, and what kinds of people could afford one. The cheapest portraits sold in the Palais-​Royal for single-​digit prices can be compared to the cost of various goods and services: a ticket for the standing parterre at the opera at a little more than 2 livres, or a single trip across town in a rented carriage for 1.5 livres; a set of sheet music for 15 francs, or a day’s wages for a valet at 4 francs.84 The price of a physiono­ trace was thus comparable to that of an ephemeral pleasure like seeing an opera or hiring a carriage, but it was still considerable compared to the daily wages of a hired valet. A Dumont miniature, at 240 livres, cost the equivalent of renting a loge at the Comédie-​Française

for a year and was more expensive than the annual rent on a small Parisian apartment in a working-​class neighborhood at the end of the ancien régime.85 For a life-​size full-​length portrait, ranging from 900 livres (Choizeau) to 6,000 livres (Gérard), prices outstripped the value of other luxury commodities (840 livres for a saddle horse; 1,500 to 1,800 livres for a used carriage; 700 livres for a year’s tuition and expenses in a boarding school) and could exceed the annual rent of a Parisian apartment or house (700–3,000 livres).86 These comparisons give us a rough idea of the price of a portrait, but they do not tell us what kinds of people actually commissioned them. If a cheap portrait was theoretically within the financial reach of a valet, it does not necessarily follow that the valet would consider a portrait an appropriate investment of a day and a half ’s wages. However, there is other evidence that even members of the working class bought portraits. The miniaturist Augustin, who often noted the professions and addresses of his sitters in his lists of works completed, painted portraits for furniture makers, shop girls, pastry cooks, locksmiths, and servants.87 These artisans and workers are listed cheek by jowl with Augustin’s elite clientele, and they paid the same prices as his more affluent sitters. Augustin was one of Paris’s foremost portraitists; the account books of lesser practitioners must have included even more members of the working class. Analysis of Parisian inventories shows that 71.5 percent of the households surveyed after 1750 owned paintings or prints; of the images identified by subject in the inventories, 30 percent were portraits. Given that notaries often failed to identify the subjects of the pictures they recorded, the

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evidence points to a fairly widespread consumption of portraits, even among lower-​class families.88 Without being able to say exactly what classes of people bought what kinds of portraits, we can conclude that portraits, while relatively expensive even at the low end of the price scale, were within the reach of the working class, and that working-​class people were interested in portraiture and its potential for self-​representation.

Social Interaction in the Studio Once format and price had been agreed upon, the sitter still faced the prospect of long periods of enforced immobility in the portraitist’s studio. David’s portrait of Cooper Penrose reportedly required eighteen six-​hour sittings.89 No one who had to work for a living could possibly afford to sacrifice so much time to a portraitist, and no artist in precarious financial circumstances could devote so much time to a single sitter. One solution to this problem was the reduction of sitting time to the bare minimum. Henri-​Nicolas van Gorp, who exhibited nine portraits in the Salon of 1802, informed potential customers in his livret: “Nota: The artist executes his small portraits in four hours.”90 Boilly went Van Gorp one better; he claimed to execute portraits of a similar dimension in only two hours, an efficiency that explains the five thousand portraits he produced over the course of his career.91 Boilly further expedited the portrait process by using a standard pose and format—​a bust-​ length pose without hands against a neutral background, in three-​quarter view, with eye contact between sitter

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Figure 14  Louis-​Léopold Boilly, Madame Arnault de Gorse, n.d. Oil on canvas, 22 × 16 cm. RF1948, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

and viewer—​and by applying the paint in quick fluid strokes, leaving the texture of the canvas visible (fig. 14). The quickest of all portrait processes was the mechanized physionotrace; its practitioners advertised a guaranteed likeness in six minutes.92 Portraitists could also minimize the time a sitter spent in the studio by streamlining the portrait process. Except in the case of elaborate large-​scale compositions, few artists produced preparatory sketches, preferring to work directly on the canvas or ivory. The artist generally started

Figure 15  Jacques-​Louis David, Napoleon Bonaparte, 1797–98. Oil on canvas, 81 × 65 cm. RF1942-18, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

with the head, which was brought to a high state of finish in the presence of the sitter. The rest of the composition could be completed without the sitter’s participation; the widespread use of mannequins facilitated the portraitist’s study of pose and drapery.93 This method also allowed portraitists, in the case of high-​volume production, to farm out drapery and background to assistants. Portraits that remained unfinished clearly show this manner of proceeding. An early portrait of Napoleon by David, for instance, includes only the head and quick outlines of the body (fig. 15).

The use of standardized poses, mannequins, and studio assistants might have reduced sitting times to a minimum, but even Boilly’s clients had to spend a few hours in the artist’s studio. A conversation that began with choosing a pose and negotiating a price could quickly become more serious, as the account of the portrait sitting in Pierre Lacour’s studio demonstrates. The psychological import of this exchange has been the subject of several studies of late eighteenth-​century portraiture. Ewa Lajer-​Burcharth has read David’s portraiture and self-​portraiture through the lens of twentieth-​century psychoanalytic theories, arguing that the relationship between David and his sitters was inflected by the artist’s psychic disarray after the fall of the radical republic.94 Angela Rosenthal has also argued for the psychic tensions inherent in the portrait process in her work on female artists in late eighteenth-​ century France and England. Rosenthal astutely analyzes the gendering of vision and the ways in which artists like Vigée-​Lebrun negotiated the cultural norms surrounding the female gaze.95 Lajer-​Burcharth and Rosenthal, by focusing attention on the social and emotional aspects of the artist-​sitter relationship, shed welcome light on the mutuality of the portrait process and on the pressures placed on the self in late eighteenth-​century France. However, while psychological and sexual tensions were certainly a part of the portrait process, that process was governed by aesthetic conventions, social propriety, and professional decorum, and its end product was largely instrumental in nature: commissioners paid portraitists for images that did social and political work. Given the lengths to which artists went to curtail sitting times, the encounter in the studio was probably a rather

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workmanlike and even tedious affair for both sitter and artist. What meaningful interaction did occur in the studio was likely more akin to a social performance involving two or more people (often of different social classes and genders) than to an intimate exchange.96 As we have seen, the portraitist’s studio was a thoroughfare for friends and family, art connoisseurs, and tourists. Even Lacour’s encounter with a local terrorist occurred in the presence of his son. That performance may have been inflected by deeply rooted tensions, but to focus on the interpersonal dynamics between a particular artist and his or her sitters obfuscates the ways in which the portrait collaboration negotiated the much broader pressures of artistic convention, class dynamics, and political ideology. The portrait transaction ideally ended with payment and removal of the finished portrait from the artist’s studio. However, as Hennequin’s story about his allegorical family portrait demonstrates, commissioners were prone to quibbling about the quality and price of the finished product. Some clients, like Hennequin’s, went so far as to take an artist to court. Several such conflicts over portraits appear in the records of the expert appraisers from the Châtelet de Paris.97 For instance, in 1790 a client disputed payment on the grounds that the portrait was not a sufficiently good likeness. The expert, after examining the disputed portrait in the presence of the sitter, declared that he “found likeness in it, and that it was receivable.”98 The clients who brought cases like this to court were worlds away from Jacobus Blauw, who just wanted to be associated with a great work of art and a great artist; these people wanted their money’s worth and were willing to invoke the law to get it.

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Portraitists were vulnerable to this kind of pressure because, for the most part, they were not paid for their work until the portrait was completed—​indeed, sometimes not until well after the portrait was completed. David’s payment structure, in which a third of the price was paid in advance, was the exception to the rule. The miniaturist Romany, in a letter to Wertmüller in 1790, complained of working without payment: “I am very busy, without anyone talking much about money.”99 Danloux’s journal is full of comments about clients who paid their bills late, or paid less than the agreed price, and Wertmüller’s account book also attests to delays in payment.100 Some sitters never paid for their portraits, a fact also noted in artists’ account books. Augustin scrupulously recorded partial or total defaults in his list of finished works, writing in the margin, next to the price, “point payés” or “me le doit” at least nine times. An artist could make a virtue of necessity by decorating his or her studio with abandoned portraits. But short of taking the client to court, portraitists had little recourse, and the objects themselves had no resale value. The uncertainty of timely payment could only have heightened portraitists’ zeal in seeking out new clients.

Private and Public Display The vast majority of portraits produced during the Revolution were not shown in the Salon. Instead, they hung in private houses to be seen only by the sitter’s family and visitors. Indeed, miniatures could live out their lives in a desk drawer or a pocket. Given the fluidity between

private and public space in eighteenth-​century homes, however, even portraits in “private” spaces could be seen and commented on by strangers. It is difficult to reconstruct where portraits were installed in the domestic interior, and how family members and visitors viewed them. Posthumous inventories point to a distribution of portraits throughout the home, depending on their subjects. Portraits of public figures were more likely to be found in rooms regularly seen by visitors, such as the antechamber or the salle, while family portraits were hung all over the house, with a slightly higher concentration in the bedroom.101 Public and private images might hang cheek by jowl, as was the case in Camille Desmoulins’s Paris apartment, where a family portrait was displayed next to a print portrait of Victor Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, an Enlightenment theorist of political economy and father of the famous revolutionary politician evoked by Drolling’s portrait of his father-in-​law.102 Such evidence reminds us that self-​representation through portraiture could also take the form of displaying portraits of other people. Under the ancien régime, this meant living with portraits of the king or of higher-​ranking personal patrons who controlled the paths of advancement; during the Revolution, it meant displaying portraits of Benjamin Franklin or Marat or any of the other celebrities whose names and faces were emblems of particular political allegiances.103 While most portraits went directly from the artist’s studio to the commissioner’s home, some, at the insistence of the artist or the sitter, were hung in the Salon, and thus were seen by tens of thousands of viewers. Both artist and sitter had an interest in sending a portrait to

the Salon, where the skills of the one and the attractions and accomplishments of the other might be admired to their fullest effect. A letter from David to the husband of one of his sitters demonstrates how carefully artists planned their Salon submissions, and provides insight into the authority of female sitters over the disposal of their own images. In 1800 David found out that Henriette de Verninac’s husband was thinking of sending her portrait, completed in the Year VII (1798–99), to the next Salon and wrote to him to register his protest: “I no longer exhibit at the Salon for reasons it would take too long to explain. . . . It would be ridiculous for an artist like me merely to exhibit a portrait, no matter how good, when he has, on the side, a major painting which he is showing for money. I am busy right now painting another beautiful woman, Madame Récamier. It is an altogether different type of beauty. I suspect that she will want her portrait exhibited; when that happens, citoyen Préfet, I shall have the honor to inform you and by the same token request your permission to join Madame de Verninac’s to the other.”104 At the time, David was exhibiting the Intervention of the Sabine Women as a commercial enterprise. His letter implies that a single portrait sent to the Salon under his name would look paltry, drawing unwelcome attention to his unconventional for-​profit private exhibition and undermining his management of his own career. His response to Verninac is an attempt to control the behavior of the commissioner of the portrait in question—​in this case, the sitter’s husband. Whether Henriette de Verninac participated in this decision is unclear. On the other hand, David speaks of Madame Récamier as disposing of her own portrait. Women, then,

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were not systematically subjected to the opinions of their husbands, fathers, or lovers in their efforts to promote themselves in revolutionary society. Most portraits went to the Salon without the names of the sitters attached; the livrets abound with portraits of “a young woman” or of “le citoyen M***.” Despite the anonymity of the subjects of these portraits, and the overwhelming numbers in which they were exhibited, critics still singled out particular images for commentary. Some of this voluminous body of criticism offered thoughtful commentary on particular images or the genre as a whole, but in general writers repeated a stock of clichés.105 The tenor of most criticism alternated between satirical or political commentary on the character of the sitter (particularly if the sitter was a celebrity) and formulaic observations about the portraitist’s technical skill. Although critics’ opinions were no doubt of concern to both artist and sitter, many artists never mentioned in published criticism maintained thriving practices. Of the potential clients visiting the Salon, only a small percentage were likely to have read published criticism attentively. The public or private display of a portrait in a sense marked the end of the portrait process. But each image had an afterlife. As long as portraits were hanging in homes or perused in portfolios or worn on the streets as jewelry, they continued to rub up against and reshape notions of the ideal French citizen. The culture of

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transparency to which portraiture belonged created a kind of self very different from that of the ancien régime—​a self that reflected the changes that were taking place in all realms of French life. In 1793 the marquis de Condorcet, a distinguished philosophe, political theorist, and ex-deputy who had been driven into hiding by the Terror, recorded his assessment of those changes. Comparing the revolutions in America and France, he concluded that the French version represented a far greater upheaval in social and political structures. In the American case, he wrote, “None of these innovations affected the ordinary people or changed the relations between individuals. In France, on the contrary, the revolution was to embrace the entire economy of society, change every social relation and find its way down to the furthest links of the political chain, even down to those individuals who, living in peace on their private fortune or on the fruits of their labor, had no reason to participate in public affairs—​neither opinion nor occupation nor the pursuit of wealth, power, or fame.”106 Condorcet’s conviction that the Revolution changed everything and everyone attests to the profound impact of the course of national events on the definition of self and society in France. And everywhere that change was felt, there was an artist with a brush or a burin or an ivory plaquette or a physionotrace machine, ready to sell a new kind of selfhood to the eager citizen-​consumers of revolutionary France.


  the legislative body

Before the Revolution, everyone knew what political sovereignty looked like. The official formula employed by Joseph Siffred Duplessis’s 1777 portrait of Louis XVI had been passed down almost unaltered from the heyday of the absolute monarchy under Louis XIV (fig. 16). In 1789, however, when Louis XVI was forced by dire financial circumstances to revive the archaic form of national assembly known as the Estates-​General, the convention of a single man embodying the nation was seriously undermined, both politically and visually. Representative government presented a number of challenges in the first years of the French Revolution, not the least of which was how such a form of political power might be pictured. Between 1789 and 1794, several series of print portraits of the deputies to the Estates-​General, which soon declared itself the National Assembly, were published in Paris. Based on drawings hastily executed from life, these prints constituted an entirely new genre of portraiture—​ the representation of some twelve hundred living men distinguished not by their fame or virtue but by the mere fact of their election as the representatives of the French people. The print portraits both consecrated the deputies as worthy successors to the great men of antiquity and French history and established the legislative body as

the representation of France itself. The earliest and most artistically sophisticated series of deputy prints, directed by the engraver and publisher Nicolas-​François Levachez, appeared on the market in July 1789. The Levachez prints were executed by a team of accomplished artists and presented all the qualities of high-​style ancien régime print portraiture: bust-​length likenesses, three-​quarter views that allow for detailed physiognomies and costumes, and elaborate frames and inscriptions (fig. 17). But if their format was borrowed from earlier eighteenth-​century prints of notable Frenchmen, the Levachez deputy portraits aimed at something more than passive commemoration. Unassuming as they seemed individually, collectively the Levachez prints were an attack on the highest, and most conservative, mode of portraiture—​the image of the king. These portraits dramatically expanded the representation of political agency from the singular body of the king to the multiple bodies of men whose access to power depended on the votes of their peers. The full series of portraits was never completed; politics outran art production, and new legislators were elected before all the portraits of their predecessors were published. Even in its truncated state, however, the print series brought revolutionary debates about the purpose of the National Assembly, the nature of political

representation, and the definition of citizenship in a regenerated nation to a wide viewership. The Levachez series also makes proposals about one of the most fundamental and persistent problems of the Revolution: the relationship between the individual and the body politic. The prints present all the members of the legislature at the same scale, in the same format, with the same framing devices and inscriptions. The result is a group of images in which each individual portrait is meant to relate to the others in the series. The collective nature of the portrayal, however, is offset by the variations introduced into the series by the sitters themselves, who dictated the inscriptions and chose the costumes. The resulting tension between conformity to the group and individual variation takes on particular meaning at this early revolutionary moment, when theories of political representation were about to be codified in France’s first written constitution. The Levachez prints grapple visually with the main challenge faced by the revolutionary legislators themselves: how could an assembly of individuals represent the entire nation? The images of the deputies, by their very nature as portraits and as consumer goods, made their viewers into active participants in these debates about the nature of representative government and the status of the political actor in a postabsolutist regime. By radically transforming the norms of political portraiture in a format accessible to so many viewers, the Levachez prints also proposed a new way for portraiture, and for visual representation as a whole, to intervene in national affairs. Ever since the founding of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in the

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Figure 16  Joseph Siffred Duplessis, Louis XVI, King of France, 1777. Oil on canvas, 227 × 184 cm. Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Figure 17 (opposite)  Pierre-​Michel Alix, after Anonymous, Honoré-​Riqueti Mirabeau, ca. 1791. Aquatint and engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

mid-​seventeenth century, artists had staked their claims to personal and political importance on art’s ability to reproduce the king’s face and reinforce his authority.1 When the king’s singular sovereignty was replaced by the multiplicity of representative government, portraiture did not relinquish its claims to national relevance—​quite the contrary.

The deputy portraits assume this cultural and political mantle by undoing all the conventions of royal portraiture and reinventing the visual language of power. They speak about authority in a language of modesty, intimacy, and transparency. These qualities, as we have seen, were central to revolutionary theories of government and citizenship.

Levachez’s portraits, with their particularities and their replications, not only reinvent political portraiture for a new form of government but also push the capacity of portraiture itself to its limits. Each print is a recognizable likeness of an individual. Taken together, however, they merge into a collective image that risks illegibility.

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The Birth of the National Assembly The heterogeneous group of men depicted in the deputy portraits had been selected by their constituencies to travel to Versailles and represent local interests to the king and his ministers. None of them knew exactly what they would be called upon to do there. The Estates-​ General, the customary representative body of France, had not met since 1614, and its potential role in the financial crisis of the late 1780s was nebulous at best. Even its form was unclear. The 1789 incarnation of the Estates-​ General was made up of representatives elected by local assemblies of the clergy (the First Estate), the nobility (the Second), and the commoners (the Third). The electoral process, although indirect, was inclusive: every taxpaying Frenchman over the age of twenty-​five could vote in the local assemblies.2 In a last-​minute concession to the numerically predominant Third Estate, twice as many of its representatives were sent to Versailles than either of the other two estates. Thus, in theory, three hundred men would speak for the clergy, three hundred for the nobility, and six hundred for the commoners. However, in May 1789, when the Estates-​General officially convened, the question of whether the estates would meet together in one body, and how votes would be tallied, remained undecided. The confusion over procedural issues was compounded by the novelty of the assembly itself. Seventy-​ five percent of the deputies had never been to Paris or Versailles before; most deputies were strangers to one another and to the public at large.3 Under the pressures of both navigating a strange town and fulfilling an

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unprecedented function, the deputies tended to cling to other members of their local delegation, traveling together, lodging together, and—​at least in the first months—​creating political blocs, such as the group formed by the Breton delegates.4 For all their social, professional, and geographical divisions, however, many deputies to the Estates-​General came to Versailles with a common intellectual culture and a nascent political consciousness. Their discontent with the status quo, grounded in readings of Enlightenment thinkers like Rousseau and Montesquieu, had been honed by the culture of public contestation that grew up around public scandals both political and social.5 Caught between the pull of local loyalties and the feeling of a common purpose that transcended estate or particular constituencies, the deputies were understandably uncertain about whom they represented, what they were there to do, and how it ought to be done. The opening ceremonies of the Estates-​General were designed to undermine any potential group identity and to drive home the subservience of the deputies to royal authority. On May 2, in a hall decorated for the occasion with bas-​reliefs of great events in French history and portraits of French kings, the deputies were presented to the king and the court one by one.6 This individual presentation was an ostentatious demonstration of the king’s esteem for the deputies, but at the same time it assimilated their role to that of the courtier, introduced at Versailles in order to demonstrate his allegiance to the monarch. The portraits of kings hanging in the hall further emphasized the historic authority of the monarchy and reminded deputies of the power of the royal body.

Despite this show of monarchical bluster, the king and his ministers declined to give the Estates-​General any guidance as to how it should organize itself or what it ought to debate. This power vacuum was filled by a groundswell of public discourse about the current political situation. Among the most articulate and influential voices in this debate was that of Emmanuel Sieyès, who published Qu’est-​ce que le Tiers État? in January 1789. Sieyès, himself a deputy, insisted on the necessary singularity of the representative body: “it is, as a rule, perfectly useless to search for the relation or proportion by which each order should work together to form the general will. This will cannot be one as long as you allow three orders and three representations. . . . You will never form of them one nation, one representation, and one common will.”7 The deputies of the Third Estate took up Sieyès’s argument and called for a common assembly. Their demands met with persistent refusal on the part of almost all the deputies of the First and Second Estates, and the Third finally voted on June 17, 1789, to constitute itself the National Assembly. This renaming of the assembly carried significant symbolic weight; not only did the deputies of the Third Estate declare themselves the necessary and sufficient representatives of the nation, but they also discarded the idea of separate estates altogether in favor of a single assembly made up of equal members. The monarchy opposed this move, prompting the deputies—​crowded into provisional quarters in the royal tennis court—​ to take an oath not to disband until they had provided France with a written constitution. The Tennis Court Oath was an affirmation of the collective purpose of the

deputies, and particularly of the Third Estate, superimposed on divisive royal regulations and regional loyalties. Finally, the king himself succumbed to the pressure of the newly declared legislature and ordered the First and Second Estates to join the Third. The National Assembly could now claim, at least in theory, to have effaced the differences between the three estates. The dramatic events of May and June 1789 were not played out between the deputies, the king, and the ministers alone. Popular interest in the deputies’ actions was evident from the very beginning of the Estates-​General. The opening ceremonies included a march through the town of Versailles, where hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets to catch a glimpse of their new representatives.8 Timothy Tackett, in his study of the National Assembly, credits the presence of the public with helping radicalize the deputies. The meetings of the Third Estate were well attended by a vocal crowd, and the deputies were fully aware that their actions were being witnessed, and judged, by the public. The deputy Charles-​François Bouche articulated this sense of visibility in response to another member who wanted to shut spectators out of the Third Estate’s meeting hall: “Let it be known, sir, that we deliberate here in the presence of our masters and that we owe them an account of our positions.”9 Bouche’s declaration makes clear a sense of a direct and personal relationship between the deputies and the French people as a whole. The French people apparently took this relationship to heart; deputies reporting home on the proceedings at Versailles told of being offered flowers by strangers and hugged in the streets.10

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Publicizing the Legislature Enterprising publishers, seizing on the popularity of the legislature, conceived almost immediately the idea of issuing portraits of the deputies. As noted above, Nicolas-​ François Levachez was the first editor to launch a portrait series, in the summer of 1789; his initiative was imitated by a number of other publishers.11 The variable quality of the different series, which ranged from crude to luxurious, demonstrates that the editors targeted audiences of all economic classes. In fact, a volume of prints published by one of Levachez’s rivals and held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France bears the arms of Marie Antoinette, who seems an improbable collector of deputy portraits but whose purchase of the series demonstrates their penetration of the uppermost levels of patronage. Levachez himself was a minor engraver and publisher active in Paris from about 1775 to 1790. In 1789 he was working out of a shop in the Palais-​Royal, the geographic center of the Parisian portrait trade and of popular political activity.12 The production of the portrait series required considerable capital; Levachez employed seven artists to make sketches of the deputies from life, and seventeen different engravers to transfer the drawings to plates. The draftsmen were of modest reputation, but the engravers were, for the most part, well-​known and skillful veterans of the Parisian print market.13 The conversion of the first drawings into prints must have begun while others were still being executed, because Levachez announced the first livraison (literally “delivery” or installment) of portraits in the Gazette

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de France on July 24, 1789.14 According to his prospectus, Levachez intended to release an installment of eight portraits every fifteen days. Each livraison was to consist of two deputies each from the clergy and the nobility and four from the Third Estate. There seems to have been no deliberate political program behind the choice of which portraits to include; when the list of deputies included in each livraison is correlated with the voting records, each group of eight is more or less evenly split (whether deliberately or by chance) between reformers and conservatives. Levachez’s one noticeable bias was toward the famous. The first few livraisons in particular are generously larded with portraits of deputies who were already well known: the duc d’Orléans, Jean Sylvain Bailly (president of the Assembly at the swearing of the Tennis Court Oath), Guy-Jean-​Baptiste Target (the lawyer who defended Cardinal de Rohan in the Diamond Necklace Affair), the fiery orator the comte de Mirabeau, and the political theorist Sieyès. This mixture of high court nobility, protagonists of ancien régime causes célèbres, and newly consecrated revolutionary heroes was meant to appeal to the already robust market in single-​ sheet portraits of high-​society figures and participants in the latest scandals.15 In later livraisons, ordinary deputies far outnumber their more famous colleagues. Levachez also promised that each livraison would contain representatives from different constituencies, so that each province would soon see at least one of its deputies in print. This solicitude toward provincial viewers suggests that Levachez imagined a wide market for his print series. Indeed, early enthusiasm for the National

Assembly, combined with the popularity of print portraits as a genre—​portraits constituted a quarter of all prints produced in the late eighteenth century—​assured Levachez of a ready market for the deputy portraits.16 Moreover, the Levachez portraits were affordable: each livraison of eight prints cost eight livres. Individual portraits sold as single sheets probably cost one livre, on the low end of the scale of print prices in the second half of the eighteenth century, which ranged from twelve sous to sixteen livres.17 While we have no systematic data on the purchasers of the prints, we know from the annotations on the drawings that the deputies themselves (most of whom were men of moderate fortune) ordered single sheets of their own images, often as many as twenty or thirty at a time. The deputies had a personal interest in the portraits, of course, but the series would have been affordable for political enthusiasts of even more modest means, such as the journalist and politician Camille Desmoulins, whose personal collection now constitutes one of the exemplars of the series held by the Bibliothèque nationale.18 The multiple draftsmen and engravers involved in the Levachez project produced a collection of images of remarkable stylistic uniformity. The portraits were executed in aquatint and set in engraved frames. Each portrait depicts its sitter at bust length, with his face turned in three-​quarter view toward the viewer against a dark neutral background (a very few exceptions depict the sitter in profile). The majority of the sitters make eye contact with the viewer. Each portrait is set in an oval frame, and most frames are surmounted by a garland of

oak leaves and a ribbon bow. The form of the frame varies from image to image, perhaps according to the whim of the individual engraver; sometimes the knot of the bow is attached to a ring, suggesting a trompe l’oeil miniature suspended from a chain. The cartouche under each portrait contains information about the sitter—​generally his full name, occupation, and constituency. Sometimes the cartouche contains additional information, such as Mirabeau’s famous defiance of royal authority or the slogans and laurel wreath included in the portrait of Charles-​ François Bouche (figs. 17 and 18). The pencil drawings on which the prints were based, now in the collection of the Département des estampes of the Bibliothèque nationale, demonstrate how faithful the engravers were to the original portraits. Comparison shows very little deviation between original and copy (fig. 19). The portrait of Bouche is typical of the look of the drawings. They are straightforward in execution; the stylistic priority is on clear delineation of the sitters’ features and clothing. The poses are simple and the bodies silhouetted clearly against the dark background; each deputy seems to have been asked to sit in a chair with his arms at his sides. The sitters’ postures are casual, almost negligent, and the tightness of jackets closed by only one button and the wrinkles in clerical robes are faithfully recorded. In the case of Bouche, for example, the undulations of the white shirt, open at the neck, and the lines of the lapel are exactingly reproduced in the print version. The artist has noted the motto “Patriotisme, Probité, Sagesse et Courage” (Patriotism, Probity, Wisdom, and Courage) and signed the drawing underneath the oval

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Figure 18  Anonymous, after Jean Baptiste Ponce Lambert, Charles-​François Bouche, député d’Aix en Provence, ca. 1789–91. Aquatint and engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

frame, while Bouche’s name and constituency are noted in another hand. If all of the drawings roughly resemble one another in style, they are distinguished by the interventions of the deputies themselves. Each drawing is inscribed in a different hand, and the writing is clearly that of the deputies (some

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of the inscriptions refer to the sitter in the first person). Each sitter notes, as Bouche did, his name and constituency, and often his occupation and birth date. In some cases the sitter includes a written description or a sketch of his arms or initial to be included in the lozenge under his portrait. Many sitters also specified on the drawing how many copies

Figure 19  Jean Baptiste Ponce Lambert, Charles-​François Bouche, ca. 1789–91. Pencil on paper, 11.5 × 10.5 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

of the print they wanted for themselves: “une douzaine d’exemplaires” (a dozen copies), for example, or “30 exemplaires si on livre le 8er jour d’8bre” (30 copies if delivered by October 8). The recording of orders suggests both that the artist acted as a salesman for the print series and that

the deputies considered their portraits a kind of souvenir. Given the prohibitively high cost of commissioning a print portrait in the late eighteenth century, this was probably the only chance for the overwhelming majority of sitters to disseminate their image to family, friends, and colleagues.

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Becoming a Great Man One of the problems that publishers and artists faced in conceiving the National Assembly portraits was that the deputies wielded a kind of political authority unprecedented in French portraiture or indeed in French history. The portrait conventions of absolute monarchy, predicated on the singularity of authority and divine right, clearly did not suit the pictorial requirements of a group of men whose authority depended (however uneasily) on popular mandate. Instead of drawing on previous models of political portraiture, then, Levachez and his artists turned to the precedent set by earlier eighteenth-​century portrait series depicting heroes of France’s past. The eighteenth century was a great era for grands hommes. Artistic projects dedicated to French genius, whether military, administrative, artistic, or literary, had been circulating as early as the first decade of the century, when Évrard Titon du Tillet sponsored a sculptural project to honor the great poets of the reign of Louis XIV.19 The cult of the great man received royal sanction in the 1770s and 1780s, when arts administrator Charles-​Claude d’Angiviller oversaw the commission of a series of monumental sculpted portraits of distinguished Frenchmen. When incarnated in monumental sculpture, the cult of the great man ostensibly served to glorify the monarchy, producing images of military or cultural heroes whose merits reflected the virtues of the king from whom patronage and power flowed.20 The cult of the great man also flourished in media outside direct government control, particularly in print. Print portraiture of illustrious men (and very

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occasionally women) was a well-​established and popular genre in the last decades of the century.21 Dozens of series of figures from French history were published in Paris, with the same kinds of bust portraits, frames, and inscriptions as the deputy portraits. Over the course of the century, engraved collections of great men expanded to include more and more exemplary figures of increasingly diverse social backgrounds and representing a wider range of achievement. Historians have argued that these series were a means of building a new national identity, outside (and against) the monarchy and the court.22 The men depicted came to represent an alternative and far more inclusive model of French national greatness. The Levachez house style was based closely on ancien régime precedents. A 1781 image of Pierre de Marivaux, engraved by François Robert Ingouf after a pastel by Claude Pougin de Saint-​Aubin, is an example of the new grand homme (fig. 20). Marivaux was neither a military hero nor a courtier but a recently deceased playwright. His likeness is typical of the late eighteenth-​century high-​style portrait prints that Levachez was imitating. A bust-​length portrait of the sitter, set in an oval frame decorated with garlands, surmounts a cartouche with the sitter’s name and marks of distinction. Emblems of Marivaux’s career as a writer are piled up around the base of the frame within the frame. The Levachez portraits, as is clear from a comparison to the Bouche image (fig. 18), adopted the same formula on the cheap, simplifying the garland and the cartouche and eliminating the extra attributes. In many ways, the Levachez prints are cut-​rate replications of the earlier grand homme portraits. But small formal variations between the ancien régime and revolutionary versions

point to larger conceptual differences. The playwright wears the blandly expensive costume of a well-to-​do man of letters; the deputy is conspicuously missing his necktie. Marivaux’s inscription mentions his membership in a court-​sponsored corporate body (the Académie française) and gives his birth and death dates. Bouche’s inscription includes his region and a coat of arms, but no dates—​because Bouche was still alive and in the process of earning the laurels floating above his head. Levachez’s deputy series built on prerevolutionary conventions of the grand homme in the service of further democratizing the representation, and theorization, of greatness. The subtle variations between the old and new print portraits make clear the ways in which the deputies and their portraitists were changing the rules. Even the most inclusive ancien régime print series were, like the d’Angiviller sculptures, almost entirely posthumous.23 The personages represented were already historical, and their worth had been consecrated by time and public acclaim. This dynamic was reinforced by the custom of pairing portraits of great men with biographical texts and vignettes of their most memorable deeds. For instance, Pierre Blin’s Portraits des grands hommes, femmes illustres, et sujets mémorables de France (Portraits of Great Men, Illustrious Women, and Memorable Subjects of France) (1786–92) was organized as pairs of plates: a simple bust portrait in an oval frame and a rectangular tableau of the sitter’s most notable deed accompanied by densely set text (figs. 21 and 22). Levachez’s collection, by contrast, documents a group of living men and provides no textual or visual confirmation of their greatness. Viewers had to supply their own narrative.

Figure 20  François Robert Ingouf, after a drawing by Clément-​Pierre Marillier based on a pastel by Claude Pougin de Saint-​Aubin, Pierre de Marivaux, 1781. Engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

The deputies were consecrated by only two things: their election to the Estates-​General by their peers and their inclusion in the Levachez collection. That the sitters for Levachez’s portraits were alive also changed the dynamic between publisher, artist, sitter, and viewer: unlike prior

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Figure 21  Roger, after Antoine Louis François Sergent, Portrait of Ulric Frédéric Woldemar, comte de Lowendal, 1787. Engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

subjects of portrait series, the deputies had a hand in the creation of their images. They were participants in their own consecration, putting themselves forward as candidates for greatness. Or, more accurately, they presented themselves as various and imperfect vessels of a kind of glory that had less to do with individual achievement or

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Figure 22  Jean-​Baptiste Morret, after Le Barbier, Prise de Berg-Op-​Zoom, 1787. Engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

service to the Crown than with the greatness of the people themselves, represented in the particular bodies of the deputies and by the legislative body as a whole. The deputy portraits also departed from their ancien régime predecessors in their intended effect on viewers. Earlier print series explicitly presented themselves as a

means of encouraging the emulation of great men. For instance, the preface of the Galerie françoise, ou Portraits des hommes et des femmes célèbres qui ont paru en France (The French Gallery, or Portraits of Famous Men and Women Who Have Appeared in France) (1770–71) claimed of its collection of portraits and texts, “There is no class of citizens for which it is unsuitable; but it is principally made for all those who are animated by the desire for glory and who aspire to pave themselves a road to immortality. The latter should regard these portraits as so many family portraits.” The ideal consumer of these portraits, according to their publisher, was the aspiring great man himself, hungry for achievement and the fame that must inevitably follow. The series played on the belief that anyone could become “célèbre,” and that studying the lives and faces of the famous would improve one’s chances, or at the very least one’s desire to excel. The deputy portraits invited judgment rather than emulation. The prospectus for the Levachez collection, reprinted with each livraison, told viewers that the publisher’s intention was “to transmit to posterity the portraits of the men that the Sovereign has just assembled around himself to work toward the happiness of his People, and to make known to their fellow citizens, by means of engraving, these figures that they have recognized as worthy of representing them.”24 In prerevolutionary print series, the sitters already belonged to posterity; the emphasis was on their exemplarity. Levachez, on the other hand, recognized that his portrait series proposed a new pantheon. This set of potential worthies had not been selected by the publisher or, more abstractly, by history. Instead, the men pictured were chosen by the

electors and assembled by the king. Moreover, the phrase “these figures that they have recognized as worthy of representing them” implied that the citizens looking at these portraits were the ultimate judges of the deputies’ worth. When Bouche declared that the spectators of the Estates-​General were the deputies’ masters and that the representatives owed them an account of their positions, it was just this sense of surveillance that he had in mind. The people’s approbation could be withdrawn, and with the publication of the deputy portraits, they now had a convenient scorecard by which to identify representatives who failed to live up to their trust. The series in fact allowed the viewer to evaluate the entire Assembly, not just the deputy of his or her particular locality or estate. The very act of viewing and/or buying one or many deputy portraits replicated and amplified the original act of voting for one’s representative. The formal qualities of the portraits themselves encourage this kind of personal and political scrutiny. The bust format, with the sitter’s head and shoulders depicted in three-​quarter view, silhouetted against a dark background and thus pushed up against the picture plane, simulates direct physical and emotional communication between two people of equal status. The close cropping and elimination of depth is the equivalent in print of the transparency of David’s Jacobus Blauw portrait. The oval frames imitate the form of a portrait miniature, the most intimate mode of portraiture, worn on the body or contemplated at close range in a private setting. Even the velvety texture of the aquatinting recalls the appearance of pencil or pastel, media prized in the eighteenth century for their apparent spontaneity and

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lifelikeness. The deputies who chose to be portrayed in casual dress (or undress) reinforced this illusion of intimacy by implying that their relationship to the viewer was amicable or even familial. The Levachez prospectus indirectly acknowledges and justifies the portraits’ lack of formality in its sales pitch to potential customers, asserting that the public “considers as brothers and friends those who defend their rights.”25 The portraits attempt to convince their viewers, whether they are members of an individual deputy’s private circle, provincial citizens eager for news from the capital, Parisian print collectors, or loiterers in front of the publisher’s shop windows in the Palais-​Royal, that the deputies are their equals, called (just as any adult male citizen might be) both to represent their fellow Frenchmen and to embody a collective ideal of the nation.

The Deputies Get Dressed The format for the Levachez portraits may have been standardized, and the project they were meant to embody a collective one, but close examination of individual images reveals how little order, visual or political, actually prevailed. The principal variant, and the one that most reveals the sitters’ agency, is costume. Officially, the deputies were supposed to be dressed according to their estate. A royally mandated costume had been decreed by the king’s master of ceremonies; the differences between the deputies of the three estates, already a matter of contention, were thus physically codified in such a way as to be immediately legible. The clergy were to wear

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the robes of their rank in the church. The costume for the noble deputies was an amalgam of court fashion and historical references: a mantle decorated with facings of gold, a black silk jacket and breeches, a vest made of the same material as the facings, white stockings, a lace jabot, and a hat à la Henri IV with white plumes (fig. 23). The costume specified for the Third Estate, however, seemed calculated to remind the deputies, twice as numerous as those of the other two estates, of their social and political disadvantages. They were to wear a short black mantle without facings, black jacket, vest, and breeches of wool rather than silk, black stockings, a mousseline tie, and an unadorned tricorn hat (fig. 24). For the already discontented members of the Third Estate, the costume was full of subtle and not so subtle humiliations: the plebian wool rather than the noble silk, the substitution of a cotton tie for the lace jabot, and the conspicuously plain hat and mantle. The noble and clerical deputies were ablaze in gilt, color, and plumes; the Third Estate was dressed in black from head to toe.26 There had been resistance to this dress code from the very beginning, with some deputies of the Third Estate pointedly wearing colored suits to the opening ceremonies, and others appearing in street clothes.27 When the deputies were asked to sit for the Levachez series, they clearly made a choice between being pictured in the official costume and making a break with the royal ordinance. The choice carried ideological weight: this was the first time the deputies had been portrayed in their legislative capacity, and their costume was to be permanently and publicly associated with the political office. As a result, the smallest variation in costume was fraught with

Figure 23  Anonymous, Deputy of the Nobility to the Estates-​General of 1789, ca. 1789. Etching, 10 × 7 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

meaning, especially when the portraits were juxtaposed with one another, so that a nobleman in full ceremonial regalia might be followed in a single livraison by a defiant farmer in provincial costume, or a Parisian liberal in artful dishabille. There was no direct or infallible correlation

Figure 24  Anonymous, Deputy of the Third Estate to the Estates-​General of 1789, ca. 1789. Etching, 10 × 7 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

between dress and political leaning—​the most famous example of sartorial dissonance being Robespierre himself, who at the height of the Terror continued to appear in public in the silks and powdered hair of the ancien régime. However, many deputies clearly manipulated

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their dress in order to mark their cultural and political affiliations. Seen together in a shop window or collector’s portfolio, the deputies’ divergent costumes cast doubts on both ancien régime platitudes about the immutability of the orders and revolutionary hopes for a unified body politic. The deputies of the nobility were the most likely to make a point of being portrayed in the official costume of the Estates-​General. For instance, Jean-Louis-Charles-​ François, comte de Marsanne de Fontjuliane, presented himself in his official mantle, with what we must assume were gold or silver embroidered facings and an elegant and costly lace jabot (fig. 25). He wears the regulation plumed hat over an elaborate wig that descends below his shoulders in the back—​a formal and old-​fashioned style. The plumed hat, one of the flashpoints of contention in the initial debate over deputy costumes, is more than a simple indication of vanity or wealth—​although we know from a letter written home by another noble deputy that the cheapest plumed hat cost the substantial sum of 180 livres.28 It was also an ostentatious gesture of support for court etiquette and the will of the king. Marsanne de Fontjuliane’s wig further cemented his commitment to an older manner of dressing and thinking about class difference. By 1789 wigs had already started to disappear in France; men were more likely to wear their own hair, curled and powdered.29 Marsanne de Fontjuliane had in fact begun his political career as a liberal but subsequently voted with the monarchists and emigrated in 1793. The seeming contrast between his clothes and his politics points to the split loyalties of the left-​leaning nobility, many of whom favored reform in theory but

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were, in the face of the increasingly radical realization of those theories, unwilling to shed their fundamental loyalty to the society of orders. The conscious display of the plumed hat and its political ramifications are matched by the unusual sophistication of the portrait itself. Body almost in profile, head turned toward the viewer to make eye contact, Marsanne de Fontjuliane poses like a man accustomed to sitting for his portrait. Noble deputies were not the only ones who chose to sit for their portraits in the costume ordained by the master of ceremonies. Many representatives of the Third Estate also presented themselves to the public in the official black suit. For example, Pierre Hébrard de Fau, a lawyer and wealthy landowner from the Auvergne, is impeccably turned out, from wig, to mousseline tie, to the regulation cloak draped over one shoulder (fig. 26). Mirabeau, a nobleman who had been elected a deputy of the Third Estate, poses ostentatiously in the costume of his adopted order, in a portrait published after his death in April 1791 but clearly before the revelation in November 1792 of his conspiracy with the royal family (fig. 17).30 Mirabeau had been one of the earliest and most articulate critics of the sartorial division of the three estates, arguing as early as May 1789 that the equality of the estates should be written on their bodies as equality of costume: “The members who compose [the National Assembly]—​ who should not regard themselves as deputies of this or that order, but as the true representatives of the universality of the kingdom—​cannot dispense with voting uniformity of dress, because it should be the symbol of that equality of right and of power with which they are essentially dressed [revêtu].”31 For Mirabeau, the deputies

Figure 25  Anonymous, Charles-​François, comte de Marsanne de Fontjuliane, ca. 1789–91. Aquatint and engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

were literally dressed in their status as representatives; equality was their costume. He agitated for a single legislative uniform that would visually convey that equality. Yet in the early years of the Revolution, the members of the National Assembly, both in their meeting halls and in their collective portrait, are better described as dressed in their liberty than in their equality.

For every deputy who had himself pictured in the costume of his estate, there were many more who chose more or less radical forms of street dress. For instance, Charles-​Antoine Chasset, forty-four-year-​old lawyer and mayor of his hometown of Villefranche, sat for his portrait in the wide-​lapelled frac and light-​colored double-​breasted vest that had become fashionable in

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Figure 26  Anonymous, Pierre Hébrard de Fau, ca. 1789–91. Aquatint and engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

the 1780s (fig. 27). The frac (the word derives from the English frock coat) originated as a casual country alternative to the more formal jacket, or justaucorp, of the habit à la française. By the late 1780s, the frac—​less tailored, less decorated, and less expensive than the justaucorp—​was increasingly worn by all classes, even on formal occasions

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in the city.32 Its appearance in the deputy portraits represents the eruption of fashion (and of Anglomania) in the very formal, very French restrictions of court dress. It was also a blow to the notion of distinction between social orders. The monarchy, in imposing the costumes by estate, was clinging to a notion of sumptuary division

Figure 27  Pierre-​Charles Coqueret, after Jean Baptiste Ponce Lambert, Charles-​Antoine Chasset, ca. 1789–91. Aquatint and engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

that had largely disappeared from late eighteenth-​century French society. Chasset, who served as president of the Assembly in 1790 and would sit in the National Convention (the third revolutionary legislature) and in the post-​ Thermidorian legislature, wears the costume of a society in which the privileges of the orders had already been

symbolically dismantled and replaced by the pursuits of a consumer culture. The empty cartouche below Chasset’s portrait, where other deputies inserted their coats of arms or monograms, speaks eloquently to the same point. A significant minority of deputies chose an even more radical form of dress, or undress, for their portraits.

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Michel Gérard, self-​identified as a “cultivateur,” presented himself to the public in rural regional costume, without neck linen and wearing his natural hair, uncurled and unpowdered (fig. 28).33 Gérard was a wealthy farmer and a political activist. His eccentric choice of clothing was not a matter of ignorance or rustic simplicity; by the time Gérard sat for his portrait, he would have been fully aware both of the royal regulations for deputy costume and of Parisian fashions.34 The lack of ceremony conveyed by his costume is echoed by the studied rusticity of his demeanor. His undressed hair falls lankly to his shoulders, and he presents to the public not the noble brow of the wig wearer but an undisguised receding hairline. His slightly slouching pose does nothing to hide his double chin or the beginning of an ample belly, and the material of the jacket pulls unflatteringly under his arms. The portrait seems unplanned, as if neither the artist nor the sitter had thought about the pose or made any corrections after the initial sitting. This seeming spontaneity was probably a conscious decision on the part of artist and sitter. Gérard, by eschewing both the official costume and the conventions of formal portraiture, hit all the high notes of revolutionary political philosophy, from Rousseauian personal transparency to the celebration of rural labor in late eighteenth-​century economic theory.35 Even the most urban deputies could emulate the virtuous informality of the farmer-​legislator. For instance, Bouche, the fifty-two-year-​old deputy of the Third Estate from Aix whose pencil portrait was discussed above, chose to be depicted in a state of casual undress (fig. 18). The absence of neck linen, a seemingly small sartorial detail, is a sign particularly dense in meaning. An open

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collar is a private affectation, worn only in the home in front of family members and intimate friends. It thus implies an amicable or even familial relationship between the deputy and the viewers of his portrait. In late eighteenth-​century portraiture, the open collar was also a convention reserved for inspired artists or authors. In these pictures it is a sign of poetic or philosophical inspiration, of a man so transported by ideas that he neglects the most basic of sartorial duties. In the context of the deputy portraits, the open collar could signal the intellectual creativity of the legislator, poet of the people’s rights and architect of a new government. Moreover, the absence of neck linen is an outright rejection of the aristocratic jabot or the bourgeois mousseline, and indeed a refusal of the system of orders that imposed one or the other on the deputies. The deputy’s bared throat is a kind of civic virility, a bodily enactment of transparency. It is also a barometer of political allegiance during the early Revolution. Bouche, quoted in chapter 1 reminding his fellow deputies of their obligation to the public, was an early liberal-turned-​radical who joined the Jacobin club and later participated in the government under the Terror. The Levachez portraits present to the viewing public a body of men divided by social order, identified by their station in life and their regional affiliation, and represented in a standardized format inherited from the ancien régime. However, the combined efforts of the publisher, the artists, and the sitters in fact eroded certainties on all fronts: social, political, and aesthetic. By casting off sartorial and behavioral tropes that mark them as part of one order or another—​plumes, facings, ties, wigs, good

Figure 28  Anonymous, Michel Gérard, ca. 1789–91. Aquatint and engraving, 23.5 × 18 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

posture—​many of the deputies reinvented their relationship to one another and to their viewers, suggesting the possibility of equal access to power. The implications of this rejection of the ancien régime system of orders are clearly political as well as social: the deputy prints

encouraged viewers to consider new theories of political representation outside the strictures of the monarchy and its original vision of the Estates-​General. The deputy prints also muddy the divisions between modes of portraiture. Are these formal, public portraits of notables,

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or private portraits of everyday men? For all the rigidity of their format, the portraits are remarkably inconsistent. The size of the head within the oval, the precise amount of the body shown, the presence or absence of eye contact, the unruly natural hair, the slouching—​all these formal variations enliven a seemingly monotonous portrait convention. By introducing a marked candor and informality into political representation, and then proposing to multiply the portrait of the individual times twelve hundred, the Levachez series presents a legislative body that is at once unified and infinitely various.

Revolutionary Representation Rather than canonize their subjects, then, the portraits present the deputies in an almost journalistic visual mode that accentuates not so much the unity imposed by common format and common greatness but the diversity of a collection of untried individuals. This tension between individual likeness and the formal demands of a portrait series captures the similar tension at the heart of revolutionary political theory, between a system of direct consultation with the people and a representative body that makes decisions on the people’s behalf. The problem of political representation was the subject of constant debate in the legislature and in the press, as the Estates-​ General became the National Assembly, and the National Assembly became a constitutional convention. Levachez at least had a model for his print series; the members of the National Assembly were not so lucky. Almost everything about the new legislative body was

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unprecedented. Deputies and pamphleteers cast about for models—​the traditional Estates-​General, last convened in 1614, the Roman Republic, the parliament across the Channel—​but none of these examples provided any clear or practical way to run a legislative assembly or provide France with a constitution. As historians of the Revolution have argued, the deputies’ thinking about how the legislature might represent the nation was influenced by conflicting arguments rooted in earlier eighteenth-​century political philosophy. The Levachez series was conceived and published at just the moment when these older theories of the relationship between the governors and the governed were crashing up against the reality of financial crisis, popular agitation, and the day-to-​day human dynamics of the Assembly itself. The most pressing questions centered on issues of political representation. Were the deputies simply mouthpieces for views that their constituents had already expressed, or could they take action on issues, such as the creation of a constitution, that were far larger than those they had originally been elected to debate? In other words, the deputies were unsure how they might best embody the will of the nation. In the end, the legislature accepted a fragile compromise position that made them all representatives of the whole nation (rather than of their local constituencies) and thus authorized them to take wide-​ ranging initiatives on behalf of their fellow citizens.36 The Levachez portraits depict the revolutionary legislators at the moment when a workable theory of political representation was still being formulated. Their collective identity is not fixed. They are the deputies of their estates and localities, some still identified by the coats of arms

that signal their privileges under the ancien régime. Like the great men on whom their portraits are modeled, the deputies are individuals and potential heroes. They are nevertheless united by the formal qualities of their portraits and by their common task. Many of the deputies took the opportunity to enlarge their mandate from representative of a locality and estate to representative of the nation. These men present their persons, stripped of ceremonial garb, for the inspection of their universal constituency (and the purchasing public). This affectation of direct communication between the deputies and their viewers was also a means of assuring voters that they were still delegates of the people, if not in the literal sense of speaking directly for specific local concerns. The deputy portraits attempt to accomplish by visual means what revolutionary political theory tried to establish in government: a delicate balance between accountability to particular constituencies and responsibility to the nation as a whole.

The Deputy-​Hero: David’s Tennis Court Oath For the first two years of the Revolution, Levachez’s series of deputy portraits, and those of his competitors, were the only collective images of the legislature.37 In May 1791, however, Jacques-​Louis David completed The Tennis Court Oath, a drawing of the National Assembly commissioned by the Jacobin club and intended as a preparatory sketch for a monumental painting (fig. 29). David depicts the representatives in a moment of heroic action,

as they surge toward the central figure of the president of the National Assembly and swear to provide France with a new constitution. The oath itself took place in June 1789; the composition is thus a retrospective vision of a founding event. In order to tell the story of the Revolution’s origins, David chose the language of history painting. The figures in the foreground, despite being carefully drawn portraits of individual deputies, are actors in a composition based on David’s own representations of Roman republican history rather than on the conventions of portraiture. The Tennis Court Oath can be read against the deputy portraits as a response to the same issues raised by the print series: unity and multiplicity, equality and liberty, and the relationship between the representatives and the people. David’s approach to these problems used the vocabulary developed by the print portraits, although to very different ends. The Levachez series was intended to provide an image of the National Assembly, but it was necessarily a collection of individual portraits. The viewer had to examine the images of the deputies one by one and, at least during the initial print run, in batches of eight. Levachez had deliberately selected the deputies included in each livraison on the principle of variety—​ of estate and of geographic origin—​and the deputies themselves had chosen to present themselves in an array of different costumes, in defiance of royal orders and (in some cases) as a means of emphasizing their transparency to the viewers and their commitment to a universal constituency. The prints show the deputies in a nonspace and a nontime, confronting the viewer directly—​ a clever way of making their address to the people both

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immediate and timeless. The format of the print series, however, precluded any direct narration of the accomplishments of the National Assembly; the viewer was forced to provide a context and a judgment. David’s Tennis Court Oath animates the deputy prints. It brings together the separate portraits and provides them with a physical setting and a narrative frame. David’s composition, moreover, is much more explicit than the Levachez prints about the heroism of the deputies. To the analogy with the grands hommes of the ancien régime he adds the vocabulary of ancient Roman civic virtue and oath taking that he himself had popularized in his great history paintings of the 1780s. David chose

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to depict the moment at which the fledgling National Assembly, driven from its official meeting hall and forced to gather in an indoor tennis court, affirmed its unity and its mandate to provide France with a constitution. Visually, this unity is demonstrated by the sheer number of bodies and by the surging of those bodies toward the focal point of the composition, the figure of Bailly, president of the Assembly, standing on a desk and reading the oath aloud. Unlike the Levachez series, David’s project could not give each deputy equal attention; the pressures of composing a history painting required that some participate as individuals in the foreground while others make up the “many” of the background. This picking out

Figure 29  Jacques-​Louis David, The Tennis Court Oath, 1791. Pen and wash with brown ink, heightened with white gouache on paper, 66 × 101 cm. Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles.

of individuals also allows for a multitude of episodes of enthusiasm, fraternity, and doubt that contrast with the calm regard of the Levachez portraits. David, in short, tells a story, and his story has individual protagonists within its general compositional unity. His methods are those of a history painter. David’s composition borrows from the conventions of group portraiture but organizes individual likenesses according to the rules of the “higher” genre. The Tennis Court Oath is an experiment, and its delicate position between two genres depends on mobilizing the particular and the universal simultaneously. David’s balance of individual heroism and general accord is in fact a restatement of the issues played out in the Levachez series. His vision of the National Assembly maintains one of the most important elements of the deputy prints: the multiplicity within the collectivity. Multiplicity is expressed in The Tennis Court Oath in ways that were not available to the portrait prints: through variety of pose and the physical interaction of the figures of the deputies. David also uses to dramatic effect the language of difference most noticeable in the deputy prints—​that of clothing. Contemporary clothing and its sign system were accepted elements of print culture and of portraiture, but they were a patent violation of the requirements of history painting. Antoine de Baecque has argued convincingly that David’s use of contemporary dress in The Tennis Court Oath, and thus his corruption of the classical ideal, was a way to create a body that was overtly historical and political.38 However, David’s sartorial cues are not merely a way to energize the conventions of history painting. The code he deploys is borrowed from those developed by the deputies

themselves for their print portraits, and it has specific and highly topical political resonances. The Tennis Court Oath’s depiction of clothing celebrates the individuals within the collective and dramatizes the fragile and emotionally fraught union of different ages, religions, and social backgrounds as a singular body politic. The Tennis Court Oath, like the Levachez portraits, represents the deputies’ clothes in all their heterogeneity. Bailly is dressed in the official all-​black costume of the Third Estate, as are several other deputies. Members of the clergy in their distinctive robes figure prominently in the foreground. Conspicuously absent are the plumes and facings of the nobility. Instead, the image is dominated by men in street clothes—​short, double-​breasted vests, tight-​fitting collared jackets or longer, more voluminous redingotes, and tall, round hats. A significant number of deputies, including Robespierre in the right foreground, bare their breasts as they swear to give France a new government. Not only is the coming together of the three orders denoted by the absence of the aristocratic costume, but patriotic enthusiasm is visualized by unpowdered hair and discarded ties; the presence of the working class is symbolized by an incongruous sansculotte at far left in shirtsleeves and liberty cap; and the hundreds of invisible deputies in the back ranks of the hall participate in the oath as hats—​not the regulation tricorn but the fashionable high hat of the street. The political eloquence of even the least element of costume is encapsulated by the inside-​out umbrella held by a spectator in the upper left corner of the composition. All that David wants to tell us about the ambitions, and the precariousness, of the new legislature can be read in this

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one newfangled accessory to the masculine wardrobe, at once fragile and protective. It is precisely through the inclusion of the spectators—​the people themselves—​in his depiction of the National Assembly that David directly addresses the issue of the relationship between the representatives and the represented. This issue was as difficult to resolve visually as it was politically. In The Tennis Court Oath, the people are physically present in the image itself, as spectators of the deputies’ acts. Looking down from on high, men, women, and children see their representatives as a collective body. A few of the male spectators, in the upper right corner, raise their hats and swords as if to participate in the oath taking below. However, the people are physically separated from the deputies, imitating their gestures without any real sense of communication with them. They are witnesses of a historical event that has already reached its narrative climax, as were the contemporary viewers of the drawing, who could have seen David’s work in his studio or at the Salon of 1791.39 Neither the figures of the spectators nor the viewers of the image participate in the debate; our minds are essentially made up for us. Do we support the enthusiastic majority or the one dissenter, who lurks cross-​armed and recalcitrant in the lower right-​hand corner? It is hardly a choice at all. David solved the visual problem of how a group of heterogeneous individuals becomes a united political body, but his solution required a suppression of any active role for the viewer or the people. It was a history painting solution—​one that aimed to produce a unified and legible, and essentially unidirectional, narrative. The Tennis Court Oath is an assimilation of portraiture

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into history painting and an assumption of the revolutionary politicians into history. By contrast, the Levachez series was unequivocally a collection of portraits, and its solution to the problem of representative and represented was based on the very different premises of portraiture. Late eighteenth-​century portraiture, especially after 1789, prioritized personal and material transparency, emphasizing a minimized background, more casual poses, and the creation of a feeling of intimacy between sitter and viewer. The Levachez prints called upon this mode of portraiture to create a psychological engagement between the deputies and their viewers. The format of the series required a serial confrontation between the people and their representatives, and as the viewer considered each deputy separately, he or she was called upon to judge. In fact, participation and judgment began with the act of buying the prints, either by subscription, by group of eight, or as single sheets. The deputies themselves, in their individual variations of costume, pose, and inscription, presented the viewer with many possible nuances of political affiliation, rather than David’s consent or dissent. The majority of the French people would never lay eyes on the members of the National Assembly in person. David represents the possibility of observing, but the deputy prints attempt to simulate a critical and reciprocal gaze. In the end, David’s attempt to represent the representatives failed, as did Levachez’s. Both projects ran up against practical obstacles. David had trouble finding financial support for his ambitious design. Levachez also had logistical problems. At the rate of thirty portraits a month, it would have taken Levachez and his team

of artists almost three and a half years to deliver the entire series of twelve hundred deputies. In fact, only 259 drawings seem to have survived, and the most complete collection of prints I have found, totaling twenty-​ seven livraisons, includes only 216 portraits.40 Moreover, Levachez’s ambitious publishing program experienced considerable delays. The announcement of the twentieth livraison on November 9, 1790, in the Gazette de France, suggests that the series was at least six months behind schedule.41 Publishing delays explain in part why Levachez abandoned the series, but other considerations may also have affected his schedule. As early as the winter of 1789–90, the Assembly had broken into distinct political factions.42 The flight of the king in June 1791, the ensuing battle over what to do with him on his return to Paris, and the Champs de Mars massacre of July 1791 (in which the National Guard fired on radical opponents of the monarchy) split the legislators even further into left and right wings. The apparent fraternity and concord of the early months of the National Assembly dissipated, and the Levachez deputy series probably seemed increasingly out of date and unresponsive to the rapid changes in political climate. On October 1, 1791, the National Assembly reached the end of its mandate and was replaced by an entirely new group of representatives; the deputies to the National Assembly were forbidden to stand for election to the new legislature, and many of them returned to their hometowns, never again to return to Paris or the national political scene. Others emigrated. After the change in government, and the realization that the king would or could no longer serve as the symbolic head of

state, the whole idea of representing the people, both politically and visually, had to be reconsidered. The discontinuation of the deputy portrait project, however, stemmed from more than just practical and political problems. The very multiplication of the portraits, and the instability of their visual language, made the project difficult to pursue, both commercially and symbolically. The basic assumption of portraiture is that the visual transmission of certain details about the sitter’s physiognomy, bodily comportment, clothing, and accessories (whether or not those details correspond exactly to the sitter’s actual physical characteristics, behavior, and possessions) will communicate something about the sitter’s personality or station in life to the viewer. This assumption depends on shared vocabularies: artistic conventions that associate a certain pose with kingship, theories of physiognomy that assign meaning to prominent foreheads, or sumptuary codes that make three-​curl wigs a sign of masculine privilege. The Levachez portraits, like many portraits produced after 1789, undermine older shared vocabularies and attempt to formulate new, revolutionary ones. The neutrality of the poses, the lack of any setting or accessories, and the absence of the compensatory certainties of a didactic text resulted in a simple multiplication of ordinary faces and bodies. Even the few available markers—​variations in clothing and facial features, slight adjustments to pose—​were subject to the viewer’s interpretation, particularly in a constantly changing political and social climate. Revolutionary-​era viewers of the Levachez series, whatever their degree of fluency in physiognomic theory or portrait conventions, must have questioned their own ability to judge character

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Figure 30  Jacques-​Louis David, Thirius de Pautrizel, 1795. Pen and gray ink with gray wash and pale brown wash (on the face) over touches of graphite, heightened with white gouache, 19.2 cm diam. Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1990.47.2. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

from faces or costume when confronted with an ever growing collection of unknown men whose likenesses did not adopt any of the standard markers of greatness or even distinction. Old assumptions about portraiture and political authority had been replaced by a new form of civic identity and a more fluid and equitable relationship between viewer and sitter. The Levachez series, with its claims to represent revolutionary representation, was not entirely forgotten. In the summer of 1795, after the fall of Robespierre and

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the end of the Terror, a group of Jacobin deputies were imprisoned on the grounds that they had sympathized with and encouraged popular protest against the post-​ Terror government. Among them was Jacques-​Louis David. During their imprisonment, David made a handful of small portrait drawings of the deputies (fig. 30). Ewa Lajer-​Burcharth argues that David’s portraits of his fellow prisoners, all survivors of the radical republic, are “melancholic”—​that is, that they reveal the failure of the fraternal republican ideal of the heroic male body and the psychological disarray of David and his fellow Jacobins in the wake of that failure. She sees the portraits, with their uncomfortable poses, sartorial specificity, and unflatteringly close attention to bodily imperfections, as deliberate departures from the deputy print model. They are too contingent, too unflattering, too revealing of the “fiction of the pose” (Lajer-​Burcharth uses Harry Berger Jr.’s concept here), and their excesses, she argues, reveal the gulf between the early republican ideal of leadership and masculinity and the psychic collapse of the men who adhered to that ideal.43 Lajer-​Burcharth’s argument compares the prison portraits to the deputy prints, taking as an example not the Levachez series but another, more schematic set of portraits published by Déjabin, in which the legislators are depicted in strict profile (fig. 31). David’s portraits, which are all in profile or near profile, are indeed similar in format to the Déjabin prints, but their address to the viewer is closer to that of the more sophisticated Levachez series.44 Many of the formal qualities of David’s drawings that Lajer-​Burcharth points to as departures from the deputy prints and evidence of the sitters’ psychic distress,

such as the portraits’ sartorial and bodily particularity, are in fact borrowed directly from the Levachez portraits and can be read as attempts to recapture their rhetoric of representation. The specificity of the deputies’ clothing, the intimacy of bodily details like the hair escaping from queues or the buckling of flesh, and even the casual poses, are part of a strategy (as they were in the Levachez portraits) to create an impression of intimacy with the viewer. Lajer-​Burcharth compares the David drawings to the tightly controlled and physically perfect ideal of heroic male republicanism that she finds in the Déjabin prints and in David’s Tennis Court Oath. As we have seen, however, the untidiness of contemporary costume, and the candor that it signified, was always part of revolutionary political portraiture, as well as the ideology it drew on. David, by making visual reference to the deputy portraits and his own Tennis Court Oath, attempts to defend the prisoners’ actions and to recast them not as capitulators to the mob but as true representatives of the people. David’s drawings were produced as souvenirs, as mementos of friendship between the artist and his sitters, and as memorials destined for the families of the condemned deputies. Their appropriation of the language of the Levachez prints is all the more poignant because this last representation is destined not for a buying and voting public but for families whose final image of their loved one will be of a deputy clothed in his republican ideals. The David prison portraits are also the last image of the early revolutionary concept of representative government. The post-​Terror legislators would certainly appear in portraits, but the era of systematic representation of the legislative body was over.

Figure 31  Wilbrode-Magloire-​Nicolas Courbe, Honoré Gabriel de Riquetti, comte de Mirabeau, 1789–91. Engraving and etching, 21.5 × 13.5 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

The Levachez series was one voice of the many engaged in a raucous public debate about the relationship of the legislators to the nation. It proposes a picture of a united legislature that is nonetheless composed of individuals, each with his own markers of place, class, and political

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convictions. That its argument was expressed as a collection of print portraits was one of its greatest strengths. Both genre and medium favored the dissemination of new political ideas at this early moment in the Revolution. The Levachez prints and other similar series were able to speak, with all the immediacy and intimacy of portraiture, to the problem of how the citizens of a new France might contribute to a novel form of government. The deputies, and the entrepreneurial publishers, took

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advantage of the cheap and widely distributed print medium to sketch out a theory of political and visual representation that imagined a France without an absolute monarch. The moment of the deputy prints, and of the ideal they promoted, was fleeting—​but their creative adaptation of portraiture to political ends demonstrates how a seemingly private genre of artistic production could engage with, and shape, political ideology.


  Aux Armes, Citoyens!

The convening of the Estates-General, its transformation into the National Assembly, and the widespread publication of the deputies’ likenesses over the course of 1789 focused public attention on the traditional divisions among the three estates and on the visual markers of those divisions. The legislators’ sudden sacrifice, on August 4, of the perquisites of nobility on the altar of la patrie weakened the system of privileges from within. The storming of the Bastille in July and the march on Versailles in October demonstrated that the advantages enjoyed by the First and Second Estates were also subject to outside attack. Political initiative was no longer in the hands of the court and the king, and the producers and consumers of portraits were fully cognizant of this power shift. The Levachez prints were a large-​scale experiment in the manipulation of the signs of class and political allegiances. They proposed a model of political representation, and of portraiture, that called into question the society of orders and its visual conventions. Private portrait clients and their artists were quick to pick up on these innovations and to develop their own approaches to the reimagining of class relations in a society in flux. The symbolic and aesthetic orders were changing, but most people experienced this power shift in far more concrete ways. In July 1789, Paris and other localities began

to organize citizen militias, both to defend the people against the king’s armies and to control popular violence. These militias, quickly baptized the National Guard, were composed of local men, mostly artisans and professionals, and led by officers elected from their own ranks. This accession of the Third Estate to military leadership, previously reserved for the nobility, overturned not just military convention but also the ancien régime model of society for which it stood: hierarchical, bound by tradition, and dependent on an ideal of service to the king.1 Until 1789 the nobility justified their privileged position in French society through their notional or real military service, and prowess in arms was a source of personal and familial honor. The opening of officer rank to non­nobles was a potent symbol of larger changes in social and political organization. Physical force, the most elemental form of political control, had passed into the hands of the Third Estate. But what was the Third Estate, and how might it use its newfound authority? The question was crucial to revolutionary political theory, but there was, and is, no easy answer. The abbé Sieyès’s foundational 1789 pamphlet Qu’est-​ce que le Tiers État? famously defined the Third Estate as the productive class, and thus as the only group that constituted the nation. This politically provocative

definition placed the issue of class at the center of early revolutionary debates without solving the problem of exactly who deserved which political rights. The “Third Estate” was in fact a catchall term for anyone who was not a member of the nobility or the clergy—​although the clergy contained many members of the Third Estate. This capacious category included everyone from landless peasants and urban laborers to landowners, business owners, and financiers, some of whom did no actual work but rather lived “nobly” off the proceeds from their properties. There were, moreover, no fixed terms or even conceptual categories for the kinds of people who made up the Third Estate. The term “roturier” was used in the late eighteenth century to designate nonnobles in general. “Bourgeois” could simply mean town dweller but had strong connotations of property ownership. The revolutionary term “sansculotte” was often applied to what we would now call the working classes, but the category was more political than social, and it also included artisans who owned their own businesses and employed other people. The nebulous “peuple” could refer to the entire French nation or the (fractious, violent) lower classes. Revolutionary writers freely juggled the various terms for social groups. In the absence of clear-​cut revolutionary-​era terms, my own vocabulary for economic and social difference includes all these contemporary categories as well as the modern terms “working class” and “middle class.”2 The lack of a fixed vocabulary for describing class difference in revolutionary France was no hindrance to debate; on the contrary, the abolition of old social divisions provoked enormous anxiety about access to economic and political power in the new regime. Almost

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all of the contemporary commentary on the National Guard hinged on questions of class divisions and interests. At its inception, the Guard was understood as an instrument by which the Third Estate, broadly defined, had appropriated noble and clerical privileges. This basic statement about class and power is the punch line of a print that appeared in the spring of 1789, around the time of the opening of the Estates-General, and that parodies the images of the three estates in their official costumes (fig. 32). The figure representing the Third Estate at left has shed his own jacket and appropriated that of the sulking nobleman at right. The overfed representative of the clergy looks on in ineffectual puzzlement. The nobleman’s sword lies on the ground between his legs, hilt pointing toward the roturier. The caption reads, “Ma finte, Monsieur, je crois que vot habit d’Officier m’irois ben” (My word, Monsieur, I believe your officer’s uniform will suit me fine). As in the deputy prints, dressing and undressing take on political significance. The energetic Third Estate has assumed the nobleman’s military authority and, as the sword makes clear, his manhood as well. With the uniform and the sword comes bodily vigor; the Third Estate, with his active stance and muscular calves, contrasts sharply with the hunched-​over nobleman in shirtsleeves and the soft and timorous clergyman in his flowing soutane. The roturier has taken over the ancien régime markers of masculine honor and political power, and he is, as the words put in his mouth by the publisher suggest, sure that these things will suit him fine. Roturier men not only appropriated the uniform and the masculine authority it symbolized; they also took over a style of visual self-​representation. During the

Figure 32  Anonymous, Ma finte, Monsieur, je crois que vot habit d’Officier m’irois ben (My word, Monsieur, I believe your officer’s uniform will suit me fine), 1789. Etching, 27.5 × 20 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

years 1789–92, a new mode of portraiture was invented: the National Guard portrait. Examples abound in the collections of the Musée Carnavalet in Paris and the Musée de la Révolution française in Vizille, and many similar images no doubt remain in private collections.3 Surviving Guard portraits range from modest miniatures

to expensive sculpted busts such as a 1790 terra-​cotta likeness of an unidentified Parisian National Guard officer by the sculptor Pierre Mérard (fig. 33). National Guard portraits enjoyed considerable exposure at the official Salons and the Exposition de la Jeunesse: evidence from the Salon livrets demonstrates that at least six were

Aux Armes, Citoyens!  / 83

Figure 33  Pierre Mérard, Bust of a National Guard Officer, 1790. Terra-​cotta, 66 × 50 × 34 cm. Inv. 1998.4, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille. Figure 34 (opposite)  Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller, Jean-​Ernest Schickler, ca. 1789. Oil on canvas, 64 × 54 cm. Inv. 1998.2, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille.

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exhibited at the 1791 and 1793 exhibitions. The portraitists chosen by guardsmen included former court artists like Wertmüller and Mérard (who was best known for his tomb for the prince de Conti), as well as producers of less sophisticated images who had been trained outside the academic tradition. Some of the many National Guard portraits produced in the first years of the Revolution, when the Guard’s influence was at its height, are relatively straightforward bust-​length likenesses. Wertmüller’s portrait of Jean-​ Ernest Schickler, painted in Bordeaux around 1789, is remarkable only because it depicts a member of Bordeaux’s expatriate German banking community who was an enthusiastic member not only of the National Guard but also of the Société des amis de la constitution, later to be known as the Jacobin club (fig. 34).4 The novelty of portraits like this one lies chiefly in their sitters’ appropriation of the privileges of nobility and of its representational strategies. Many men newly risen to the dignity of officer rank, however, commissioned images that stressed the particularly revolutionary form of their service to the community and the nation. In order to satisfy the demands of newly empowered commissioners and to give full scope to their own ambitions, revolutionary artists turned to the small-​scale full-​length format, formerly rare in French portraiture. This kind of easel-​size portrait cost far less than a life-​size full-​length portrait and was better suited for display in a modest domestic space. These were qualities that appealed to prosperous artisans, merchants, and members of the liberal professions—​exactly the kind of roturier men who filled the officer ranks of the National Guard. Such paintings, moreover, could

accommodate more physical and narrative content than a bust portrait, allowing artist and sitter to make a more elaborate argument about revolutionary selfhood and citizenship. National Guard portraits engaged directly with the vociferous debates surrounding the formation, structure, and interventions of the Guard. By doing so, they also exposed popular anxieties about the practical implementation of the revolutionary ideals of liberty and

equality. The creation of the National Guard in 1789 brought to the surface problems of class and property that had been repressed in the first heady months of the Revolution. Where did political initiative rightly reside: with working-​class activists in the streets or with the legislature and its property-​owning constituents? The institution of the Guard also posed questions about the role of the military in the new regime. Who should wield physical force? For whose benefit, and in whose name?

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Figure 35  Jean-François-​Marie Bellier, The Citizen Nau-​Deville in the Uniform of the National Guard, 1790. Oil on canvas, 55.5 × 46 cm. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

Artists’ and sitters’ responses to these questions varied according to their personal circumstances and ideological inclinations. Some portraits presented officer rank in the National Guard as a means by which an ordinary citizen could insert himself into the course of national events. Paintings in this mode pictured their sitters as participants in important revolutionary journées, a move that made the commissioner into a hero and his portraitist into a history painter. Other portraits stressed the reconciliation of roturier identity with military officer rank. These images helped constitute the National Guard as a specifically nonnoble, and thus revolutionary, form of military power. Still other portraits combined private and public life by evoking the sitter’s affective ties to his family, an approach that helped define National Guard membership as a moral duty akin to that of loving and providing for one’s wife and children. The varying strategies employed by National Guard portraits reflect the general lack of consensus about the meaning of unfolding events and about the balance of power between various segments of the former Third Estate. But the portraits all share a revolutionary optimism about the ability of nonelite men to shape the course of national events.

Un Vainqueur de la Bastille A man who wanted to project himself into history could choose no better moment than the storming of the Bastille, the origin myth of both the National Guard and the Revolution itself. This was the strategy employed by a 1790 portrait of a Monsieur Nau-​Deville by the painter

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Jean-François-​Marie Bellier, which was exhibited at the Salon of 1791 (fig. 35). Nau-​Deville is shown supervising the transport of weapons captured from the fortress. The sitter, dressed in his National Guard officer’s uniform, dominates the foreground; his long gun with its fixed bayonet emphasizes the height and uprightness of his figure. The right background is animated by the convoy of carts and laborers. Behind Nau-​Deville at left we see the Bastille in the process of being demolished. The pose, the dramatic gesture, the physical dominance of the sitter over the landscape, and the figures laboring in the background are all borrowed from ancien régime military portraiture. The conventions of this mode of portraiture were well established by the early eighteenth century and persisted right up to the Revolution; Bellier, who had worked at court as a decorative painter and served as one of Marie Antoinette’s official artists, would have been familiar with this visual tradition.5 Hyacinthe Rigaud’s portrait of Henri Louis de La Tour d’Auvergne, painted around 1720, exemplifies the formula (fig. 36). The sitter is posed in front of a chaotic battle scene. The scale of his body and the splendor of his armor and drapery emphasize his high social status and the glamour of leadership. The portrait conveys the sitter’s uprightness, in both the literal and the figurative sense; the officer physically dominates both the landscape and the tiny figures of the fighting men behind him. Noble identity was in fact tied closely to military leadership. Officer rank was understood as a means of upholding personal and familial honor, affirming the nobility’s service to the Crown and justifying its privileges. A noble officer, by displaying his military rank, simultaneously

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Figure 36  Hyacinthe Rigaud, Henri Louis de La Tour d’Auvergne, comte d’Evreux, Maréchal de France, ca. 1720. Oil on canvas, 137.2 × 105.1 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment Fund, 59.119.

distanced himself from the Third Estate and reinforced his relationship with the monarchy.6 By the late eighteenth century, this formula had lost some of its popularity. The humiliating defeat of the Seven Years’ War (1756–63) had taken a toll on French military vanity. Moreover, the nobility’s relationship with the king, marked by conflicts such as the power struggle between the Crown and the judiciary bodies known as the parlements, was increasingly adversarial. Military

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portraits were still occasionally employed by the high nobility after 1765, but the genre had lost much of its certitude. Duplessis’s portrait of the Chevalier de Grassin, painted in the 1770s, recapitulates the Rigaud model, but too shrilly to be convincing; the sitter’s aggressively projecting elbow, aimless pointing finger, and fussily delineated hat and uniform overstate the case for the military underpinnings of noble privilege (fig. 37). Bellier’s portrait of Nau-​Deville gives the enervated genre of military portraiture a new currency by redefining the role of the officer and his relationship to civil authority. Before the Revolution, officer rank, and indeed nobility itself, was defined by personal service to the king. In this portrait, military leadership is defined by subversion of royal authority and is closely associated with popular political protest. Nau-​Deville proudly (if vaguely) gestures in the direction of the men stealing the king’s artillery in the right background, while at left an industrious mob pulls down the royal prison. He simultaneously represents himself as an elegant authority figure and as an active participant in antimonarchical violence. The sitter and his portraitist seem not to have been entirely confident in the old formula’s legibility, or in the viewer’s ability to make the leap from the ancien régime definition of martial glory to a revolutionary form of military leadership. The visual narrative is reinforced by an inscription at lower right: “Wednesday July 15, 1789, the day after the storming of the Bastille, seven carts of provisions of artillery, cannons, mortars, bombs, shot, bullets etc. removed from the arsenal and taken to the Church of St. Germain l’Auxerrois by N. D. volunteer of this battalion at the head of eight bourgeois.”7 With

this text, Nau-​Deville firmly identifies himself as the volunteer commander of a troop of bourgeois, nonnoble city dwellers of the middling sort. By doing so, he distinguishes himself from the traditional model of the military officer: a nobleman at the head of a conscripted troop of working-​class soldiers. The precision of the date, the situation of his action in relation to the attack on the Bastille, and the manic enumeration of the weapons and ammunition liberated from the arsenal further emphasize the difference between Nau-​Deville and ancien régime commissioners of military portraits. The Bellier portrait, painted in 1790 and exhibited in 1791, is a deliberately retrospective image. It uses the storming of the Bastille in July 1789 as an emblem of revolutionary engagement in general and National Guard service in particular. In fact, the attack on the royal prison coincided almost exactly with the birth of the National Guard.8 In the days leading up to July 14, both the Parisian government and the National Assembly, unnerved by Louis XVI’s apparent mobilization of troops, called for the establishment of a “garde bourgeois,” a volunteer force drawn from the civilian population, whose loyalties would lie with the city and the legislature rather than the king. The storming of the Bastille by Parisian crowds and their appropriation of arms and ammunition from the royal arsenal made the need for a controlled form of resistance to the king even more urgent. Propertied Parisians, even those who wholeheartedly supported the radicalizing Revolution, had little appetite for unchecked mob violence. The new National Guard was intended to channel that violence into a form useful to the National

Figure 37  Joseph Siffred Duplessis, Simon-​ Claude, Chevalier de Grassin, 1770s. Oil on canvas, 164 × 115 cm. Inv. 10397, Musée de l’Armée, Paris.

Assembly. On July 15 the marquis de Lafayette, a hero of the American Revolution, was appointed to lead the Guard, and the king was forced to recognize the Guard’s legitimacy (by accepting a tricolor cockade) on July 17. Under Lafayette’s leadership, what had been a spontaneously constituted, mixed-​class group of volunteers was endowed with an officer corps, an official uniform, and all the other signs of martial authority. However, the Guard

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remained democratic, especially compared to traditional military units. It accepted men from all walks of life. Officers were elected. Uniforms, despite repeated regulations, were not entirely standardized. The Guard’s duties, which included providing security for public buildings, directing traffic, guarding the shipment of foodstuffs, and arresting suspects, remained resolutely local. The National Guard, then, was closely tied to the communities from which its members were drawn, particularly in the first year of its existence.9 In July 1790, the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, a massive gathering in Paris of National Guard units from across the country, known as the Fête de la Fédération, was the occasion for a spectacular celebration of revolutionary values, thus cementing the identification of the Guard with the patriotic populace at large. In print after print published between 1789 and 1791, the uniformed guardsman stands in for the politically engaged citizen.10 The potent symbolism of the National Guard is evident in Philibert-​Louis Debucourt’s 1790 color aquatint, Almanach national (fig. 38). The print, which was intended to receive a pasted-​in calendar, combines high-​minded allegory in the upper register (crowned by a cameo portrait of Louis XVI) with an anecdotal representation of ordinary citizens’ response to revolutionary ideals. The two most important male figures are both depicted in Guard uniform: the adult figure on the right pointing toward the allegory, and the boy sprawled in the center foreground. The adult guardsman, who is depicted explaining the principles of the Revolution to an unlikely group of foreigners, represents the ideal politically aware member of the new polity, prepared to defend la patrie but linked

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by fraternal embrace to citizens of all nations. The child dressed in the uniform of a grenadier of the Guard represents the future of the nation. Reclining at the feet of a younger boy, his toy rifle is at the service of the French civilians who fill the left foreground. His pose recalls the Roman sculpture known as the Dying Gaul, providing the infant guardsman with a pedigree of military sacrifice that bypasses the absolutist model of martial glory in favor of an older exemplar, at once classical and primally French.11 The National Guard stood in for the patriotic citizen in text as well as image. A pamphlet titled Address of a National Guardsman, to all his faithful comrades of the kingdom, on the current state of France adopts the voice of the National Guardsman to launch a vituperative attack on the ci-​devant nobility, the clergy, and the wealthy and powerful more generally. The anonymous author uses the persona of the guardsman speaking to his comrades as a cipher for the ordinary man, on the assumption that readers will trust the citizen-​militiaman as a political analyst. The text itself places the Guard squarely at the center of the Revolution: “Comrades, you in large part made the revolution; would you cease to defend it zealously? Consider that if the constitution did not issue directly from the hands of the National Guards, they sure as hell helped to bring it into the world.”12 In this text, and many other political pamphlets, journals, and plays, the National Guard is conceived of as another form of political representation, a means by which the people intervened directly in national affairs. It is le peuple, materialized as the Guard, who made the Revolution and brought the constitution of 1791 into the world.

Figure 38  Philibert-​Louis Debucourt, Almanach national, dédié aux Amis de la Constitution (National Almanac, dedicated to the Friends of the Constitution), 1790. Etching, color aquatint. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

Through their portraits, men like Nau-​Deville appropriated the political initiative associated with the National Guard in popular texts and prints. Their images allowed them to lay claim to an agency that was larger than their personal status as officers, inserting them into national history. Bellier’s inclusion of the Bastille in Nau-​Deville’s

portrait, for instance, places his client at the birth of both the Guard and the popular Revolution. The visual language of the portrait reinforces this sense of participation in a historic moment. Nau-​Deville is depicted as a leader of men and maker of history. He is physically present at the scene, or at least the aftermath, of battle, his bayonet is

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fixed to his gun, and he appears to be directing an unseen person or persons (perhaps including us, the viewers of his portrait) into action. Bellier’s formal integration of the figure into the landscape is less than convincing, but the portraitist makes up for his technical deficits by a multiplication of sites of meaning: specific buildings, scenes of pillage, authoritative pose, military accessories, text. These signs of narrative ambition are particularly striking given the small scale of the canvas and the relative modesty of both the artist’s and the sitter’s situations. The little we know about Nau-​Deville is gleaned from a series of pamphlets he published after 1789, which reflect his overlapping interests in politics and arts administration. Two of the pamphlets propose changes in the organization of the Salon hanging, and another intervenes in a local political struggle. By his own account, Nau-​Deville trained as a painter at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture but left the art world for an unspecified alternative career. In 1791, when his portrait went to the Salon, he was serving as a delegate to the Parisian electoral assembly.13 Bellier, given his background as a minor court painter, brought to the commission a knowledge of ancien régime portrait conventions. For his part, Nau-​Deville had a student’s understanding of the innovations in history painting of the 1780s, a strong sense of political commitment, and a propensity to comment publicly on artistic and political affairs. Not everyone approved of Nau-​Deville’s and Bellier’s ambitions. One of the very few critics to take note of the painting at the crowded Salon of 1791 remarked acidly upon both the sitter’s pretensions and the artist’s skills: “The portrait of M. de la Neuville [sic], author of the

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printed motion on the numbers of the Salon exhibition, in National Guard uniform. We must transmit great men to posterity. M. Bellier is not very correct, the execution is limp, and the color dirty and without effect.”14 The critic’s sarcastic reference to transmitting great men to posterity is uttered in the spirit of earlier eighteenth-​century condemnations of the proliferation of portraiture, and probably also invokes the recent efforts by Levachez and his rivals to create a new pantheon of great men out of the deputies to the National Assembly. More specifically, the jibe expresses the critic’s contempt for the Nau-​Deville portrait’s elaborate glorification of an ordinary citizen, known only for his unsolicited commentary on Salon regulations. Bellier’s painting in fact functioned as a small-​scale personalized history painting, with the sitter in the place of the heroic male actor. Like the virtuous virile warriors of Davidian history painting, Nau-​Deville, his body arrested midaction in elegant contrapposto, takes a leading role in the shaping of his nation’s destiny. The particularity of the sitter’s face and body and the careful description of the Paris cityscape make the portrait’s echoes of history painting seem faintly ridiculous, but it was just this specificity that gave the image its resonance. History was now resolutely contemporary, and sovereignty had shifted to the people. Nau-​Deville, as a deputy to the electoral assembly, had experienced this shift firsthand. History, his portrait tells its viewers, was henceforth to be made by ordinary citizens; indeed, the painting visualizes the forcible transfer of the instruments and sites of power from the king to the nation. The emphasis on the bourgeois nature of the military intervention, like Nau-​Deville’s proud display of his officer’s uniform, further stresses revolutionary

changes in class structure. The painting also embodies a new aesthetic: not only was history to be made by ordinary citizens, but history painting was also now in the hands of the people. Bellier, a nonacademic painter, and Nau-​Deville, an art school dropout and self-​styled institutional reformer, were only too happy to breach the Academy’s theoretical walls between the genres. The portrait is historic in another way as well. It was not until late July 1789 that the Guard itself was formally established and its uniform regularized, but Nau-​Deville is pictured on July 15, 1789, in the full splendor of his officer’s uniform, in a portrait painted in 1790 and exhibited in 1791.15 The reputation of the National Guard, moreover, had suffered since its first year. In June 1791 the royal family escaped from Paris, successfully evading the Guard troops charged with their surveillance. The king and queen were apprehended in Varennes (by a local Guard unit) and brought back to Paris. The National Assembly attempted to paper over the escape as a kidnapping and restored the king to power. A month later, on July 17, 1791, the Parisian Guard fired on a crowd that had gathered on the Champs de Mars to protest the legislature’s lenience toward the king. In doing so, the Guard aligned itself with the legislature and the maintenance of a constitutional monarchy against popular republicanism.16 Bellier’s portrait of a calm, heroic officer actively resisting monarchical authority tries to reassure two different types of viewer. To more radicalized viewers, it reads as a reiteration of the Guard’s commitment to the will of the people and its sympathy with popular political resistance. But to viewers concerned about mob violence, it presents an image of managed defiance of royal authority, in which a dignified

and rational bourgeoisie follows accepted military conventions even as it forges a new kind of government. The portrait’s multiple possible meanings reflect the lack of unity within the Third Estate. Early optimism about class solidarity had given way to mistrust and fear, and the vicissitudes of the National Guard’s reputation reflected the general uncertainty about the direction of the Revolution.

Property and le Peuple The question of whose interests were represented by the National Guard is addressed even more explicitly in another portrait of similar format and narrative ambition (fig. 39). Painted in 1792 by the little-​known artist Bizard, the portrait depicts its sitter protecting a shipment of sugar from an angry working-​class crowd. The figures are posed against a cul-de-​sac ringed by stone buildings; spectators lean out the windows like theatergoers watching a play from the loges. The streets are lined with ranks of rigid guardsmen. The sitter’s left hand hovers protectively over a still life of broken cones of sugar and scattered packing material in the foreground. His sword hand bars the path of a fist-​shaking working-​class woman whose mouth is open in protest. Directly under this confrontation of clenched fist and sword hilt, a small boy clutching a sugar cone flees the scene in wild-​eyed panic. The commissioner of the portrait has been identified as Charles-​Alexis Alexandre, a stockbroker who joined the National Guard as a soldier and worked his way through the ranks, winning election to the rank of captain in the spring of 1791.17 He took part in the

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Figure 39  Bizard, Portrait of a National Guard Officer Protecting a Sugar Cargo (Charles-​Alexis Alexandre), 1792. Oil on canvas, 99.5 × 80 cm. Inv. 1986.270, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille.

Guard’s offensive against the crowd on the Champs de Mars in July 1791, and, as his portrait documents, opposed a mob that in February 1792 tried to confiscate a privately owned stash of sugar located in the Gobelins tapestry workshop. Alexandre’s loyalties, like those of many guardsmen, were split between the government and the people. Alexandre’s account of the incident in his memoirs reveals his reluctance to put down a popular protest that was, in his judgment, justified. His superiors, he writes, ordered him and his battalion to provide security for a shipment of sugar belonging to a Gobelins employee who had taken advantage of rising prices to stockpile it. These orders were consistent with the Guard’s post–Champ de Mars function as enforcer of government interests against an unruly populace; in fact, immediately after the massacre, the legislature explicitly authorized the Guard to dispel “seditious gatherings” that opposed the “absolute liberty of circulation of foodstuffs.”18 Alexandre, who by professional training was intimately familiar with the commodities market, notes that he saw little value in defending the property of a speculator, and points out that “the people’s complaints were well founded.” His battalion, he says, was also naturally sympathetic to popular protest; the soldiers were “peuple, and very peuple, before being National Guardsmen.” When the first wagon left the Gobelins compound, it was seized by the protestors, who sold the sugar on the spot at what they considered a fair price. Alexandre, despite the protests of the owner, refused to let any other wagons out into the street. The conflict went on for days, and Alexandre reports that he negotiated repeatedly with members of the crowd, helping to defuse the situation.

When the leaders of the protest were brought to trial, Alexandre refused to testify against them.19 Alexandre’s memoirs were written in 1820, and although they were not intended for immediate publication, they no doubt contain a healthy measure of self-​justification.20 The portrait, produced soon after the incident, takes a strong stand against popular violence, emphasizing Alexandre’s dedication to the rule of law. Bizard’s composition emphasizes the physical differences between the uniformed (and uniform) ranks of disciplined guardsmen and the agitated protestors; the soldiers appear to be National Guardsmen before being peuple, reversing Alexandre’s formulation. Alexandre himself is clearly opposed to the working-​class woman who leads the protest. Her flushed face, bare forearms and ankles, and passionate stance are countered by Alexandre’s calm demeanor, his balletically poised body sheathed in a precisely rendered officer’s uniform, and the thin horizontal of the sword’s blade. The use of a female figure to embody popular violence is consonant both with contemporary imagery of revolutionary journées (the October 1789 march on Versailles, for instance, was famously led by women) and with Alexandre’s own account. “It was above all the women who were the most vehement about the monopolists, and the most menacing,” he wrote.21 Two of the three visible adult rioters are female, as are many of the spectators at the windows. Bizard and Alexandre use the male/female binary as shorthand for the difference between the authority of the law, and the National Guard officer who enforces it, and the chaos of improperly regulated, unreasoning lower-​class violence. The contrast between the unruly working-​class woman and the

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impeccably controlled male officer and troops endows the National Guard with all the virtues of masculine reason and responsible citizenship. As in the Bellier portrait of Nau-​Deville, the visual argument is reinforced by text. In case the viewer has any doubt about Alexandre’s loyalties, the sword is inscribed with the words “La Nation et la Loi.” The very presence of that text, however, confirms Alexandre’s observations about his troops: it was not always easy to tell where the Guard’s allegiance lay, and each eruption of popular violence called its role into question. The text asserts the primacy of the nation and the law over the neighborhood and popular protest, but neither the artist nor his subject could be sure of the viewer’s reaction to the image. The year 1792, when the portrait was painted, was a particularly difficult one for the nation and for the National Guard. Over the course of the year, France went to war against much of Europe, the monarchy was officially abolished, and the republic was established. The repeated political interventions of street protestors, including most notably an antimonarchical march on the Tuileries Palace on August 10 that culminated in an invasion of the legislature and the massacre, in September, of allegedly counterrevolutionary prisoners, cast doubt on the strength and will of the Parisian National Guard. Debates over the role of the National Guard, unsurprisingly, often turned into arguments about the role of popular protest in the new polity and the fault lines of class in an allegedly classless society. For every print or pamphlet celebrating the Guard as the arm of le peuple, there were many others that argued for its utility as a middle-​class bulwark against popular violence. One 1790

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pamphlet, published as the legislature was deliberating on a new law regulating the Guard, argued in favor of limiting Guard participation to active citizens, meaning those with a certain level of taxable property. “We must put off all those who, by their state and their connections, are often more disposed to favor public violence than to defuse it,” the anonymous author argued, adding that only propertied men had “an immediate interest in public affairs [la chose publique].”22 Interest, in this case, means material investment rather than political engagement; property owners were thought to be more stable and thoughtful members of the polity than those with nothing to lose. Indeed, despite the limitation of Guard service to active citizens by the constitution of 1791, the specter of working-​class political activism haunted many tracts on the National Guard. An appeal to the Parisian National Guard by its outgoing commander, published in December 1791, urged middle-​class guardsmen to vote in local elections to counteract the influence of a peuple easily misled by rabble-​rousers.23 Guardsmen, it seems, could be trusted to wield the privileges of citizenship rationally and responsibly. Such appeals to the Guard’s good judgment assumed that its members were all right-​thinking middle-​class men committed to upholding law and order. In reality, however, so-​called “passive” citizens who did not meet the property test for active citizenship but were already enrolled in the Guard were maintained in their positions, and the bar for active citizenship itself—​defined by the payment of an annual tax equivalent to the wages for three days of manual labor—​was relatively low.24 The heterogeneity of the battalions prompted many a cry

for strict obedience to the law. The 1791 prospectus for a proposed Journal de la garde nationale insisted on the primacy of law and order: “The National Guard, armed by the law and destined by it to maintain liberty by repressing those who disturb order and peace, will doubtless successfully fulfill the important function to which it has been called.”25 The uncertainty of the Journal de la garde nationale, and of the portraits, betrays the fear that the Guard might not uphold the law or repress disturbers of the peace—​a fear justified by the actual behavior of Alexandre and his battalion. The author’s stilted and uncertain formulation also echoes the fussiness of the Bellier and Bizard portraits, both of which load on visual and textual detail. These portraits can be understood as part of Carla Hesse’s “proliferation of specificity”: they pile up the particulars in an attempt to define the much debated general principles of National Guard officer rank.26 Alexandre’s portrait, with its literally regimented composition and carefully staged confrontation between male officer and female rioter, seems to come down squarely on the side of law and order. The order being defended is more economic than political, although these two terms were difficult to separate in revolutionary ideology. In the portrait, and in the minds of many writers and orators, the National Guard is aligned with the defense of private property and its circulation in a free market. The right to property had been enshrined in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in 1789 and in the constitution of 1791. However, the radicalization of the Revolution, which entailed, among other measures, the nationalization of church and aristocratic property

and the imposition of price controls, cast doubts on the government’s commitment to the propertied classes. The increasing importance of the sansculottes to revolutionary rhetoric (if not to the course of politics itself, a much-­ debated question in revolutionary historiography) made issues of property and class allegiance, thematized by Bizard’s image of Alexandre, all the more fraught. A 1792 pamphlet with the telling title Address to all the battalions of the Parisian National Guard, to all the businessmen, merchants, bankers, rentiers, and other property holders of the capital, and of all the cities of the kingdom calls on the Parisian National Guard to rally in defense of property rights. The anonymous author assumes that the National Guard’s interests are identical to those of the classes of people listed in the title. The pamphlet warns the guardsmen that the “criminal agitators of the people” are denouncing all property holders as public enemies. These rabble-​rousers rightly count the Parisian National Guard as part of the privileged classes, the author maintains, because defending property is “its duty, its interest, and its honor.”27 Private property figures prominently in the Bizard portrait in the form of sugar. The fragments of sugar and packing material (and the fleeing boy) stand in for the threat of appropriation and destruction of middle-​class assets. The painting casts Alexandre as a protector of these goods. However, Alexandre himself reveals in his memoirs a certain ambivalence about the identification of the National Guard with the protection of property. Anticipating his readers’ objections to his sympathy for the rioters, he comments ironically on the word “property,” which had clearly become something of a cliché in

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the mouths of revolutionary commentators: “But property, you tell me? I hear you: property is a big word. Well, I respect it as much as you, but you will not mislead me with that word, I’m warning you.”28 Alexandre insists here that uncritical support for private property should not obscure larger questions of justice. The sugar in question may have belonged to the speculators, he argues, but it also belonged to the people, because they were being charged such outrageous prices. This elastic definition of property, elaborated in private after the fact, contrasts sharply both with the pamphleteers’ perception of the Guard’s mission and with the public face Alexandre chose to present in his portrait. The portrait that Alexandre commissioned, moreover, was itself very much a form of private property; both iconographically and generically, it reinforced a possessive individualism in which the sitter was the owner of his self and his self ’s representation in paint.29 The memoirist Alexandre of 1820 was eager to position himself not as a defender of property but as a man of the people. The portrait, however, speaks a different language: one of public support for the free circulation of privately owned goods, and of the assertion of authority over the populace. It is a specific response to the circumstances of 1792, a year of poor harvests, rising inflation, stagnant wages, and popular protest. The privately owned good in question in the portrait also had a particular meaning in 1792. The sugar cones were a product of Saint-​Domingue, France’s Caribbean colony, which in 1792 was in the grip of its own revolution, led by slaves and free people of color inspired by the principles of the revolutionaries in the metropole. Sugar was scarce in

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Paris because France’s colonial empire had been undermined by the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity that the National Guard was formed to defend. The disputed sugar at the center of the Alexandre portrait links the neighborhood to a global economic network and opens the portrait up to larger issues of class, racial conflict, and the inclusiveness of the Revolution. The painting’s specificity is more than just temporal. Bizard’s portrait of Alexandre is a triumph of the aesthetic of the particular: the costumes, the physiognomies, the architecture, the objects in the foreground, even the paving stones are depicted with a minuteness and a disregard for internal hierarchy that would horrify an academician. The laundry hanging out the window above Alexandre’s head is the ultimate marker of the everyday, a defiantly nonmilitary standard that signifies the presence of the neighborhood surrounding the Guard on all sides. This particularity was well suited to the portrait’s theme. The National Guard was an essentially local institution; as a citizen militia, it drew its members from the neighborhoods it patrolled. Of course, the Guard was also the arm of the national government in the neighborhood, as the Bizard portrait demonstrates. The central exchange of the painting, and Alexandre’s identification of his troops with the peuple, shows how the Guard and its actions could make visible the uneasy intersection between national and local priorities. The aesthetic of the particular also had more abstract political ramifications, as we have already seen. The specificity of the portrait draws its viewers in. It assures us of its authenticity and sincerity. Moreover, the portrait asserts the importance of the particular as the foundation

of the universal. It was individuals like Alexandre, in neighborhoods like the Faubourg Saint-​Marcel, who put the abstractions of the Revolution into practice. The law was executed, confrontations between different classes were negotiated, and accommodations were made by the National Guard officer. His personal intervention, the portrait argues, reinforced the universal values represented by the uniform, the cockade, and the sword. Like Nau-​Deville, Alexandre used his portrait to make his personal history into national history, and vice versa. His portraitist seems to have had similar ambitions. Bizard, like Bellier, based his composition on eighteenth-​ century military portraiture. Rather than simply place his sitter against a battlefield backdrop, however, the artist arranged the architecture to form a three-​dimensional space that resembles an eighteenth-​century theater. Alexandre and the female agitator, captured in a moment of confrontation, occupy a stagelike foreground. The drama they enact is observed by the chorus of guardsmen and the spectators looking down from the windows/loges. The composition is awkward but effective. It heightens the sense of immediacy by placing the viewer on the same stage as Alexandre and the rioters. We are clearly part of the neighborhood, but are we protestors or guardsmen? Bizard’s portrait, by inviting its viewers to participate in this microcosm of revolutionary conflict, aspires to the political and moral complexity of history painting. Even Bizard’s formal quotations aim high. The fleeing boy between the two main figures echoes another childish figure in a military portrait: the ghostly female figure in Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, surely Western art’s most ambitious depiction of a local militia.

Mercury and Mars Alexandre and Nau-​Deville used their portraits to claim a place in revolutionary history. The paintings they commissioned combine the strategies of traditional military portraiture and history painting, casting their subjects as protagonists in local and national dramas. Both portraits also implicitly celebrate the opportunities that the Revolution offered middle-​class men. This aspect of the National Guard is addressed much more overtly in another small-​scale full-​length portrait, painted by Jean-​ Marie Hooghstoel around 1790 and tentatively identified as an image of a Monsieur Estellé, a merchant of military insignia, in the uniform of a captain of the chasseurs of the Guard (fig. 40). The Hooghstoel painting exemplifies a second approach to National Guard portraiture, one that explicitly navigated the conceptual gap between middle-​class identity and military officer rank. The portrait reverses traditional notions of officer rank as a noble prerogative, asserting the compatibility of commerce and military honor. Hooghstoel was a student of François-​André Vincent and exhibited works at the Salons of 1793 and 1799. He was no stranger to current theories of painting, but in this early painting his ambitions seem to have outstripped his technical skills.30 He depicts Monsieur Estellé in full uniform, cockaded, plumed, and epauletted, with one gloved hand on his sword and the other grasping a rolled piece of paper. His pose is entirely consistent with ancien régime conventions of military portraiture; the cocked elbow of his left arm, for instance, juts toward the viewer as aggressively as that of Duplessis’s or Rigaud’s noble sitters.

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Figure 40  Jean-​Marie Hooghstoel, M. Estellé, Insignia Merchant, rue Saint-​Honoré, in the Uniform of Captain of the National Guard in 1790, ca. 1790. Oil on canvas, 45.5 × 37.5 cm. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

Rather than dominating a battlefield, however, Estellé poses in the interior of his shop. A long counter on the left is strewn with finished insignia in the process of being wrapped for shipping to customers. A secretaire filled with paperwork and a desk with an open ledger and a pen occupy the space directly behind the sitter. The mantelpiece at far right supports a parade of everyday objects: a tankard, a pitcher, a pipe. The splendid plumed helmet in the corner and the gun leaning against the wall appear almost as afterthoughts in an interior filled with the bric-a-​brac of commercial and domestic life. Estellé is very clearly advertising his dual status as merchant and officer, an entirely new combination for the previously noble officer corps. Both Nau-​Deville and Alexandre were of nonnoble origin, but neither advertised his class position as frankly as Hooghstoel’s client did. That Estellé’s business consists of furnishing brother officers with the marks of military distinction draws particular attention to the democratization of the service. The portrait is emphatic about the importance of the bourgeoisie to national honor. It is equally insistent on the dignity of commerce and its commensurability with more martial definitions of masculinity. The idea of a merchant-​officer was utterly foreign to ancien régime society, of course, and the very proliferation of both arms and consumer goods in the Hooghstoel portrait testifies to the difficulty of imposing a new concept of military service. Since its inception, the National Guard had been defined against the court and aristocratic notions of status; its advocates in print, no matter how they characterized its motivations and composition, insisted vehemently on its roturier nature, as did

Hooghstoel and his client. A pamphlet published in the summer of 1789 argued that even the name of the new militia ought to reflect its disregard for ancien régime hierarchies. Reporting on the debates about the name “garde bourgeois” (a traditional designation for a citizen militia), the author of the pamphlet points out that the term “bourgeois” was considered a slur by “our women, our theaters, our coteries, our kindly ancestors, the famous good company divided into so many branches, so many sects disavowed by each other, and our blind fellow citizens.”31 With this sweeping condemnation, the author dismisses court society and its outmoded social divisions in favor of the new “Parisian National Guard,” a name and institution that would stand outside this closed circle of femininity, theatricality, court intrigue, and aristocratic reverence for bloodlines. Even the popularity of Lafayette, the commander of the National Guard in its early years, was qualified by a strong sense of the Guard as an exclusively nonnoble force. A 1789 pamphlet protesting Lafayette’s appointment argued that the marquis, and indeed the aristocracy as a whole, was not to be trusted: “Why has the National corps taken up arms across the whole expanse of France? To prevent the violence of the Nobility, repel their attacks, and obtain from them what they will not concede except by force.”32 Here the National Guard functions as an agent of violent change; its primary function is to impose the values of the Third Estate (no matter how vaguely defined) on a resistant nobility. The selection of officers for the new militia brought these questions of class to the fore. Even those who saw the Guard as a microcosm of a new society founded on

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principles of equality and popular sovereignty found it difficult to relinquish ancien régime notions of military hierarchy. A discourse on the selection of National Guard officers, delivered in a Parisian local assembly in August 1789, begins by heaping praise on the Parisian National Guard, a company of equals: “Haven’t we seen ranks and conditions confounded? The rich man marching under the orders of his less fortunate neighbor?” The speaker insists that this equality should extend to the officer corps. Leadership should change hands frequently, and no officer should consider himself above his fellow citizens. However, when it comes to making recommendations to the Assembly about the election of officers, he argues that the commander of the district’s battalion should be “a decorated military man, respectable on account of his age, his experience, and even his patriotic talents.” Such a commander could only be a nobleman, and indeed the Assembly immediately elected the Chevalier de Kéralio.33 In this definition of the revolutionary officer, prior service in the king’s army takes precedence over “patriotic talent,” and rhetoric celebrating the new classless society cedes to deeply entrenched ideas about military leadership. The portrait record demonstrates that many commoners served as Guard officers despite these kinds of reservations. Officers were drawn from a wide range of professions, as a list compiled in 1790 attests; former noblemen and military officers figure in the roster, but so do merchants, members of the liberal professions, and artisans such as dentists, printers, butchers, and gardeners.34 The idea of a common-​born officer, however, provoked anxiety about class hierarchy that reflected

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more general disarray in the face of revolutionary social change. Another 1789 pamphlet, in the form of a letter from a father to his son in the National Guard, begins with praise for Lafayette, who is commended not for his noble origins but for rising up through the military ranks. The author moves quickly to a panegyric on the egalitarianism of the Guard, with copious references to Rousseau and classical antiquity. He rebukes his son for chafing under the authority of an officer he considers his social inferior: “You are indignant to see yourself under the command of people you believe to be far below you, who haven’t been paddled in school, some of whom don’t even know how to spell. . . . Do you think you’re above an honest artisan, because my fortune allows you to live in easier circumstances? . . . I assure you that, if I were your age, I would be charmed to have as my captain or lieutenant my shoemaker, good citizen, good father, and the most honest man in the world.”35 The fiction of the young bourgeois resisting the appointment of artisans to positions of military authority expressed the class tensions generated by this new kind of military officer. The composition of the Guard reflected the reality of political commitment among the artisan classes. It is evident, however, that this commitment, and the popular Revolution it represented, forced former noblemen and wealthy commoners to confront their unease about the real-​world application of abstract principles of equality. The Hooghstoel portrait intervenes in these debates over class, patriotism, and military authority by presenting its sitter as a merchant-​officer in the most literal and legible terms possible. Rather than demonstrate the subject’s ability to command troops or exercise control

over popular violence, as in the Bizard and Bellier portraits, the image baldly transposes the traditional pose of aristocratic military command to the shop interior. Estellé clutches a cylindrical piece of paper instead of a marshal’s baton; given the setting, it is as likely to be an order form or an inventory as a communiqué from a superior officer. Commercial interests are presented as perfectly compatible with national ones. Estellé’s rather unprepossessing physical presence, more Mercury than Mars, undercuts traditional notions of physical valor, just as the setting of the portrait departs from the ancien régime ideal of disinterested service to the king.

Good Fathers (and Brothers) As complex as their compositions are, the Bizard, Bellier, and Hooghstoel portraits concentrate the viewer’s attention on the likeness and actions of a single man. Each painting adapts the conventions of military portraiture to revolutionary circumstances in different ways, but they all retain the sense of autonomous male heroism that was fundamental to the genre. Some National Guard portraits, however, leaned more heavily on the idea of the citizen-​soldier, depicting officers in the bosom of their families. This kind of portrait grounded its sitter within the civil order the Guard was understood to be protecting. It also guaranteed the probity of the sitter, vouching for his qualities as “good citizen, good father, and the most honest man in the world.” Domestic National Guard portraiture, replete with the physical and emotional particulars of everyday life, linked civilian and

military life in a way that made the nation into an extension of the family. The Guard, these pictures argued, was a new kind of military corps, beholden to a civilian collectivity rather than to singular royal control. A very elaborate example of this mode of portraiture was produced in 1789 or 1790 by Jean-​Jacques Hauer for an unidentified group of clients (fig. 41).36 The portrait includes six adult male figures, five seemingly of the same generation (perhaps a group of brothers and brothers-in-​ law) and one elderly man seated at far right. Three of the five younger men are pictured in the uniform of the National Guard.37 The pointing hands and gazes of the younger men direct the viewer’s attention to the group of three women, and more particularly to the seated woman nursing a baby. A small dog with wagging tail and protruding tongue stares fixedly at the standing man furthest to the right, whose red sash and gold braid mark him as an officer. He in turn is linked to the nursing mother by the other standing guardsman, who clasps him fraternally with one hand and points to the youngest member of the family with the other. Nursing mother and aged patriarch, patriotic officer and faithful dog: Hauer’s portrait is a small poem to male civic duty and the comforts of home whence it springs. It is hard to imagine a better image of the bourgeois social order that many contemporaries expected the Guard to protect; there is little hint here of the guardsman as the man of the people and scourge of the nobility. Indeed, the tidy household visualizes, quite literally, a very decorous form of revolutionary fraternity. The three uniformed men and the three men in civilian clothes are members of a single extended family. The baby that represents the

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Figure 41  Jean-​Jacques Hauer, Family Portrait with National Guard Officers, 1789–90. Oil on canvas, 61.3 × 50.2 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975.1.149.

future of this family could belong to any of the younger men; its singularity among the multiplication of father figures makes it into a symbol of the regeneration of the family as a whole—​and, by extension, the nation. Hauer himself was an officer in the Parisian National Guard. His patriotism makes him the seventh adult man in this family group, bound together by fraternal ideals of citizenship but rooted in a resolutely civilian family life. The connection between everyday life and the armed defense of the Revolution is made most forcefully by a life-​size three-quarter-​length portrait painted in 1791 by Rémy-​Furcy Descarsin, an artist working in Nantes (fig. 42). The sitters have recently been identified as René Dogereau and Perrine Trouillard, two working-​class centenarians who were rescued from poverty by the local Société des amis de la constitution. After this dramatic and well-​publicized act of charity, Dogereau was given an honorary position in the National Guard. Descarsin, apparently on his own initiative, commemorated the couple’s story with a portrait that emphasizes their advanced age, their nonelite status, their mutual devotion, and their support of the Revolution.38 It is an unusual portrait in many respects, and particularly for the candor of its portrayal of an elderly working-​class couple. The dignity of Dogereau’s upright form and direct eye contact with the viewer is matched by Trouillard’s affectionate stoicism. The couple’s wrinkles are detailed as carefully as Dogereau’s uniform, which is so minutely painted that the viewer can read the slogan “La loi et le roi” (The law and the king) on the lowest button. This button finds its civilian and feminine echo in the straight pin in Trouillard’s bodice.

Compared to the regal officers of the ancien régime visual tradition or to Bizard’s and Bellier’s revolutionary swashbucklers, Dogereau is something of an antihero. He slumps slightly in his uniform, and his five o’clock shadow is clearly perceptible. He grasps his wife’s hand rather than a sword. The portrait deliberately defines National Guard officer rank as a homely function. Here, the markers of age and domestic affections replace the signs of authority that proliferate in other Guard portraits. Only the carefully depicted uniform makes explicit reference to military command. “La loi et le roi,” the slogan of the constitutional monarchy, discreetly displayed below the couple’s joined hands, puts the National Guard’s loyalties to the legislators and the general will before its allegiance to the king, and the juxtaposition of the engraved buttons with the couple’s joined hands links the Guard’s authority to the domestic sphere. Little is known about Descarsin’s career. In the 1780s he worked as a copyist for the king’s brother, the comte de Provence, known as “Monsieur,” and in 1788 solicited an appointment as one of the prince’s official painters.39 The artist must have been granted this purely ceremonial title, because he signed the Dogereau/Trouillard portrait “Descarsin/peintre de Monsieur/frère du Roy.” The only evidence of Descarsin’s engagement with revolutionary ideals is the archival documentation surrounding his death; he was executed by a revolutionary tribunal in Nantes in November 1793 for threatening to kill members of the local government.40 Whatever Descarsin’s political leanings (hostility to the Jacobins in 1793 is not a reliable indicator of counterrevolutionary tendencies), his depiction of Dogereau and Trouillard is profoundly

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Figure 42  Rémy-​Furcy Descarsin, Portrait of a National Guard Officer and His Wife, 1791. Oil on canvas, 90.5 × 73 cm. Inv. 2004.14, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille.

sympathetic. Moreover, he brought to the problem of National Guard portraiture technical skills and a sense of scale that surpass those of the portraitists who specialized in small-​scale full-​length paintings. We know even less about the couple’s own political leanings, or the circumstances of the portrait’s production. Presumably, it was painted at Descarsin’s initiative, or at the behest of the couple’s supporters.41 The portrait, in any case, serves less as an expression of the sitters’ own self-​image than as an advertisement of the civic virtues of the other actors in the Dogereau/Trouillard story, including the artist who painted it, the political club that rescued the couple from poverty, and the local Guard that adopted Dogereau and gave him an honorary rank. In this portrait, designed for public consumption, the National Guard officer uniform symbolizes what the Revolution could offer even the least of its citizens: the possibility of social mobility, a new model of patriotic masculinity, duties and honors to which even a poor and aged man could, and should, aspire. By depicting Dogereau as a National Guardsman, Descarsin makes him into a living symbol of the revolutionary transformation of class structure. Born under the absolutist reign of Louis XIV, Dogereau would die a free man and a citizen. Descarsin’s portrait uses his and Trouillard’s likenesses, and the symbolic power of the National Guard, to recount the history of one hundred years of oppression and the revolutionary seizure of power by the Third Estate. If the Descarsin portrait is forthright about its sitters’ social status, however, it is equally explicit about their faces and bodies, drawing the viewer’s attention to Trouillard’s veiny hands and

Dogereau’s ruddy lined face. The deliberate forthrightness of the image is part of the portraitist’s strategy: it creates a strong and immediate sense of intimacy, both between husband and wife and between sitters and viewer. The minuteness, and democracy, of the portrait’s inventory of physiognomic and material detail creates a very revolutionary feeling of equality between the viewer and the sitters. The blank gray background, which resembles that of David’s Jacobus Blauw, and the effacement in the paint surface of all signs of the artist’s brush, enhance the impression of proximity; the effect is of an almost unbearable candor and clarity. In Descarsin’s hands, the National Guard portrait is stripped of narrative and reduced to its essence: a picture of an ordinary man who puts on the uniform of the Guard to defend the principles of the Revolution without abandoning his ties to his family or his social class. Personal transparency and domestic happiness are, this portrait argues, inseparable from patriotism. That Dogereau’s officer rank was merely symbolic only intensifies the exemplary nature of the portrait. This vision of the National Guard, grounded in the particularities of family and community, represents a radical reimagining of both military service and portrait conventions. The Descarsin portrait is unusual in its genesis, scale, and quality, but its sensibility is shared by other portraits of National Guard officers. These images are both formally and conceptually innovative. On a formal level, portraitists did not hesitate to experiment with a format that had previously been reserved for the elites. The proliferation of small-​scale full-​length portraits packed with narrative details demonstrates the

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enthusiasm with which artists and sitters approached the genre. Conceptually, National Guard portraits proposed a revolutionary form of military service by substituting new authorities for that of the monarchy. Those new authorities were as various as the competing visions of the Revolution in circulation between 1789 and 1793. Some portraits, such as the Bellier and Bizard paintings, emphasized individual enterprise. These sitters, pictured in action on the streets of Paris, advertised their personal heroism and commemorated their real or imaginary participation in revolutionary history. This stress on individual initiative could be literal as well as figurative. The Hooghstoel portrait, by placing its sitter in full officer’s uniform in the interior of his shop, argues for middle-​class entrepreneurialism as the source of the National Guard’s authority. Other portraits, the Hauer and Descarsin paintings among them, imagined the family and its emotional bonds as the Guard’s source of strength. The sitters’ uniforms are juxtaposed with the bodies of women and children and the details of domestic space and objects, promoting a vision of a military force rooted in civilian life and subject to its regulation. All of these approaches to National Guard portraiture replaced the courtly (and ultimately feudal) model of allegiance to the king with a new definition of glory: the individual officer as agent of the law. Many of the Guard portraits physically incorporated the law by including

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the motto “La loi et le roi” or “La nation et la loi.” Indeed, the reliance of these pictures on words—​the mottos or, in Bellier’s case, an explanatory inscription—​is an indication of the revolutionary shift of sovereignty from the body of the king to the logos of the constitution. This emphasis on the abstractions of the law and the individual’s submission to it should not obscure the portraits’ obsession with the particularities of social class. All of the National Guard portraits implicitly or explicitly grapple with the relationship between political and economic power in the new French nation. Some celebrate the break with the old system of orders by playing up their sitters’ nonnoble status. Others, by emphasizing the sitters’ dignity and resolve, attempt to reassure their viewers that the transfer of military power from noble to roturier hands did not mean a devolution into mob violence. Both approaches reveal a preoccupation with class that challenges revolutionary claims to equality and fraternity. National Guard portraits also challenge accounts of politics and visual culture that ignore the very real class conflicts within revolutionary society. These images, as modest as many of them are, show us how men (and a few women) of the middling sort used portraiture to work through these conflicts and to propose tentative answers to the questions of social hierarchy and political agency raised by the Revolution.

the terror

When the Salon of 1793 opened on August 10, in an atmosphere of increasing political fervor, no fewer than 166 painted portraits were offered for the public’s consideration, a record high for the period 1789–1804.1 But few surviving portraits from the year and a half of the Terror, which began with the execution of the king in January 1793 and ended with the overthrow of the radical republican leader Maximilien Robespierre in July 1794, make any reference to revolutionary events. The heads most closely associated with political discourse during the Terror were not pleasant objects for domestic display (fig. 43). A print of the head of Louis XVI held up by the hand of the executioner emblematizes the very public culture of the guillotine, the ultimate punishment for counterrevolutionary forms of self-​expression. In theory, the decapitation of the symbolic body of the ancien régime removed the final obstacle to new forms of political subjectivity. In practice, however, ordinary people were reluctant to commission adventurous and politically engaged portraits during the most radical period of the Revolution. This lack of civic-​minded portraiture reflected the realities of the rapidly changing political climate. The portraits on display at the Salon of 1793 had most probably been commissioned in 1792 or early 1793, before the radical Jacobin party began to consolidate its

power. Many of the hallmark initiatives of the Terror were undertaken in the spring of 1793, before terror was officially declared the order of the day on September 5. In March, revolutionary tribunals were established to punish enemies of the republic; in April the government took control of grain pricing; and in June the Jacobin deputies and their allies in the Parisian popular movement forced the more moderate members of the Girondin party out of the legislature. By September, after the official declaration of the Terror, the Law of Suspects authorized the imprisonment of anyone expressing opposition to the Revolution, anyone who had been refused a certificat de civisme, and those merely unable to justify their behavior or means of support to the local surveillance committees.2 Even the slightest manifestation of allegedly counterrevolutionary tendencies—​wearing the wrong clothes, singing the wrong songs, exhibiting signs of unexplained wealth—​could attract the attention of the revolutionary legal system. The risk of the wrong kind of self-​representation during the Terror did not discourage portrait production altogether, but it did suppress the demand for creative images of civic identity. The vast majority of the portraits conceived and displayed between the summers of 1793 and 1794, the revolutionary Year II, effaced any signs of

Figure 43  Anonymous, Matière à reflection pour les jongleurs couronnées [sic] (Food for thought for crowned jugglers), 1793. Engraving, 21.5 × 17 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

political partisanship. Artists and sitters had to be canny and courageous—​or very unwise—​to stake out obvious political positions in the Year II. The circumstances that made portrait production dangerous, however, lent any image willing to grapple with contemporary events a special power. Three examples of portrait collaborations offer us a glimpse into how artists and sitters navigated the Terror:

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a young actress and an old artist, both unable or unwilling to acknowledge the Revolution; a bishop in exile in London and an enterprising portraitist eager to profit from the counterrevolution; and a dead radical and a painter-​politician personally invested in Jacobin politics. Jean-​François Colson’s portrait of the actress Élise Lange, shown at the Salon of 1793, was overtly apolitical, even antipolitical, but acquired new and unintended meanings

Figure 44  Jean-​François Gilles Colson, Mademoiselle Lange, 1792. Oil on canvas, 92 × 74 cm (111 × 91.5 cm with frame). Inv. I 0208, Bibliothèque-Musée de la Comédie-Française.

when the sitter was arrested and imprisoned. Henri-​ Pierre Danloux’s portrait of Jean-​François de La Marche, by contrast, was designed to drum up support for royalist émigré priests. Jacques-​Louis David’s posthumous image of Jean-​Paul Marat, produced outside the normal channels of commission and display, is both the logical product of the culture of revolutionary portraiture and the object that exceeds all of its categories.

The case of Élise Lange and Jean-​François Colson demonstrates how even the least political of portraits could, during the Terror, become a pawn in a high-​stakes game of personal representation and political identity (fig. 44). Lange is known today to scholars of revolutionary art because of another portrait transaction. In 1799 she commissioned a portrait from Anne-​Louis Girodet. When she criticized the resulting painting and requested

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that the artist withdraw it from the Salon, Girodet replaced it with an elaborate allegorical portrait of Lange as a greedy and immoral Danaë. Seven years before the Girodet fiasco, however, Lange sat for another portrait that was also, in its own way, a disaster. When the Revolution began in 1789, the seventeen-year-​old Lange was already a successful actress and a member of the Comédie-​Française, the official royal theater. Colson, nearly forty years her senior, was a veteran of the portrait market specializing in likenesses of performers. His portrait of Lange, completed in 1792 and hung in the Salon of 1793, commemorated a role she had played in 1789, in the revival of a play first staged in 1758: an innocent castaway on a desert island who falls madly in love with the first man she lays eyes on.3 Lange is depicted semiclothed in a vaguely classical white shift and an animal pelt. The pearls strung across her chest emphasize with their own luster the roundness and fairness of Lange’s exposed breast. The almost frontal pose allows the viewer to appreciate the symmetry of Lange’s face and the soft curves of her naked flesh. The mere presence of an actress’s portrait in a revolutionary Salon was not shocking. The Revolution, far from suppressing the performing arts, had encouraged them by breaking the royal monopoly on Parisian theaters. Topical new plays with revolutionary themes were greeted with enthusiasm by politically aware audiences, and many actors and actresses became conspicuous participants in partisan politics. However, their popularity and patriotism did not erase the age-​old prejudice against actors and actresses. Before 1789, France had been the only country in Europe that still denied performers civil

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and religious rights, on the grounds that their profession was inherently immoral.4 In December 1789 the revolutionary government granted full civil rights to actors. But the old prejudices were in many ways intensified by the revolutionary emphasis on personal and political virtue, particularly during the Terror.5 Actors and actresses were professionally committed to pretending to be what they were not, transforming themselves into different characters every night—​and in the politicized theater of the Revolution, they were often required to embody aristocratic or clerical villains, or equivocal contemporary political figures. Transparency was a core revolutionary value, and actors and actresses were by definition nontransparent. Actresses, even under the ancien régime, had borne the brunt of public assumptions about performers’ immorality. Their very public profession violated norms of female behavior, and they were universally assumed to be sexually promiscuous. But theater women also wielded a great deal of cultural influence, and portraits of actresses were frequently displayed at the Salon, a practice that continued during the Revolution.6 The famous tragic actress Françoise-Marie-​Rosette Gourgaud Vestris, an ardent supporter of the Revolution, was represented at the Salon of 1795 by a portrait by Simon-​Bernard Lenoir (fig. 45).7 Vestris, who took Lange under her wing when the younger actress was admitted to the Comédie-​ Française, poses as Electra, one of her most famous roles. Her dramatic gesture, the sober costume, and the classically inspired setting convey the seriousness of her art. Lange’s portrait, like her mentor’s, depicts her in a career-​ making role. However, the younger actress’s likeness

Figure 45  Simon-​Bernard Lenoir, Madame Vestris as Electra, n.d. [1770s]. Oil on canvas, 91 × 72 cm (116 × 97 cm with frame). Inv. bm-​P0229, Bibliothèque-Musée de la Comédie-Française.

makes visual reference to a much earlier moment in portraiture. Seminudity, for instance, was far more common in portraiture in the first half of the eighteenth century, both for actresses and for elite women. Colson’s portrait of Lange recalls works like Jean Raoux’s 1723 portrait of the dancer Françoise Prévost and Jean-​Marc Nattier’s images of wealthy women in mythological guise, such as his depiction of Charlotte-​Louise de Rohan-​Guéménée

as Hebe in 1738—a portrait type that stood in for ancien régime elite femininity in the anonymous print of revolutionary looting discussed in the introduction (figs. 46 and 47).8 By the late eighteenth century, and especially after the Revolution, fashion had shifted to more sober images for both actresses and other female sitters. The retrograde charms of Lange’s portrait contrast markedly with, for

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instance, David’s unfinished portrait of Louise Pastoret, also dated to 1791–92 (fig. 48). David’s image capitalizes on a very different iconography of the bared breast; here, the diagonal sash across the sitter’s chest emphasizes her capacity to breastfeed the infant at her side. David’s portrait is only one of many revolutionary portraits that celebrate a fecund but chaste femininity rather than the mobile sexuality on offer in Colson’s image. Lange and Colson were taking a risk by sending the portrait to the Salon of 1793. By evoking the visual conventions and class politics of the ancien régime, the portraitist depicted his sitter as less than sympathetic to the Revolution. Was this deliberate or accidental? We know nothing of Colson’s ideological commitments.

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Lange left no written record of her own political sympathies, but the course of her career after 1789 speaks to her awareness of, and her willingness to capitalize on, revolutionary change. In 1790 part of the Comédie-​Française troupe, including Lange, defected to a rival theater. Many of those who left were, like Lange’s mentor Vestris and the rising star François-​Joseph Talma, vocally in favor of the Revolution.9 Their abandonment of the Comédie had been an expression of disgust with the generally pro-​ monarchical sentiment of the troupe. Lange returned to the Comédie-​Française (renamed the Théâtre de la Nation) in July 1792.10 In an undated letter thanking the company for readmitting her, Lange explained that her move had been motivated by

Figure 46 (opposite left)  Jean Raoux, Mademoiselle Prévost as a Bacchante, 1723. Oil on canvas, 209 × 162 cm. Musée des beaux-​arts, Tours. Figure 47 (opposite right)  Jean-​Marc Nattier, Charlotte-​Louise de Rohan-​Guéménée, princesse de Masseran, 1738. Oil on canvas, 125 × 98 cm. mv 7873, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles. Figure 48  Jacques-​Louis David, Louise Pastoret and Her Son, 1791–92. Oil on canvas, 129.8 × 96.6 cm. Clyde M. Carr Fund and Major Acquisitions Endowment, 1967.228. The Art Institute of Chicago.

professional ambition: “I am very touched and grateful, Messieurs, for the regrets that you had the decency to assure me that the Comédie felt when I went to test my feeble talents at another theater; the reason for my actions, which was to work a great deal, must be my excuse for this temporary emigration.”11 Lange’s carefully

worded letter hints at the underlying context of political conflict in the theater world. By describing her brief stint at the other theater as a “temporary emigration,” Lange associated herself with the members of the antirevolutionary nobility and clergy who had left France—​and distanced herself from the other former members of the

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troupe who had definitively broken with the Comédie-​ Française. Whatever her political sympathies, Lange now found it expedient to ally herself with the more conservative members of the Comédie. Could the public exhibition of the portrait have been meant to signal Lange’s allegiance to the politics of her current colleagues? Lange’s personal quest for professional recognition and public acclaim, of which the Colson portrait was an emblem, unfolded against the backdrop of the rapid radicalization of the Revolution. The Salon of 1793 opened on the first anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy. France was at war with Great Britain, Spain, and the Dutch Republic, and was facing counterrevolutionary revolt at home. The legislature had created the all-​powerful Committee of Public Safety to coordinate the war effort and to stamp out domestic resistance to the Revolution. In July, the radical deputy and journalist Jean-​ Paul Marat was assassinated, setting off a wave of public indignation and inflaming tensions between the Jacobin government and the popular Parisian municipal government. The inauguration of the Salon also coincided with major cultural initiatives; it came two days after the official abolition of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and it coincided exactly with the Festival of Unity and Indivisibility, staged by David to celebrate the accomplishments of the Revolution. David’s festival included an homage to the working-​class women who had marched on Versailles in October 1789 and a bonfire of attributes recalling the monarchy. The pageantry culminated in front of a colossal plaster statue of Hercules, representing the French people, trampling the hydra of federalism (a reference to the ongoing civil unrest).12

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Colson’s portrait of a bare-​breasted Lange was a stark conceptual counterpoint to the imagery of the Festival of Unity and Indivisibility and the political crises unfolding at the same time. To make matters worse, Colson’s portrait of Lange arrived at the Salon at exactly the moment at which the actress’s political leanings were attracting the most attention. On August 1, 1793, the Comédie opened a new play—​an adaptation of Samuel Richardson’s immensely popular novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, with Lange starring as the young servant girl who virtuously resists the advances of her aristocratic master until he finally decides to marry her. The play was an immediate success, despite its pro-​English sentiments and its perversion of the novel’s social message—​in this Pamela, the servant girl turns out to be of noble birth. On September 2, a provincial official on mission to the Committee of Public Safety disrupted the performance to protest a couplet that read, “Ah! the persecutors are the most worthy of condemnation / And the most tolerant are the most worthy of pardon.” “No tolerance!” the provincial official shouted. “Political tolerance is a crime!”13 By the next day, nearly all of the members of the Comédie-​Française, along with its administrators and the playwright, had been arrested, and the theater officially closed. Lange’s portrait, to the best of our knowledge, remained on public view until the Salon closed on September 30, even as its sitter awaited trial and terror was officially declared.14 The image of the actress dashing bare-​breasted across a fantastic landscape, playing a character in a comedy that had last been seen in 1789, conjured up specters of aristocracy, femininity, and sexual depravity that the revolutionaries associated with the

Figure 49  Jean-​Antoine Gros, The Republic, 1794. Oil on canvas, 71 × 63 cm. mv 5498, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles.

monarchical past. Worse, the portrait, consciously or unconsciously, offered a frivolous alternative to the most politically orthodox image of a bare-​breasted woman: the allegorical representation of the French Republic, which was commonly embodied by a seminude female figure, as in a 1794 painting by Jean-​Antoine Gros (fig. 49).15 Colson and Lange’s choice of imagery, already unwise in 1792, had become criminal by 1793.

The saga of Lange’s attempts to manage her career and promote herself through portraiture is exceptional because it took place in the glare of the Parisian theater world. But the problems she faced in keeping up with new concepts of personal and political virtue were common to everyone who lived through the Terror, particularly those who commissioned portraits as visible records of their political, social, and personal identities. Lange

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Figure 50  Henri-​Pierre Danloux, Jean-​ François de La Marche, Bishop of Saint-Pol-​de-​ Léon, 1793. Oil on canvas, 223 × 182 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris.

reacted to the politicization of her world with apparent enthusiasm but little consistency, made career choices that branded her an enemy of the republic, and commissioned a portrait that made no concessions to the new visual vocabulary of selfhood. A very different kind of sitter posed in 1793 for a likeness that consciously deployed all the rhetorical power of portraiture for political purposes. Henri-​Pierre Danloux’s portrait of Jean-​François de La Marche was designed to serve as a model for an engraving (fig. 50). Sales of the print were intended to raise funds to support refugee priests, who, like the bishop and the painter, had fled the Revolution and settled in England. The painted portrait and its reproductions were weapons in a propaganda war against the Jacobin government, weapons that were all the more effective because their power was derived from the revolutionary culture of political portraiture. Danloux emigrated to England in January 1792. His efforts to rebuild his portrait business are detailed in his journal, which provides, as we saw in chapter 1, a vivid account of the tricks of the trade. In 1793 Danloux volunteered to paint a life-​size full-​length portrait of La Marche. La Marche was the coordinator of charitable efforts to aid royalist priests who had fled France rather than swear their support of the 1790 Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which placed the Catholic Church under the control of the revolutionary government. He was a prominent figure among the émigré population in London, and Danloux no doubt felt that an ambitious, high-​profile portrait of the bishop would attract paying customers from the exiled elite. Danloux’s desire for self-​promotion seems to have been mixed with political

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sympathy—​the artist also volunteered to engrave the portrait at his own expense and to donate the proceeds to La Marche’s cause.16 Danloux’s portrait depicts the bishop engaged in paperwork in his modest London apartment. The documents piled up on his desk include a list of financial supporters, and the conspicuous heap of letters on the floor are requests for aid. The bishop is dressed in a simple black suit and wears what appears to be his own hair. Legs crossed, he gazes at the list on his desk and makes a note of something in the ledger on his lap. His figure is dwarfed by the large mantelpiece behind him, which supports a collection of books and a small crucifix. The fire screen between the bishop and the hearth is decorated with a view of the castle of Winchester, where émigré priests were being housed, and a map of the English Channel. The image of the Channel hints at a more active kind of opposition to the revolutionary government; La Marche was closely connected to the émigré government in exile and its attempts to invade France through Brittany.17 Danloux’s composition makes only enough reference to French conventions for portraying the princes of the church to dramatize the exceptional status of both sitter and portrait. Most eighteenth-​century clerical portraits depict their commissioners in full regalia, surrounded by the emblems of their office, as in Claude Drevet’s 1749 engraving of the cardinal of Auvergne, after a portrait painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud (fig. 51). Danloux, like Rigaud, depicts his client seated in an interior decorated by symbols of his office. The crucifix on La Marche’s mantelpiece, which almost disappears into the shadows,

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Figure 51  Claude Drevet, after Hyacinthe Rigaud, Henri-​Oswald, Cardinal de La Tour d’Auvergne, 1749. Engraving, 51.2 × 38.2 cm. lp 65-44, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles.

stands in for the archiepiscopal cross leaning against the wall in Rigaud’s portrait. All other symbols of office—​the clerical collar, the decorations, the rich furs and fabrics—​ are suppressed. Danloux has dramatically decreased the scale of the figure in comparison to its surroundings, diminishing his sitter’s physical authority over the space around him. The subdued palette emphasizes the sobriety of the costume and the austerity of the décor. Instead, the dramatic lighting picks out the bishop’s face, his hands,

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and the cascade of papers, the attributes of his mission in exile. He appears frail and isolated, a sympathetic figure of righteous resistance to the Revolution. By manipulating the conventions of clerical portraiture, Danloux creates a new kind of likeness for a bishop and political leader who repudiated the bombast of ancien régime social and clerical hierarchies, even as he fought to restore them.18 The use of this complex and rhetorically sophisticated portrait as an instrument of propaganda demonstrates how completely portraiture had superseded history painting as a means of political persuasion. In Danloux’s painting, the body of a single contemporary individual stands in for a complex network of ideas: the strength of the church in adversity; the persistence, through the notion of noble patronage, of traditional social hierarchies; and the international alliances supporting the royalist counterrevolution. The scale of the portrait alone—​it measures about seven by five feet (223 × 182 cm)—​declares its ambitions. Moreover, the image’s efficacy, in both painted and engraved form, depended on portraiture’s inherent connection to the art market—​ a connection that had been exploited by the early print portraits of the deputies to the National Assembly and now served to condemn the revolutionary government. The portrait market was even more active in England, where the genre had long been the dominant form of artistic expression, than in France. England also had a well-​established tradition of print portraits, assuring Danloux and La Marche of a receptive viewership for their image of the counterrevolutionary self.19 This self stood for ideas larger than one man—​the bishop’s seeming frailty and isolation, paradoxically, make

space for the narrative of the Revolution itself. The profusion of paper, which occupies almost as much space in the composition as the figure of the bishop himself, bears much of the weight of that narrative and lends the image the power of words. The clearly legible texts on the desk and floor point to the bishop’s role as a leading counterrevolutionary clergyman, and to the strength in numbers of both the ecclesiastical resistance to the Revolution and its generous and powerful supporters. By making the letters so central and abundant, Danloux paints his sitter into the revolutionary discourses from which both painter and priest had deliberately exiled themselves. From the isolation of his darkened apartment, La Marche becomes a political actor, participating in the collective—​ not a collective that revolutionary ideology would endorse, but one that nonetheless had a strong sense of its own civic responsibilities. The most famous portrait of 1793, David’s The Death of Marat (fig. 52), was painted within a few months of Danloux’s likeness of La Marche. Much ink has been spilled by art historians about The Death of Marat. It has served as the lynchpin of arguments about the trajectory of David’s own career, Jacobin ideology, and revolutionary aesthetics, three things that are nearly impossible to separate out and that all help constitute the painting’s meaning.20 Here, however, I want to think about The Death of Marat as a portrait, one that emerges from the revolutionary portrait market and that partakes of the market’s strategies for defining political selfhood. David’s painting was the only safe portrait for the Terror because the sitter was always already a victim of revolutionary politics. Dead, Marat is available to become a portrait of everyone

Figure 52  Jacques-​Louis David, The Death of Marat, 1793. Oil on canvas, 165 × 128 cm. Inv. 3261, Musée d’art ancien, Musées royaux des beaux-​arts de Belgique, Brussels.

and no one, for everyone and no one—​removed from the messy negotiations and compromises of the portraiture market but seen and consumed by all. This is why it makes sense to set David’s iconic painting alongside Danloux’s little-​known portrait of a dissident bishop and Colson’s even less well known image of a twenty-year-​old actress. Danloux’s and David’s portraits in particular have more in common than one might think. The muted palette, the dramatic lighting, the isolation of the figure in a vast and largely illegible

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space, the central role of writing: all of these elements are present in David’s martyr portrait. The portrait of Marat, like that of La Marche, was painted for public consumption and was intended to rouse sympathy for the sitter’s political position and personal plight. However, as an image of a key figure in national political life and the victim of a highly publicized assassination, David’s painting bears an even greater burden of signification. Jean-​Paul Marat was a doctor turned political activist who positioned himself as a champion of the people and a living example of revolutionary virtue and transparency. The newspaper he edited, L’Ami du Peuple, was dedicated to unmasking the enemies of the Revolution—​among them the moderate Girondin party, which Marat regarded as a bastion of royalists intent on betraying the Revolution. Marat also served as a deputy of the city of Paris to the National Convention, the third revolutionary legislature. His constant attacks on government policy earned him the enmity of the Jacobin party, which regarded his populism as a threat to the stability of the nation. Marat’s radical politics and violent rhetoric made him enemies outside the legislature as well. One of those enemies was a woman with Girondist sympathies named Charlotte Corday. On July 13, 1793, Corday gained admittance to Marat’s Paris apartment by claiming to have names of counterrevolutionary plotters, and stabbed him to death in his bathtub—​where, owing to a painful skin condition, he spent much of his time. In life, Marat had been an equivocal figure. In death, he became a martyr of the Revolution. The day after the murder, the Convention solicited David, who had been a friend of Marat’s and a fellow deputy, to paint a

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posthumous portrait. David, working at top speed, completed the painting on October 14. It was first exhibited to the public on October 16, as part of a festival memorializing Marat and the earlier revolutionary martyr Louis-​ Michel Le Peletier de Saint-​Fargeau, also the subject of a posthumous portrait by David. It subsequently hung in the Convention’s meeting hall. The painting thus had a very public life. David and the Convention, in fact, intended its viewership to be even larger. An engraved version was planned, and a contract was signed with an engraver for the plate at the princely rate of six thousand livres. The engraving project, always a slow process, was interrupted by the fall of Robespierre and the Jacobin government in the summer of 1794. There were even plans to design tapestries after the portrait; it is possible that one or more of the four known painted copies made after the original portrait were intended to serve as a model for the weavers.21 David’s painting, like Danloux’s, was fully immersed in the revolutionary portrait market. But this was not a traditional portrait. The sitter was dead. We cannot speak here of negotiation and collaboration, unless we broaden the notion of collaboration to include David’s friendship with Marat and his sympathy for Marat’s politics. Unlike the majority of revolutionary portraits, it was executed at the behest of a collective body rather than an individual commissioner or family and was explicitly intended for mass consumption. In this, The Death of Marat resembles the Levachez prints more than it does, for instance, the National Guard images. Nonetheless, the Marat is a portrait, and it mobilizes all the strengths of the genre and all of its revolutionary resonances.

Considered coldly, David’s formal choices derive from the portrait conventions he and other artists had developed to represent the revolutionary self. The painting is a simple single-​figure composition that isolates the sitter against a neutral background, a portrait technique David used both before and after 1789 with great success. The accessories and pose point to a narrative, but that narrative is not reenacted in the composition. The proximity of the sitter to the picture plane and the clarity with which the material objects are rendered create the effect of revolutionary transparency that portraitists and sitters had cultivated since 1789 as a marker of personal and political virtue. Tony Halliday points out that the Marat draws on two portrait traditions: the cult of grands hommes and the long history of posthumous portraiture, from the Roman Republic to private eighteenth-​century posthumous commissions. As Halliday argues, these combined visual vocabularies helped David harness private feelings in support of public principles.22 This was all the more necessary since, in 1793, there was little agreement on what those principles might be. David’s painting uses the strengths of portraiture—​its intimacy, its illusionism, its connection to the here and now—​to unite its viewers around a controversial figure at a moment when fears of factionalism and counterrevolutionary plotting were at their height. Halliday concludes that David’s painting made the private portrait into a “universal commodity.”23 The choice of words is apt, not only because the image of Marat aimed for broad emotional appeal but also because it was meant, like the Levachez images and the Danloux portrait of La Marche, to reach the widest possible

viewership. All of these portraits were designed to be reproduced and purchased. Like other political portraits, David’s painting was embedded in, and derived part of its meaning from, late eighteenth-​century consumer culture. Its address to the viewer, and its visualization of political authority, depended on the erosion of social hierarchies and the valuation of individualism that consumer culture had helped create. Each viewer confronts the body of Marat, representative of the nation, in intimate proximity; each viewer contemplates the humble tools of his work and the material evidence of the crime and is expected to connect those objects, and that body, to his or her own. By 1793 the revolutionary viewing public was already used to thinking of portraits—​their own and those of others—​as political arguments. The Death of Marat, however, was intended both to appeal to its individual viewers and to enfold them in the new revolutionary collectivity. This dynamic was played out both in the way in which people viewed the portrait in 1793 and in the internal logic of the portrait itself. Whether its viewers encountered the Marat in David’s studio, in the street festival organized in Marat’s memory, or in the hall of the Convention, their personal experience would have been shared and shaped by their fellow citizens. The painting itself thus takes as its theme the relationship between the individual and the collective. Marat is one man, but he is also l’ami du peuple, the self-​styled voice of the French people. In death, the portrait tells us, he is an individual with his own, very particular story, but he is also an idealized naked body whose self has been subsumed into the polity he represented in life. The balance between the

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individual and the collective, as in the Levachez deputy portraits, is delicate and difficult to maintain; indeed, it pushes the Marat to the edge of what portraiture can do. T. J. Clark argues that David, straining to make Marat embody le peuple, found that the task exceeded any one body. Instead, the portrait materialized le peuple in the blank upper half of the canvas. The very emptiness of the painting, Clark contends, speaks to the “unpictureability” of popular sovereignty in 1793.24 Representing the

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people was a difficult task—​too difficult, perhaps, for any one painting, no matter how powerful. But the people were busy representing themselves. Countless portraits with disparate visions of the revolutionary self—some distinguished and inventive, like Danloux’s painting of La Marche; some luscious and ill-conceived, like Colson’s image of Lange; some sublime, like David’s Marat—were produced before, during, and after 1793. Collectively they created a picture of le peuple.


  the Citoyenne tallien in prison

Portraits could advertise your commitment to the rule of law, commemorate your local, professional, or familial loyalties, or simulate your relationship with your elected representatives. However, the mechanisms of judgment and fraternity deployed by the deputy prints, and the valorization of property rights and military authority that structured the National Guard portraits, depended on the assumption that the viewers as well as sitters were male. Women had neither voting rights nor any legal access to military or civil posts. Citizenship was a male prerogative. Portraiture, by contrast, was not a male prerogative. Its centrality to revolutionary visual culture made it a particularly effective means by which women could claim political agency. The visual vocabulary for making that claim, however, was limited. Revolutionary allegories employed female faces and bodies to visualize liberty, reason, nature, or the republic, but actual women were discouraged from representing themselves as political actors. The efforts of women who seized upon the Revolution’s promise of universal liberty and equality, such as the participants in the women’s political clubs that were founded after 1789, or political activists like Olympe de Gouges, author of the 1791 Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen, were quickly suppressed. The only officially acceptable model for revolutionary femininity, promoted

in speeches, print, and visual representation, was that of the republican wife and mother, inspiring patriotism in her husband and raising citizens for the nation. A few women did carve out political identities for themselves over the course of the Revolution. Not many of them commissioned portraits. The case of Thérésia Cabarrus, better known as Madame Tallien, is exceptional. Socially prominent, politically active, and profoundly convinced of her ability to shape her own destiny, Cabarrus posed for a portrait that not only proposed a novel form of female subjectivity but also inserted its sitter into the national drama of the Terror (fig. 53). Cabarrus’s portrait, painted by Jean-​Louis Laneuville and exhibited at the Salon of 1796, represents, as the title in the Salon livret informs us, “the Citoyenne Tallien in a prison cell at La Force, holding her hair which has just been cut.”1 The portrait depicts Cabarrus’s imprisonment two years earlier by the radical Jacobin government. Cabarrus’s prison correspondence with her lover, Jean-​Lambert Tallien, prompted Tallien to stage a coup d’état against Robespierre, thus bringing the Terror to an end and liberating Cabarrus. In this complex life-​size composition, Cabarrus and her portraitist manipulated the conventions of female portraiture to produce a self that was both reassuringly feminine and capable of

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Figure 53  Jean-​Louis Laneuville, The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut, Salon of 1796. Oil on canvas, 129 × 112 cm. Private collection.

intervening in the course of national history—​a citoyenne in the full sense of the term. That her attempt to create a feminine version of political agency through portraiture was by and large a failure provides us with an insight into the unfulfilled promises of revolutionary citizenship. We can explain the Cabarrus portrait in biographical terms as an unorthodox expression of an unorthodox life. But the portrait also embodies the contradictions and tensions surrounding the notion of female citizenship in the new regime. In order to understand the stakes involved in this high-​profile attempt to represent female political engagement, we need to consider both the specific circumstances of the commission and the relationship of women to the polity during the Revolution. Cabarrus had extraordinary access to political power and to the means of self-​representation, but the challenges she faced in fabricating a public face were common to all women. These challenges are evident in the few female portraits of the revolutionary era that suggest a relationship between female identity and political commitment. David’s 1791–92 portrait of Louise Pastoret, a well-​ known supporter of the Revolution, makes no explicit reference to the sitter’s political sympathies (fig. 48).2 Instead, the portrait makes republican motherhood Pastoret’s main attribute. Seated by her infant son’s cradle, she labors decorously at a piece of needlework, her partially bared maternal breast attesting to her role as nurturer of citizens. A less sophisticated but more forthright approach to the representation of female civic identity is evident in a portrait of an unidentified woman by an unknown artist (fig. 54).3 The sitter’s entire outfit is rendered in patriotic red, white, and blue, from the

revolutionary cockade and artificial flowers on her bonnet to her blue bodice and white sleeves decorated with red roses. Around her neck she wears a miniature portrait of a man with a mustache, liberty bonnet, and open-​necked shirt, the markers of the sansculotte, the stereotypical radical working-​class citizen (or of the middle-​class activist who adopted this politically expedient persona). The letter she holds reads, “Mez amis, je suis bien comptant de nous voir en République” (My friends, I’m counting on seeing us in a Republic). Letters and miniatures appear frequently in contemporary genre paintings as tokens of love. This particular missive is probably meant to be interpreted as the words of the man whose portrait the sitter wears; her revolutionary political engagement is thus articulated by the male voice. In the David portrait, the presence of a man is implicit in the depiction of motherhood. The anonymous portrait pictures a female patriot by hanging a male patriot around her neck. The Descarsin portrait of René Dogereau and Perrine Trouillard (fig. 42), discussed in chapter 3, uses a third formula: the woman is coupled with a man, whose uniform represents their mutual civic commitment. In each of these portraits, a woman’s political engagement is mediated by her relationship with a man. None of the sitters inserts herself into a national narrative in the manner of the National Guardsmen. Instead, they support men and raise children in indeterminate interior spaces. The reluctance to picture active and independent female citizenship speaks to the constraints that the Revolution imposed on the political activity of women despite (or because of ) its promises of universal liberty and equality. One of the primary arguments against

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Figure 54  Anonymous, Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1790–92. Oil on canvas, 58.5 × 49 cm. Musée Lambinet, Versailles.

women’s political rights was that they were incapable of independent judgment. Women supposedly lacked a self-​ created subject position; the same objection was raised to the enfranchisement of domestic servants and actors.4 Portraiture had the potential to construct that subject position, but the social and artistic conventions that governed women’s self-​representation proved far more resilient than those that applied to men. Cabarrus’s portrait, working from within those conventions, challenges revolutionary assumptions about the female self. Laneuville certainly does not hesitate

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to advertise his sitter’s personal attractions; indeed, Cabarrus had been an object of public admiration since she arrived in Paris as an adolescent in the 1780s. The portraitist pictures his sitter as a luminous beauty in a dark prison cell, surrounded by the emblems of her imprisonment: the chain in the foreground, the miserable rations behind her, and the long locks of her hair, which had been cut in anticipation of her trip to the guillotine. Cabarrus is depicted at three-​quarter length, with her face and body turned toward the viewer. The calm of her perfectly symmetrical face is animated by a slight but

perceptible smile. Her eyes meet ours, and her body leans forward toward us. The light falling from the upper left draws our attention to her face and chest, and makes her white dress, red sash, and pale skin glow against the dark grays, blues, and browns of her surroundings. Her arms are decorously crossed in her lap, and the long locks of curly dark hair that signal her impending doom tumble down her body into the darker edges of the picture plane, almost an afterthought in a composition that stresses the elegance and beauty of its subject. But those severed curls remind the viewer that this is not a society portrait or an image of a woman captured in the happy dishabille of domesticity, as in David’s portrait of Louise Pastoret. The locks of hair return our gaze to the head from which they were cut; Cabarrus’s cropped hair is not powdered, curled, or dressed for a portrait sitting but rather is parted carelessly in the center and hangs loose on her shoulders. One anomaly leads us to another. The sash around Cabarrus’s waist is improvised from a knotted handkerchief. The skirt of her dress is overlapped on the right by pieces of straw and on the left by a chain, objects that interpose themselves between sitter and viewer and emphasize the conditions of her captivity. Cabarrus’s body is framed by a pillar supporting an archway on the left and the edges of a craggy stone wall on the right, adding a note of Gothic atmosphere. Behind the sitter to the left, the light picks out the broken rim and handle of an earthenware jug and a coarse loaf of bread. On the stone wall behind Cabarrus is a portrait within a portrait: a profile of a classically handsome man with a high forehead, straight nose, tender lips, strong chin,

and loose dark hair falling over his neck. The portrait is bisected by a vertical line of masonry, and the blocks of stone around it are cracked and chipped. All of these cut and crumbling objects remind the viewer of the dangers surrounding Cabarrus, whose unearthly calm suggests the fortitude of a Christian martyr or a heroine of ancient Rome. They also serve as clues to a narrative that seems to be still unfolding. Who is she, and why was she imprisoned? Who is the man whose portrait floats behind her own head, and how did it materialize on her cell wall? When will the executioner arrive? The melodramatic mise-en-​scène of the portrait throws into relief the stasis of Cabarrus’s pose and the neutrality of her expression. She is at once a society beauty and an actor in the national drama of the Terror. This arresting amalgam of elite female portraiture and prison narrative disturbed many of its viewers in 1796, at a moment when France was struggling to suppress the memories of the Jacobin republic and forge a new state out of its legacy of civil unrest and foreign wars. Cabarrus’s portrait commission was a gamble. In 1796 she was famous both as a political actor and as a fashion icon of questionable virtue. The artist she chose, Jean-​Louis Laneuville, was best known for his portraits of radical republican politicians. The imagery they devised treads the line between traditional portrait conventions for elite women and the visual vocabulary of revolutionary political culture. The painting argues—​by intimation, by analogy, and by invocation of the revolutionary portrait process itself—​for Cabarrus’s creative intervention in national politics.

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Mademoiselle Cabarrus’s Revolution Thérésia Cabarrus was born in Spain in 1773 to a French banker and his Spanish wife.5 Her father, François Cabarrus, was a financial advisor to the king and founder of the national bank. Although bourgeois in origin and by profession, the Cabarrus family had acquired patents of nobility in France in 1786. Thérésia was sent to Paris to be educated and to make an advantageous marriage. Her family’s wealth, their recent ennoblement, and her own beauty weighed in her favor, and in February 1788, at the age of fourteen, she married Jean-​Jacques Devin, marquis de Fontenay, a member of another recently ennobled family with a fortune of eight hundred thousand livres. The new Madame de Fontenay and her husband plunged into the world of reformist financiers and liberal nobility, socializing with the Lameths, the Le Peletiers de Saint-​Fargeau, and many other early supporters of the Revolution. Indeed, one memoirist alleged that the Fontenays’ son Théodore, born in May 1789, was in fact fathered by Félix Le Peletier de Saint-​Fargeau, brother of the future subject of David’s first martyr portrait. Whether or not her entanglement with progressive politics took so carnal a form, Cabarrus was certainly immersed in the prerevolutionary reform movement. She was, for instance, initiated in a Masonic lodge, one of the most important nongovernmental institutions of civil society during the ancien régime and a cradle of revolutionary sentiment.6 After 1789 Cabarrus was publicly associated with the most radical factions of the new government. Sometime in the summer of 1791, soon after the arrest of the royal family on their flight to Varennes,

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Cabarrus was the subject of a satirical attack in the aptly named journal La Chronique Scandaleuse. An imaginary dialogue between “Mme de Font . . .” and her friend “Don . . . Pic . . . , femme Lam . . .” (Anne-​Marie Picot, the wife of the deputy Charles Lameth) portrayed Cabarrus as a libertine and political radical. Cabarrus tells her friend that she was so happy about the arrest of the king and its probable hastening of the declaration of the republic that she walked all the way from her suburban estate to Paris, spent the night with Robespierre, dined with Danton, and then attended Picot’s ball, thrown in celebration of the happy event. Picot says admiringly, “It’s your way of thinking that’s so dear to me, it’s your patriotism, and that elevation of mind that made you rise immediately to the heights of the revolution, that makes me so crazy about your charming nature; and then, my dear, what I adore in you is the courage to have had Mirabeau.” The fictional Cabarrus explains her adventure with the notoriously ugly Mirabeau—“How could I resist that manly eloquence?”—​and then turns the tables on her friend by accusing her husband and brother-in-​law, the Lameth brothers, of not being committed enough to the antimonarchical cause.7 This sexually charged libel was an utterly formulaic means of attacking women who were perceived as too involved in political affairs; Marie Antoinette was the target of similar but far more scurrilous accusations. Cabarrus may have been neither a radical republican nor a sexual adventurer, but her sympathies and her connections were common knowledge, and she had become one of the public faces of the Revolution. Cabarrus certainly took advantage of one of the few legislative reforms favorable to women: the legalization of

divorce. In 1793 she initiated divorce proceedings against her husband and left Paris. She originally intended to rejoin her family in Spain, but in fact she settled in Bordeaux, where she also had relatives. Cabarrus rented an apartment in the center of the city and established a household for herself. This was remarkable in itself: a nineteen-year-​old Spanish-​born noblewoman with pro-​ revolutionary sentiments, living alone with her young son in the midst of the Terror, at a moment when being a foreigner and a member of the former aristocracy was more than enough evidence to send someone to the guillotine. Soon after her arrival in Bordeaux, Cabarrus met Jean-​Lambert Tallien, a deputy to the Convention who had been sent on mission to the city to bring it in line with Jacobin policy. Tallien’s origins were far humbler than Cabarrus’s—​his was the classic trajectory of the ambitious lower-middle-​class man to whom the Revolution afforded a path to power. He was the son of a maître d’hôtel of a noble family, and served as a secretary to the same family before becoming a journalist and eventually the secretary of the Parisian public prosecutor. In this capacity Tallien was involved in the September 1792 mob attacks on counterrevolutionary suspects in the Parisian prisons; although he actually attempted to control the violence, he was later blamed for inciting and abetting the mob.8 Soon after the massacres, Tallien was elected as a deputy to the Convention, and a year later he was sent to Bordeaux.9 Immediately after his arrival, Tallien and Cabarrus began a very public affair. Cabarrus used her influence with Tallien to save many people from persecution, serving as a power broker and lady bountiful for countless petitioners.10 A November 1793 denunciation

accused her of protecting aristocrats and corrupting Tallien, but it apparently had little effect on her behavior.11 One of the people who approached Cabarrus for help was Jean-Philippe-​Guy Le Gentil, comte de Paroy, an ardent royalist who was also a professional artist. Le Gentil described Cabarrus’s apartment and its contents in his memoirs: “an easel with a painting begun, a box of oil paints, brushes on a sort of stepstool, a drawing table supporting a small stand with a miniature, an English box, an ivory palette and brushes, a desk open and filled with papers, memoirs, and petitions, a bookcase with books in disorder, as if they were frequently used.”12 Many elite women took drawing lessons as part of a genteel education, but Le Gentil’s description testifies to Cabarrus’s ambitions as an oil painter and miniaturist. There is some evidence to suggest that she studied with Jean-​Baptiste Isabey, the best-​known miniaturist of the revolutionary era. Later in life she produced a credible portrait of her children, which was reproduced by Godefroy Engelmann in one of the first French lithographs (fig. 55).13 Le Gentil mentioned Cabarrus’s painting equipment and her memoirs and petitions in the same breath, and indeed her activities in Bordeaux went far beyond the usual genteel female occupations or even the dispensing of patronage, another traditional perquisite of elite women. Two surviving political tracts written by Cabarrus in Bordeaux provide a window into her political ideology. The first essay, on revolutionary education, was read aloud by a member of the Convention, probably Tallien, at the Temple de la Raison in Bordeaux in December 1793.14 Her call for public education is a smoothly

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Figure 55  Godefroy Engelmann, after Thérésia Cabarrus, Portrait of Three of Thérésia Cabarrus’s Children, 1816. Lithograph. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

written compendium of Enlightenment and revolutionary values: the natural virtue of children, the advantages of physical exercise, the importance of sensibility to personal character, the simplicity and frankness necessary to republican morals, and the role of the citizen-​soldier in the defense of France. Cabarrus was equally at ease citing John Locke and invoking the heroes of antiquity; virtue and regeneration were her watchwords. The speech was printed as a pamphlet, and Cabarrus sent copies to the Committee of Public Safety in Paris. The second essay, written in April 1794, took the form of an address to the National Convention. It examined the place of women in the public sphere and advocated that they be allowed to work as teachers and nurses in order to reinforce their commitment to the republic. Cabarrus began by reassuring her listeners and readers that she had no intention of claiming equal political rights for women or encouraging “the absurd ambition

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to free themselves of their duties by appropriating those of men.” However, she continued, women desired, and deserved, a place in the civic order: “Wouldn’t it also be a misfortune if, deprived in the name of nature of the exercise of political rights, from which are born strong resolutions and social connections, they believe themselves justified in considering themselves strangers to that which should ensure the preservation of those rights, and even from that which could lay the groundwork for their existence? Ah! in a Republic, all must doubtless be republican, and no being endowed with reason can without shame deliberately exile him- or herself from the honorable work of serving the fatherland [la patrie]!”15 Cabarrus stopped short of demanding political rights for women, instead merely suggesting that women played a role in establishing and preserving such rights. In some ways, this argument reinforced the revolutionary trope of women as wives and mothers who encourage their

husbands’ patriotism and raise children for the nation. But the reference to women’s being deprived of those rights “in the name of nature” reads like a backhanded swipe against women’s exclusion from politics. Women, she implied, were barred from full citizenship not by nature itself (always the highest authority in revolutionary rhetoric) but by those who presumed to speak in the name of nature—​a construction that left room for doubt about the wisdom of those who made such claims. Cabarrus immediately pointed out that such an exclusion ran the risk of alienating women from the republic. She then issued a stirring call to all beings “endowed with reason,” a category including women. In Cabarrus’s interpretation of revolutionary ideology, political virtue was not the exclusive possession of men. The republic’s survival depended on the active participation of both sexes. Cabarrus proposed that women work in public institutions as teachers and nurses. Such service, she argued, should be mandatory for unmarried girls and would prepare them for their domestic roles as wives and mothers. Her plan for women’s civic service was based on widely shared essentialist notions of women’s sensibility and morality, but it also assumed that women had a right and a duty to participate in public life. She concluded by exhorting the legislators to recognize that women were part of the polity: “Custom, so often the precursor of your decrees, has awarded women the beautiful title of citoyennes. Let this no longer be a vain name with which they adorn themselves; and let them be able to display with pride, or rather with confidence, the true titles of their civic duty!”16 Cabarrus pointed to the speech patterns of the people—​an authority only slightly less

hallowed than nature—​as proof that women were in fact already citizens. Giving them an official role in education and nursing would allow them to merit this title fully. Advocating full female citizenship was a bold move on the part of a woman who had already been denounced at least once for interfering in political matters. Moreover, by the time Cabarrus published this address and sent it to the Convention in April 1794, her lover had been recalled to Paris to account for his management of the situation in Bordeaux. Cabarrus, meanwhile, had remained engaged in local politics and had also started a factory that produced saltpeter, a key ingredient of gunpowder and a major part of the Revolution’s war machine.17 Was Cabarrus oblivious to the danger of publicizing herself and her ideas, both in Bordeaux and in Paris, at a moment when the Terror was accelerating? She was no fool, as her writings attest, and her relationship with Tallien gave her considerable insight into the workings of the government. It seems more likely that her efforts to publicize her political engagements were a form of preemptive self-​justification, a defense against accusations leveled against her of corrupting Tallien and using her influence to save aristocrats from the guillotine. As a good republican, Cabarrus seems to have decided that transparency was the best policy. Her political and economic support for the Revolution, however, could not change the fact that she was both noble and foreign-​ born. Two days after her address was read in Bordeaux, the Convention expelled all foreigners and former nobles from port and frontier towns. A few weeks later, Cabarrus obtained a passport to leave Bordeaux, a document that described her as “height five feet two inches, white

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and pretty face, black hair, well-​made forehead, light eyebrows, brown eyes, well-​made nose, small mouth, round chin.”18 Despite the obvious dangers, she traveled to Paris, where she was promptly arrested. The story of Cabarrus’s arrest and imprisonment quickly became part of the romantic legend of the Revolution, thanks in large part to her and Tallien’s own repetitions and embroideries. The earliest detailed account that survives is that of the Geneva-​born traveler Charles de Constant, a cousin of the writer and politician Benjamin Constant. In letters sent to his family during a trip to Paris in 1796, Constant records his impressions of Cabarrus, whom he met at a luncheon in the company of her friend Rose de La Pagerie, better known as Josephine Beauharnais, Napoleon Bonaparte’s first wife. After devoting many lines to Cabarrus’s beautiful person and stylish dress, Constant transcribed her description of the ordeal.19 Arriving at the prison of La Force in the middle of the night, Cabarrus says, she was stripped of her clothes in front of eight men. Clothed in only her chemise and a rough canvas dress, she was held in isolation in a filthy, windowless cell for twenty-​five days. During that time, she resisted all attempts to bribe her into denouncing Tallien and his political allies. Finally, her jailers took pity on her and allowed her to spend an hour a day in a better-​lit and ventilated cell. There she drew a self-​portrait on the wall. Her jailers noticed her talent and asked her to draw their portraits. Soon thereafter, a mysterious benefactor smuggled paper and pen to her concealed in a head of lettuce. She used these supplies to write letters to Tallien, first in her own blood and then in pigments that the jailers gave her in exchange for her

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services as a portraitist. Cabarrus warned her lover that she was to be sent to the guillotine in a matter of days. Tallien replied that he would either obtain her release or go to the guillotine with her. The next day, the ninth of the revolutionary month Thermidor, he led a successful coup against the Jacobin regime. Cabarrus left prison a celebrity. She was hailed in public as “Notre Dame de Thermidor,” the motivating force behind the overthrow of Robespierre. As Cabarrus herself put it later in life, “it’s a bit by my little hand that the guillotine was toppled.” Now that she had moved from Bordeaux to Paris, the center of government, she became a major force on the social and political circuit. She claimed credit for taking the keys to the Jacobin club, effectively shutting it down, and for employing her diplomatic skills to reconcile the factions wrestling for power in the aftermath of the coup.20 Her political leverage was increased by her position as the most visible of the female leaders of fashion, known in contemporary commentary as the merveilleuses. In the postrevolutionary social hierarchy, the women of the court had been replaced as fashion leaders and power brokers by newcomers distinguished not by their birth but by their wealth, their connections to military and legislative leaders, and their spectacular taste in clothing and interior decoration.21 Cabarrus cemented her membership in this group by marrying Tallien in December 1794; five months later, she gave birth to a daughter named Thermidor-​Rose, after the momentous event that made the child’s parents political celebrities, and Cabarrus’s best friend, Rose de La Pagerie. With celebrity came renewed attacks in the press. The new Madame Tallien’s taste for semitransparent muslin

dresses and her determination to play a central role in post-​Thermidorian society attracted the ire of commentators who connected her popularity with the corruption of already fragile post-​Thermidorian republican virtue. Less than a month after her marriage, a Parisian journal complained that Cabarrus was distracting the public from the real challenges facing the republic: Enormous luxury, concerts, the singer Garat and the beautiful citoyenne Cabarrus, wife of Tallien, that’s what occupies people here, far more than subsistence and our fourteen armies. . . . Is she arriving? People applaud enthusiastically, as if having a Roman or Spanish face, superb skin, beautiful eyes, noble bearing, a smile in which amiability tempers protection, a Grecian dress and naked arms was to save the republic. . . . Several journals have multiplied word-for-​word copies of the same portrait of Thérésia Cabarrus, portrait in several columns, where we see successively Orpheus, Eurydice, Duhem, Cambon, the new Antoinette of some, the goddess of others. . . . What taste! How much wit! And what republican morals!22 Cabarrus is accused of distracting the people from the real political issues at hand—​the war and food shortages—​with her beauty, her radical fashions, and, by implication, her immorality. The writer not only enumerates her physical charms but also strategically alludes to her Spanish birth and her reputation as a protector of the victims of the Terror, two circumstances that provided fodder for attacks on Cabarrus from the surviving political Left. The writer also refers to the written

portraits of her published in various journals. For some, her story evokes the classical narrative of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which a man (almost) frees his beloved from death. For others, she is an ally of the moderate deputies Pierre-​Joseph Duhem and Joseph Cambon, who collaborated with Tallien to establish a post-​Thermidorian government. But some descriptions of Cabarrus, the author notes coyly, paint her as a new Marie Antoinette, partying while the people starved and the republic’s armies struggled to defend France against a coalition of hostile European forces.23 It is unclear whether the concluding ironic reference to “republican morals” is directed at Cabarrus, those who allow themselves to be fascinated by her, or her detractors in print, but there is no mistaking the author’s disapproval of her behavior. These criticisms, although steeped in the micropolitics of 1795 and 1796, in essence reiterated condemnations of women’s influence on politics dating from the ancien régime. As Cabarrus had discovered at the beginning of the Revolution, to be a woman in the public sphere was to be caught in an endless loop in which political participation was equated with sexual immorality and the subversion of the notionally serious and pure masculine political order. Her husband was also finding out the hard way that the aureole surrounding the hero of Thermidor did not protect him from condemnation for his own role in Terror or, at the other end of the political spectrum, suspicions of royalist plotting. Soon after the coup, he was accused in the Jacobin club of counterrevolutionary tendencies and “moderantisme.” His liaison with Cabarrus, “the wife of an émigré and the daughter of the treasurer of the king of Spain,” was the primary evidence against

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him. Tallien defended himself by describing Cabarrus as an innocent victim who had been willing to sacrifice herself rather than sign a false accusation against him.24 Tallien’s enemies in the legislature also attacked him through his connection to Cabarrus, compelling him to announce his marriage in a session of the Convention in an attempt to defend himself and his new wife from accusations of royalism.25 In the same month, January 1795, a newspaper article reporting on the Tallien controversy provided a much-​pruned biographical sketch of Cabarrus, emphasizing her early commitment to the Revolution and her courage during the Terror, while minimizing her wealth and downplaying her Spanish connections by making her father the royal minister into an uncle.26 The attacks on Cabarrus and Tallien from both the Left and the Right mirrored public resistance to the post-​ Thermidorian government.27 Over the course of 1795, the legislators suppressed Jacobin-​inspired popular violence in Paris in support of “Bread and the Constitution of 1793,” beat back a counterrevolutionary invasion of Brittany led by émigré nobility, and deputized rising military star Napoleon Bonaparte to put down a royalist uprising in Paris. In the winter and spring of 1796, a new constitution was written, a government headed by five executive directors was sworn in, and another serious leftist conspiracy, led by Gracchus Babeuf, was exposed and dismantled. While her husband struggled to find a place in the new government, Cabarrus continued to occupy the public eye and to forge alliances with ascendant political figures like Bonaparte (her friend Rose’s husband) and Paul Barras, one of the new directors and the organizer of the recent suppression of the royalist uprising.

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A Portrait for Notre Dame de Thermidor Sometime in 1796, Cabarrus decided to commission a portrait from Laneuville. Little is known about the artist beyond the bare outlines of his biography. He was born in 1748 and studied at least briefly with David. He exhibited in the open-​air Exposition de la Jeunesse between 1783 and 1789, and began sending pictures to the official Salon as soon as it opened to nonacademicians in 1791. Laneuville seems to have sought out the patronage of political figures. In 1793, for instance, eight of the twelve portraits he sent to the Salon were of politicians, as were four of his six portraits in the Salon of 1795. Of these sitters, all those who are identifiable were on the political left. Laneuville must have specifically targeted this clientele, either because of his personal sympathies or because he sensed an untapped market; at least four of the deputy portraits were still in his studio at his death in 1826, suggesting that he painted them on his own initiative.28 All of Laneuville’s known portraits from the revolutionary era adhere to a strict formula: single figures strongly delineated against a neutral background, meticulous detailing of physiognomy and material goods, polished paint application that effaces the hand of the artist, reduction of color to a contrast of strong tones, and, almost invariably, intense, level, and sober eye contact between the sitter and the viewer. The ca. 1793 portrait of the deputy Jean-Antoine-​Joseph de Bry is typical of Laneuville’s style (fig. 56). The determined regard of de Bry summons the viewer to share in his seriousness and to join him in the fraternity of popular

Figure 56  Jean-​Louis Laneuville, Portrait of Jean-Antoine-​Joseph de Bry, ca. 1793. Oil on canvas, 25 ½ × 21 5⁄16 in. Inv. 77.54.1, Indiana University Art Museum.

sovereignty. Laneuville inherited this formula from his master and followed it so faithfully that his best portraits have invariably been misattributed to David. By the time Laneuville sent his eight political portraits to the Salon of 1793, many of the same conventions had already been employed in print by the Levachez deputy portraits to picture political representation, and in oil by artists like Descarsin to signal civic responsibility. The illusion of immediacy and transparency fostered by these visual

strategies suited revolutionary notions of the politically engaged self. Laneuville’s display of republican portraiture at the Salon of 1793 must have attracted Jean-​Lambert Tallien’s attention—​or perhaps Tallien’s celebrity attracted Laneuville, who had already demonstrated his eagerness to build his business. In the first Salon after Thermidor, in 1795, a portrait of the newly married Tallien was included in Laneuville’s entry, along with images of three

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other deputies, an ex-​minister, a military officer, and an artist.29 Cabarrus was evidently pleased enough with Laneuville’s efforts on behalf of her husband to commission her own portrait from him. But Laneuville was still an odd choice for a woman and a leader of the reborn Parisian elite. David was probably not a possibility; Tallien was instrumental in David’s imprisonment after the Terror, a circumstance that the artist was unlikely to forget, and in any case the memory of David’s friendship with Robespierre and his martyr portraits may have held unwelcome associations for a victim of the Terror.30 Joseph Ducreux, another respected veteran of the prerevolutionary portrait market, had sent a portrait of Cabarrus’s friend Rose de La Pagerie to the 1795 Salon. Rising stars like François Gérard or Robert Lefèvre would also have been fashionable (and economical) choices. All of these artists were producing sophisticated and elegant portraits of women in 1795, while Laneuville was working almost exclusively for men. Cabarrus’s previous portrait commissions are poorly documented, but the only two early portraits identified with her are by female artists: a bust portrait attributed to Rosalie Filleul, a contemporary and friend of Elisabeth Vigée-​Lebrun, and a half-​ length image attributed to Marie-​Geneviève Bouliar.31 If these commissions are indicative of Cabarrus’s taste and her commitment to female artists, she could certainly have chosen one of the thirteen female portraitists who showed work in the Salon of 1795. Instead, Cabarrus gave the commission to Laneuville, a portraitist who specialized in intense, confrontational portraits of male politicians in which physical and psychological immediacy stood in for republican virtues.

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These strategies were difficult to apply to a female sitter, especially an ambitious, politically engaged woman who had frequently come under public attack for her opinions and her perceived or real sexual adventures. Cabarrus, by embracing this masculine aesthetic and inserting herself into a politically charged narrative, deliberately appropriated conventions that had been adopted by male commissioners during the Revolution. Coming up with an effective visual vocabulary for female political engagement in 1796, however, posed a real challenge. Cabarrus put her finger on the problem in her 1794 address: the revolutionary promise of universal liberty and equality did not extend to women, who were excluded from the “exercise of political rights” on the grounds of natural difference. In the first years of the Revolution, however, many women took revolutionary rhetoric at its word, forming political clubs and leading popular demonstrations. Feminists of both sexes argued for the necessity of extending political rights to women. As noted above, in 1791 the playwright Olympe de Gouges published the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen (Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne), a response to the National Assembly’s foundational 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. In it, Gouges claimed full political and civil rights for citoyennes, using the problematic feminine version of the term.32 Gouges’s line of argument was pursued by other activists, both female and male. For instance, a 1793 pamphlet by Pierre Guyomar, a deputy to the Convention, pointed out the logical contradiction of basing political sovereignty on the general will and then excluding half the population. He proposed allowing

women to vote in primary assemblies but stopped short of advocating full political equality.33 The government’s hostile response to feminist demands, however, demonstrated the general unwillingness to extend the promise of liberty and equality to women. Women’s political clubs were banned in November 1793, and Gouges, along with other outspoken feminists, was sent to the guillotine. The acceptable model for revolutionary women was summed up by the deputy André Amar in 1793: “They can illuminate their husbands, communicate to them precious reflections, fruit of the calm of a sedentary life, use all the empire that private love gives them to fortify in them [their husbands] the love of the fatherland [la patrie]; and the man, illuminated by informal and peaceful discussions in the midst of his household, will bring back to society the useful ideas that an honest woman gives him.”34 Amar acknowledged women’s capacity for sound political reflection but argued that the only proper arena for those reflections was the home, the only conduit for them an attentive husband. This was a relatively generous assessment of women’s role in the republic. Many other theorists felt that the female contribution to the public sphere began and ended with raising children for the nation. The visual vocabulary of revolutionary femininity was likewise constrained.35 Women most commonly appeared in revolutionary visual culture as allegories of abstract principles, as in Gros’s 1794 painting of the republic (fig. 49). Visualizing real women as flesh-and-​blood participants in revolutionary politics was far more difficult. A few prints depict working-​class female activists, such as the market women who brought the royal family from

Versailles to Paris in 1789; the Bizard portrait of Charles-​ Alexis Alexandre as a National Guard officer (fig. 39) incorporates this less-than-flattering iconography. Alternatively, women appear as passive republican wives and mothers, as in a 1793 painting by Jean-​Jacques Karpff depicting a group of people swearing an oath to a female allegory of liberty (fig. 57). The classicized figures include warriors, youths, old men, small boys, and one adult woman who, surrounded by children, kneels before the personification of liberty. Portraiture for the most part reflected this limited range of imagery, as the examples of David’s Louise Pastoret or the anonymous woman with the sansculotte miniature testify (figs. 48, 54). Cabarrus commissioned a different kind of portrait. By hiring Laneuville, she allied herself with the male political portraiture he practiced and the active citizenship he pictured. Their collaboration resulted in an image that combined the safely passive imagery of revolutionary femininity with conventions usually associated with men. This approach suited Cabarrus’s unorthodox public persona. She had never been particularly concerned with following the rules governing eighteenth-​century women, whether they concerned sexual propriety, financial dependence, or the maintenance of silence on political matters. A twenty-year-​old divorcée and proprietor of an ammunitions factory who did not hesitate to publish a pamphlet calling for greater civic involvement for women in 1794, long after women’s political clubs had been banned, was the ideal client for a portrait that broke down barriers between male and female modes of representation. In many ways, Laneuville’s depiction of Cabarrus still pays lip service to the conventions of female portraiture

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Figure 57  Jean-​Jacques Karpff, Revolutionary Scene: Civic Oath, 1793. Oil on canvas, 85 × 69 cm en ovale. Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France.

of the early 1790s. David’s 1790 portrait of Anne-Marie-​ Louise Thélusson, comtesse de Sorcy, established the postrevolutionary grammar of this mode of portraiture, which was recombined with more or less fluency by younger artists such as Charles Paul Landon (figs. 58 and 59). Laneuville’s portrait borrows liberally from these conventions: Cabarrus’s seated three-quarter-​length pose, her calm face and level gaze turned outward toward the viewer, the simple white dress brightly lit against a sober

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neutral background, and the position of her arms and hands are all characteristic of the work of David and his many students and imitators. Like David and Landon, Laneuville invested considerable energy in the meticulous re-​creation of the details of costume and accessories, and he effaced most if not all traces of brushwork. The result is an illusion of literal and figurative transparency between the sitter and the viewer. The proximity of these three sitters to the picture plane and the steady

Figure 58  Jacques-​Louis David, Anne-Marie-​ Louise Thélusson, comtesse de Sorcy, 1790. Oil on canvas, 127 × 97 cm. Inv. huw 21, Neue Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich.

eye contact they maintain with the viewer reinforce the feeling of intimacy. This visual strategy was used for both men and women in the early 1790s, as Laneuville’s portraits of politicians attest. The connotations of this mode of portraiture were different for men than for women, however.

For men like Laneuville’s sitters, it emphasized their civic engagement, a message reinforced by their upright posture, level gaze, and firm grasp on their documents or pens. As in the Levachez deputy portraits, the communion evoked was that of the body politic, in which male citizens confronted one another on an equal footing. For

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female sitters, however, immediacy and communion were generally played as domestic intimacy or tame desirability rather than as civic engagement. The canny manipulation of pose and accessories tempered any risk of assertiveness, political or sexual. David’s women of the 1790s, for instance, clutch flowers, children, or implements of handicraft, or keep their hands clasped demurely. Female sitters are often depicted leaning slightly forward or

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backward, their bodies and clothing tracing curved lines that contrast with the male uprights. Landon scores a hat trick in his portrait of an unidentified woman: she is depicted reclining, hands clasped, sandwiched between a vase of flowers, an unopened book, and a basket of yarn. Laneuville’s portrait of Cabarrus subtly manipulates these rules to accommodate strategies generally reserved for male sitters. Cabarrus is seated not on the standard

Figure 59  Charles Paul Landon, Portrait of a Woman, 1793. Oil on canvas, 65 × 81 cm. mg 2003-5, Musée des beaux-​arts, Grenoble.

gleaming wooden chair but on a stone ledge covered in straw. Strands of straw overlap her dress on the right side of the composition. They are echoed on the left by the grim but apparently functionless chain that cuts across her legs. Mottled gray masonry walls replace the richly draped neoclassical interior of the Landon portrait and serve as a kind of gallows-​humor retort to David’s elegantly neutral backdrops. Rather than invite the viewer into the space of the portrait, the signs of imprisonment cut Cabarrus off from her interlocutors. The chain and straw and looming walls contradict the openness of Cabarrus’s gaze, repelling where her face and body attract and placing the viewer in the uncomfortable position of witness to her imprisonment. Cabarrus’s costume also differs in subtle but meaningful ways from the fashionable dress of other female sitters of the 1790s. Given the rapid pace of sartorial change during the Revolution, and particularly the promotion of radically pared-​down dresses à la grecque by Cabarrus and other leaders of post-​Thermidorian society, it is significant that Cabarrus chose a relatively conservative costume for her 1796 portrait. By eschewing the transparent muslins and entirely bare arms seen in many contemporaneous portraits, Cabarrus warded off the accusations of immorality and extravagance that had already been leveled at her in the press. Laneuville and Cabarrus further undermined the modishness of the dress by substituting a roughly knotted checked scarf for the standard satin sash or cashmere shawl. The knotted scarf turns the dress from an expensive commodity into the improvised costume of a prisoner deprived of all creature comforts—​ more like the shift that Cabarrus claimed was her only

clothing in prison. Her hair, similarly, is like but unlike the hair of other female sitters. Undressed, unadorned by ribbons, and falling limply onto her shoulders, the undisciplined tendrils curling against her white shoulders and neck call attention to what is missing: the severed locks that spill out of Cabarrus’s hand and fill her lap. The cut hair is Cabarrus’s chief attribute in this portrait, occupying the hand that in other female portraits lies idle or holds a needle, a book, or a child’s hand. The cut hair is more than a personal attribute. It is the catalyst for a narrative, referring viewers to a moment in time just before the prisoner’s transportation to the guillotine and to political events outside the portrait’s frame. This is, moreover, a national as well as a personal narrative. Cabarrus’s portrait inserts her into French history, recalling to viewers in 1796 the events of the Terror and the pivotal roles that she and her husband played. Laneuville gives his sitter a type of agency reserved, both legally and visually, for men. Like the commissioners of National Guard portraits, Cabarrus uses visual representation to claim a stake in the Revolution. She belongs to the Revolution and the Revolution belongs to her; she is a citoyenne, as the title of the portrait insists. But Cabarrus knew better than most women (having published on the topic) that female citizenship was inherently contradictory. To claim too much political agency was to run the risk of being accused of being a new Antoinette, a manipulator of men whose ambitions were inseparable from her greed and sexual aggression. Cabarrus and her portraitist hedged their bets, promoting her role in revolutionary history while at the same time stressing her beauty and her physical passivity. The pose

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and costume borrowed from standard female portraiture help to reassure viewers that the sitter is a woman first and a political actor second. Cabarrus and Laneuville also temper the portrait’s claims by emphasizing Cabarrus’s status as a victim. She changed the course of the Revolution, the portrait argues, by inspiring her lover to take action. This was the kind of female civic engagement that Amar endorsed in 1793: Cabarrus used the private empire that love gave her over Tallien to strengthen his resolve and inspire him to action in the public sphere. Laneuville borrowed from prison and victim imagery, both ancient and contemporary, in order to dignify (and sugarcoat) Cabarrus’s ambitions. The fortitude of prisoners was a stock subject of prerevolutionary history painting; Laneuville would have been intimately familiar with David’s Death of Socrates (1787), but scenes of imprisonment and sacrifice such as Jean-François-​Pierre Peyron’s Funeral of Militades (1782) and François-​André Vincent’s Arria and Paetus (1784) would also have been part of his and his viewers’ visual vocabulary. The prison theme was revived and updated after Thermidor as a means of engaging with the Terror and its aftermath. Numerous prison-​themed portraits and genre scenes were produced during the Terror, or retrospectively after the fall of Robespierre. At least ten of these images were exhibited at the Salons of 1795 and 1796. Some were the result of portrait sittings in prison, as was the case with Joseph-​ Benoît Suvée’s portrait of the famous poet and politician André Chénier, who was imprisoned with the artist and who sat for his portrait just before his execution (fig. 60). Suvée exhibited Chénier’s portrait at the Salon of 1795, along with images of three other doomed prisoners.36

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Other images, such as the scenes of everyday prison life that Hubert Robert painted during his incarceration, circulated privately. These images provided commissioners, artists, and viewers with a means of putting human faces on the Terror and making sense of its place in the already bewildering historical narrative of the Revolution. Many had strong political motivations—​Suvée and his sitters were all anti-​Jacobin. Prison portraits explicitly associated their sitters with the greatest drama of the Revolution and communicated a political position as victims of Robespierre, an enemy who united monarchists and moderates alike in 1794–95. The best-​known female prison portrait in circulation in France immediately before and after Thermidor was the image of Charlotte Corday, Marat’s assassin. Corday had requested a portrait sitting while awaiting the guillotine. Jean-​Jacques Hauer, the National Guard portraitist, had been called in for the task, and prints based on the oil paintings he produced were widely distributed between 1793 and 1796.37 Those prints show a lovely and resolute Corday in a relatively comfortable, well-​lit prison cell writing a last letter to her father. Some images combined the prison scene with a vignette of the assassination (fig. 61). Corday’s portraits provided an obvious recent precedent for depicting a woman in prison, but her reputation, particularly after 1795, was complicated and unstable.38 On one hand, she was the murderer of l’ami du peuple. On the other hand, she was an attractive, intelligent, and politically committed twenty-five-year-​ old woman who had disposed of a radical even more bloodthirsty than Robespierre. What did Cabarrus have to gain by recalling Corday’s image to viewers of her

Figure 60  Henry Dupont, after Joseph-​ Benoît Suvée, Portrait of André Chénier, 1838. Etching, 10 × 8.5 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

1796 portrait? Corday was certainly anti-​Jacobin, but any deliberate comparison on Laneuville’s part between his sitter and Corday would have been controversial and risky. Corday, even after the fall of the Jacobins, was considered a murderer, a revenant from a violent past and an immature political sphere; Cabarrus hoped to sell herself as an innocent victim and founder of a more rational, moderate polity. The Corday portraits, rather than

providing a useable model for Cabarrus’s image, made the task of portraying an imprisoned woman as a virtuous and respectable political actor much more complicated. Prison portraits, especially those actually produced in jail, like Corday’s, were meant to evoke a kind of deathbed sincerity, serving as their sitters’ last testament. Even those who, like Cabarrus, commissioned these portraits retrospectively as records of their escape from political

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Figure 61  A. B. Massol, after François Marie Isidore Quéverdo, Marie Anne Charlotte Corday, 1795. Engraving, 16 × 11.5 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

oppression used the solemnity of the depicted moment and place to lend their self-​representation a fixed, memorial quality. In this way, prison portraiture served much the same purpose as the written self-​justifications required of many prisoners, or the letters that the

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condemned wrote to their loved ones. Some of these “last letters,” intercepted by the revolutionary tribunal and conserved in the archives, have been collected in a volume by Olivier Blanc. Despite the disparate concerns and political positions of their authors, common themes emerge: protestations of innocence, pleas that the recipients remember them, messages of love for spouses and children, and insistence that friends and family refrain from taking vengeance on their persecutors. A surprising number of prisoners employ revolutionary rhetoric or swear their allegiance to the republic. Prison portraits like Cabarrus’s hit upon the same themes: innocence, love, and memorialization. Cabarrus’s saintly demeanor, her level gaze, and the commemorative profile portrait on the wall behind her impress upon the viewer her fortitude and her confidence that her hands, at least, are clean. Cabarrus’s 1796 portrait capitalizes on the emotions evoked by the prison imagery of the immediate post-​ Terror period. Indeed, its belatedness demonstrates the sitter’s will to return to a moment in her, and the nation’s, life when the line between political virtue and vice seemed clearer. Her choice of this mode of portraiture was a refutation of the accusations of immorality, foreignness, and royalism leveled at her in the press, and recalled the heady days immediately after her release from prison, when she was hailed as “Notre Dame de Thermidor,” the savior of the nation. By casting herself as a prisoner, Cabarrus reminded viewers of her righteous refusal to inculpate her lover and her suffering in prison. But she did so without any overt reference to partisan politics beyond a vague and uncontroversial opposition to

Robespierre—​a wise approach for a woman who had incurred the ire of both Left and Right. Instead, she and her portraitist traded in the universal language of youth and beauty. Even this kind of pathos, however, had become politicized after the fall of Robespierre. Immediately after Thermidor, one of André Chénier’s last poems was published in the Décade Philosophique, a leading newspaper. Chénier had become something of an emblem of the excesses of the Terror, as Suvée’s exhibition of his portrait in the Salon of 1795 attests. The poem, titled “La jeune captive,” was an ode to a beautiful young female prisoner, written in the woman’s voice. The prisoner’s naïve refusal of death penetrates the narrator’s despair and inspires him to continue writing: “Oh death! You can wait, go, go away Go console the hearts devoured by shame, fear, and pale despair. For me Palès still has green havens, Cupid has kisses, the Muses concerts. I don’t want to die yet.”39 “La jeune captive” was chosen for publication from among Chénier’s angrier and more explicitly political prison poems; its sentimentalism cloaked the poet’s politics in a more neutral language of femininity and love. Laneuville’s portrait of Cabarrus does much the same work; the sitter’s claim to political agency is softened by the lyricism of her likeness. In Cabarrus’s case, however, no displacement is needed. She is both the symbol of

youth and innocence and the intellectual who uses that symbol as a means of commenting on national events. The painting, however, remains a portrait, no matter how poetic, and its primary concern is the depiction of a unique and intact self, caught in a situation designed to erode and eventually destroy that self. Laneuville’s portrait is ultimately about the integrity and independence of the subject under the worst possible circumstances. The implicit claim about the integrity of the self—​and particularly of the female self—​was inherently political, given women’s supposed lack of autonomy. One of the most pointed signs of femininity in the portrait is also the most potent marker of self-​determination: Cabarrus’s hair. Cabarrus was famous for her long black hair; it functions in the portrait as one of her personal attributes. But hair was also a central element of the prison narratives of the Terror, and a powerful symbol of the inviolable self. It was standard practice to cut prisoners’ hair just before they were sent to the guillotine, ostensibly to clear the path for the falling blade.40 Hair in the eighteenth century was the ultimate pledge of intimacy and devotion; it was incorporated into jewelry and plaited into initials or decorative patterns on the reverse of portrait miniatures. Prisoners experienced the cutting of their hair as a gross violation of their persons. Many included locks of hair in their last letters, along with the assurance that they had cut it themselves. “I hope that they will give you my hair which has not been touched by the executioner,” wrote a twenty-two-year-​old woman to her brother on the day of her death.41 Cabarrus’s shorn locks occupy the place in the portrait usually reserved for symbols of the sitter’s identity—​pens

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or scrolls for men, flowers or novels for women. In Cabarrus’s portrait, the hair is a symbol not only of femininity, and of her particular beauty, but also of defiance of Robespierre’s authority and of imminent death. Cabarrus, the portrait argues, retained her self-​possession in the face of the destruction of that self. Her body, composed as if for a society portrait, glows white against the massive stones of the tenebrous prison, and her steady gaze meets that of the viewer. The cut hair warns of other cuts to come, but it remains within Cabarrus’s grasp. She has preserved at least this much of herself, and her self-​determination. The profile portrait drawn on the wall behind Cabarrus’s head is another sign of self-​determination, one that functions on many levels. Taken literally, it is a mark of female accomplishment of the kind often seen in portraiture. A 1793 portrait of a young noblewoman by François-​André Vincent, a painting that falls squarely into the category of elegant revolutionary society portrait, similarly foregrounds its sitter’s skills as a portraitist (fig. 62). We know from contemporary accounts and from surviving works that Cabarrus was a competent portraitist who worked in pen and ink, watercolor, and oil. Her skills as a draftswoman appear in the Laneuville portrait, as in the Vincent portrait, in part as testimony to her gentility. But in Cabarrus’s likeness, drawing is elevated from a token of feminine accomplishment to something more serious. Because she was a portraitist, she was able to win over her jailers and obtain the materials she needed to engineer her escape. Drawing is the key to her contribution to revolutionary history. By filling in this normally hollow attribute, Laneuville and Cabarrus

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manipulated the conventions of female portraiture in order to signal both her femininity and the ways in which she exceeded the limitations of that category. As the Vincent painting demonstrates, a portrait within a portrait was also a sign of womanly emotion. Vincent’s sitter has drawn a male head, presumably a husband or relative, and the portrait on the wall behind Cabarrus could have been (and perhaps was meant to be) read by contemporary viewers as an image of Tallien. To sketch one’s lover’s profile was a pleasantly sentimental occupation for a woman, reminiscent of the novels of sensibility popular in late eighteenth-​century France. It also recalls the story of Dibutades, the Corinthian girl said to have invented the art of drawing by tracing the silhouette of her lover on a wall. This was a favorite theme for artists in the last decades of the eighteenth century; it provided the visual art with a graceful origin myth. Suvée, one of the elder statesmen of French history painting and an enthusiastic producer of prison portraits, had exhibited a soberly designed Dibutades painting at the Salon of 1793 (fig. 63), which would have been fresh in the minds of Laneuville and his viewers. Suvée’s version of the story, with its stripped-​down interior, massive masonry walls, and sober palette, was a Dibutades for the Terror, solemnly recalling art’s memorial function in the face of absence or death. The anguished face of the lover and his tight grip on his beloved’s/portraitist’s waist heighten the impression of impending loss. Cabarrus, in her simple white dress à la grecque, makes a convincing Dibutades, and the pathetic reference to a departed lover would have resonated with the “jeune captive” strain of post-​Thermidorian depoliticized prison narratives. The

Figure 62  François-​André Vincent, Marie de Broutin, baronne de Chalvet-​Souville, 1793. Oil on canvas, 109 × 92 cm. © Musée du Louvre, Paris, © Direction des Musées de France.

associations of cut hair with lovers’ exchanges of locks and with portrait miniatures would only have strengthened the mythological and sentimental import of the profile. But sentiment could have revolutionary resonance, and even these references to private love contributed to Cabarrus and Laneuville’s efforts to craft a public image of a politically engaged woman. The profile portrait and

the locks of hair can be read as tokens of love offered to Tallien. Cabarrus’s gifts, however, are also offered to the viewer, who stands before her and witnesses her misery and devotion. Cabarrus’s portrait, which was composed like a history painting and sent to the Salon, was designed to make this intimate appeal to the widest possible viewership. Her love is universal as well as particular; it is bestowed not just on Tallien but on the

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Figure 63  Joseph-​Benoît Suvée, The Invention of Drawing, Salon of 1793. Oil on canvas, 267 × 131.5 cm. Musée des beaux-​arts, Bruges.

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nation. This conflation of private emotion with public good exploits revolutionary truisms about the proper place of women in civic affairs to Cabarrus’s advantage. Her virtuous example inspires her lover to action, but that example is also offered to the public at large; the ambitious format of the portrait and its public exhibition suggest that Cabarrus’s sacrifice was ultimately for France. By incorporating the French people into her story, Cabarrus claims a moral exemplarity previously reserved for great men and for male citizens who, in the new revolutionary order, aspired to greatness. The profile on the wall also connects Cabarrus to the revolutionary narrative in a more visceral way. The formal treatment of the portrait within the portrait wrenches it out of the lofty realm of love and brings the viewer back to the unpleasant contingencies of 1794. The portrait is traversed by one of the verticals of the masonry blocks on which it is drawn. That edge, which effectively severs a third of the head, is itself terminated by jagged gouges, as if a previous prisoner had attempted to chip away at the mortar. This vertical leads the eye downward to other broken edges in the masonry and to the missing shard in the rim of the pitcher, which presumably contains the prisoner’s water ration. All these cuts and lacunae reinforce the message of the cut hair: Cabarrus is bound for the guillotine. The disembodied and sectioned profile portrait hovers behind the prisoner’s cropped head like a vision of the near future. These grim implications point to another possible interpretation of the portrait within the portrait. If contemporary viewers interpreted the profile portrait as

an image of Cabarrus’s jailer, as suggested by her own account of her imprisonment, it would function as the key both to a narrative unfolding over time and to a particular political interpretation of the Terror. Cabarrus claimed that her draftsmanship enabled her to win over her jailers and obtain the necessary material to communicate with Tallien. Her skills as a portraitist, in other words, ended the Terror. The profile on the wall gives Cabarrus’s portrait the narrative structure of a history painting—​it implies past actions on the part of the heroine and points to the future results of her initiative. A portrait of an accommodating jailer also connects Cabarrus to the spirit of post-​Thermidorian reconciliation. Cabarrus styled herself an agent of political harmony after the fall of Robespierre, and advertising her ability to forge a connection even with her jailers would have advanced her cause. Moreover, a former aristocrat married to a parvenu and erstwhile leader of the Terror had particular reason to argue that the common humanity invoked by portraiture superseded any factionalism or class difference. Finally, the profile on the wall makes discreet reference to France’s new tradition of political portraiture. The sitter’s natural hair and open neckline recall the fraternal intimacy of the Levachez deputy portraits, and the profile format mimics the form of other portrait series of the first legislators, such as the Déjabin collection (fig. 31). This same strategy of dignifying a sitter by reference to an earlier and more unambiguously heroic era of revolutionary political portraiture had been pursued only a year earlier by Laneuville’s master David in the

post-​Thermidorian portrait drawings discussed in chapter 2 (fig. 30). That the same formula could be used by David to picture disgraced radicals and by Laneuville to evoke the new political moderation speaks to the ubiquity and potency of the new political portraiture. This is what political integrity looked like in 1796. Because of her sex, Cabarrus could not directly appropriate these conventions, doubly hallowed by the print portraits and by David. Instead, she and her portraitist did David one better—​they made Cabarrus into the producer of political integrity. To suggest, as Cabarrus did, that this kind of heroic citizenship could be produced by a woman was to infiltrate the ranks of the revolutionary political fraternity. Cabarrus did not exactly claim for herself a place at that table. What she claimed, in fact, was even more daring: the power to create citizenship. The emphatic use of the honorific “citoyenne” in the title of Cabarrus’s portrait drives home the political ramifications of the image. Many revolutionary portraits went to the Salons with “citoyen” or “citoyenne” in their titles, and the feminine version of the term did not indicate any particular political convictions on the part of the sitter beyond, perhaps, a general sympathy with revolutionary cultural reforms. However, the term “citoyenne,” as the historian William Sewell has argued, was inherently provocative. Its popularization in everyday language was by no means initiated or endorsed by the revolutionary government (as Cabarrus’s essay points out), and its application to a category of person legally denied political rights and responsibilities made obvious the exclusions built into the supposedly universal rights of man. The

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title “citoyenne” gave women the dangerous impression that they too were included in the body politic.42 Cabarrus had already claimed the title of “citoyenne” in writing; in 1796, she did so in paint. Her portrait works from within the conventions of female portraiture and republican femininity to make an argument about the kinds of political agency that a woman could wield. The authority that Cabarrus appropriates is in part traditionally feminine and thus passive: the power of beauty to inspire great deeds, the moral suasion of conjugal (or soon to be conjugal) love, the plight of innocence wrongly accused. This passivity is echoed visually in her static pose, white drapery, and mild gaze. But Cabarrus also exploits the narrative possibilities of revolutionary portraiture to position herself as a political actor. Indeed, she appropriates the cultural and political power that portraiture had itself wrested from history painting. Her portrait declares her a portraitist. She has created another self even as she maintains her own bodily and subjective integrity under the most debilitating of circumstances. Cabarrus the portraitist, who used the empathy between sitter and portraitist to make her jailers into her allies, is an emissary of reconciliation after a fratricidal conflict that called into question the very unity of the French nation. Laneuville’s portrait of Cabarrus manages to picture her as both an innocent victim and a political actor. But the balance struck by sitter and artist is a delicate one. The recycling of older conventions and the indirection of using artistic creation as a metaphor for revolutionary virtues testify to the difficulties of depicting female citizenship. By promoting the image of a beautiful

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prisoner whose influence over a powerful man changed the political course of the nation, Laneuville and Cabarrus ran the risk of invoking any number of unflattering comparisons: to Marie Antoinette, vilified as a foreigner, a sexual predator, and the power behind the throne, or to Corday, the assassin of Marat who had become a counterrevolutionary folk hero for her beauty and her sangfroid in prison. The supposedly salutatory effect of wives’ influence over their husbands promoted by the ideal of republican womanhood could not outweigh, in the public imagination, these recent images of women imprisoned for their crimes against nature and the Revolution. Given that Cabarrus had already, by 1796, been condemned in the press as a new Marie Antoinette, she and her portraitist should have anticipated the dangers of telling a story involving a woman who pressured her lover into overthrowing the government. Laneuville and Cabarrus probably hoped that the portrait would make a splash at the Salon of 1796. It was the kind of painting that usually attracted public and critical attention: the canvas was large, the composition told a story as well as providing a likeness, the political references were sensational and (relatively) up to date, and the sitter was both famous and beautiful. The portrait’s reception, however, was underwhelming. Indeed, according to one of the few references to the painting in the Salon criticism of that year, the Critique du Salon, ou Les Tableaux en Vaudevilles, it was removed from public view soon after it was hung. The portrait apparently recalled too vividly the political passions of the Terror: “This picture, which only stayed on view for a few days, recalled the awful time when France was composed of

nothing but executioners and victims, and made those sensitive souls who dared fix their gazes on this painting recoil in horror.”43 The innocence and beauty of the sitter apparently did not mitigate the portrait’s evocation of the guillotine. Indeed, this critic willfully misread Cabarrus’s image as a piece of Jacobin propaganda, interpreting the prison theme in light of her husband’s alleged role in the September 1792 massacres. He or she described the portrait (in verse, since the review was peppered with vaudeville-​style song lyrics) as a record of these earlier Jacobin crimes: “The scene was in the prison / of the unhappy Lamballe / and Cabarus [sic], whose intentions / Are not to embolden crime (1) / Held, it was said, in her hands / The hair of that victim.”44 By turning Cabarrus’s hair, the symbol of both her beauty and her threatened bodily integrity, into a relic of the princesse de Lamballe, the queen’s alleged partner in crime, who had famously been decapitated in the prison massacre, the critic undermined Cabarrus’s efforts at self-​creation and effectively dismantled the portrait’s central strategy. The incongruous number in the middle of the “song” sent the reader to a footnote, which explained that the author did not hold Cabarrus personally responsible for the horrors imputed to her husband. In this account, Cabarrus was neither the important historical figure nor the independent political actor she styled herself. She was just an accessory to crimes committed by others. The handful of other reviewers who mentioned the portrait merely damned it with faint praise. Les étrivières de Juvenal, ou Satire sur les tableaux exposés au Louvre l’an V remarked off-​handedly on the picture of “la citoyenne Tallien” and concluded “elle est bien” (she’s

good)—​a characterization perhaps prompted less by the quality of the portrait or the sitter’s reputation for beauty and benevolence than by the fact that “bien” rhymes nicely with “Tallien.”45 L’Ami des Arts noted cryptically that the portrait had “reappeared” and that “the changes that have been made have introduced more harmony, but the work is too noticeable.”46 It is unclear what these changes consisted of, or what problem they sought to correct. The evidence of the Salon criticism suggests, however, that the painting arrived, was criticized (at least in anti-​Jacobin circles) for its theme, and was removed, revised, and rehung, all without making any significant impact on the critics or indeed on the public at large.47 Cabarrus’s portrait missed its mark because it recalled the Terror and the disunity of France at a moment when the nation was at war against external enemies and wrestling with internal unrest and political dissension. If Cabarrus had commissioned the portrait in time for the Salon of 1795 (which opened three months after the fall of Robespierre, an almost impossibly short turnaround for a portrait this elaborate), she and Laneuville might have met with a more sympathetic reaction. The disapprobation, however, was not entirely due to political contingencies, just as the condemnation of Cabarrus in the press was not merely a matter of her or Tallien’s putative royalism or Jacobinism. Her portrait’s forthrightness about Cabarrus’s centrality to contemporary politics, and its play on ideas about private love and the public good, provided an easy target for the generalized anxiety surrounding the increased visibility of women in post-​Thermidorian social life and visual representation. Cabarrus’s person, clothing, and political connections

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Figure 64  François Gérard, Madame Tallien, ca. 1805. Oil on canvas, 212 × 127 cm. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

were a matter of public discussion; her portrait may have been designed to mitigate criticism, but instead it awoke the specter of Marie Antoinette, the woman whose sexual impulses and political ambitions allegedly brought the nation to the brink of ruin. By the fall of 1796, when the Laneuville portrait went on view, almost any political statement, no matter how ambiguous, was likely to make enemies. The Directory government had attempted to maintain stable executive power and rise above factionalism, at the price of lashing out at both the Left and the Right. A government defined largely by a shifting parade of enemies could have no stable relationship with its pre-​Thermidorian past or with the former hero of Thermidor. Cabarrus’s own complicated political career was likewise difficult to sum up clearly and effectively for a public battered by a seesawing government. The Tallien-​Cabarrus household, moreover, had its own share of troubles. Tallien’s career was in eclipse; he was elected to the new lower chamber of deputies, the Conseil de Cinq-​Cents, but never recovered the influence he briefly enjoyed after Thermidor. Cabarrus’s affections were wandering as well, a fact that had not escaped public notice. A 1796 article in the royalist journal Rapsodies du Jour recounted an anecdote about “la citoyenne T,” who, attending a ball in her “costume romain,” discovered that someone had affixed to her dress a note reading “Respect for National Property”—​a dig both at the republican nationalization of church and private property and at Cabarrus’s alleged sexual profligacy.48 The gossip had some basis in fact; Cabarrus began an affair with Paul Barras, one of the five directors, just months before the Salon of 1796 opened, making any

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narrative of innocence and fidelity to Tallien difficult to sustain. The Laneuville portrait was just one element of Thérésia Cabarrus’s ongoing public efforts to consolidate her fame and influence. Its failure does not seem to have checked her momentum. After her affair with Barras ended, she entered into a relationship with Gabriel-​Julien Ouvrard, a wealthy financier, and bore him four children over the course of five years. In 1802 she obtained a divorce from Tallien, who had completely squandered his political capital and ended up discredited and destitute, dependent on his ex-​wife’s financial support. In 1805 Cabarrus married François-​Joseph de Caraman, a member of an ancient Belgian family who soon thereafter inherited the title of prince de Chimay. The marriage seems to have been a love match, and Cabarrus bore her husband three children. Shortly after her marriage, Cabarrus commemorated this new phase in her life with another spectacular portrait (fig. 64). This time she chose as her portraitist François Gérard, the most sought-​after society portraitist in France. Gérard’s likeness of the thirty-one-year-​old Cabarrus transforms her into an almost impossibly majestic Junoesque figure. The portrait is a completely anodyne example of Gérard’s full-​length portraiture, interchangeable with his other images of the members of Napoleon’s extended family or the wives of his generals. The only hint of Cabarrus’s unconventional past is her partially bared left breast, which could be interpreted variously as a sign of her charitable nature, her fecundity, or her reputation as a leader of fashion during the wild Directory years of semitransparent dresses.

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The Gérard portrait was commissioned at a time when Cabarrus was more interested in repairing her social credibility than in staking claims to political agency. In 1805 the fluctuating social and political structures that had allowed women more latitude in their self-​representation had, under the firm hand of Napoleon, succumbed to a new (but retrograde) social and legal hierarchy. Napoleon knew Cabarrus well; after she divorced Tallien, he forbade his wife, Josephine, any contact with her former best friend. Napoleon’s condemnation was echoed by the Belgian court. The prince de Chimay was a prominent fixture there, but his wife was not received by the royal family, and she spent the last years of her life in boredom in the tiny town of Chimay. Laneuville, Cabarrus’s portraitist, fared somewhat better under Napoleon. He received both private and official portrait commissions under the empire, exhibiting work at the Salon until 1817. He also pursued a career as an expert art appraiser and possibly as a dealer; the catalogue of the posthumous sale of his collection reveals a huge collection of Old Masters and contemporary French art.49 His postrevolutionary output as a portraitist remains almost completely unknown, so it is unclear whether he ever attempted another female portrait as ambitious and unconventional as that of Cabarrus. The 1796 portrait was, in any case, a product of its complex and contradictory moment, conceived by a sitter and an artist who were both deeply engaged with politics. Each had taken advantage of the freedoms offered by the Revolution to create new selves and new career paths. Cabarrus, looking back in 1796 at the short and eventful

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course of her adult life from the vantage point of Notre Dame de Thermidor, may be excused for thinking that in a society in flux, a gifted and determined woman could indeed claim a position of social and political autonomy. The Revolution was committed to reinventing the visual imagery of politics and everyday life; indeed, it insisted that the two were one and the same. This theory of regeneration placed portraiture at the center of cultural and civic life—​and portraiture was a tool that both men and women could use. Cabarrus and Laneuville capitalized on portraiture’s symbolic resonance, offering up the portrait process itself as a metaphor for active citizenship. The portraitist Cabarrus fixes us with a steady gaze; the profile portrait on the wall takes the place of the easel in the traditional artist’s self-​portrait. The viewer becomes the self that Cabarrus re-​creates on the wall of her prison cell. We are drawn into her vision of herself, seduced and reinvented by her political and artistic skills. Cabarrus is simultaneously the republican mother and the ultimate legislator, creating citizens for a new France. In this transaction, the viewer and the self created are of course male. In the end, Cabarrus can only imagine herself politically as a woman among men. Cabarrus’s portrait inserts her into the narrative of national events in the only way possible for a woman: by indirection and subversion, with ample reference to older models of femininity and their representational conventions tempering Cabarrus’s claims to political power. It was a difficult argument to make, as was any argument for female participation in the polity during the Revolution. The portrait offended its contemporary viewers because it recalled the Terror and the disunity

of France. But it was also disturbing because it depicted a woman who seized upon the meager personal and political opportunities that the Revolution offered her sex and made the most of them. Even in portraiture, which provided artists and sitters a means of exploring the novel

forms of personhood on offer after 1789, female citizenship ran up again unyielding conceptual barriers. The failures of the portrait of the citoyenne Tallien in prison were the failures of the Revolution itself.

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  the national Elysée

In the summer of 1797, François Gérard began painting a full-​length portrait of Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux, the president of the five-​man Directory (fig. 65).1 Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s pose is disarmingly casual for a man who was the titular head of the French government. Seated on a roughly hewn stone in a hilly landscape, he looks benignly out at the viewer from under the bangs of what is, even for the Revolution, an eccentrically unkempt hairstyle. His informal outfit is the same worn by most fashionable and well-​off men during the Directory. The dark jacket disguises Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s well-​known physical frailty, caused by a deformed spine. In one hand he holds a bouquet of wildflowers; in the other, a book. The dull greens and cool gray-​blues that dominate the canvas provide a foil for the brilliant white and red of the neck linen and vest, which direct the viewer’s attention to the sitter’s face. The polished paint application likewise privileges the physiognomy and attributes of the sitter over the hand of the artist. Setting, pose, accessories, and the paint surface itself conspire to cast the sitter as a gentle, contemplative man, at one with nature and in sympathy with his viewers. For a portrait of one of France’s highest-​ranking leaders, the image seems resolutely private. The portrait was a gift from the painter to the politician; in fact, it was a double gift, because the flower

painter Gérard van Spaendonck collaborated with Gérard, contributing the bouquet and probably the flowering plants in the foreground. The portrait is also evidence of a crucial moment in the professional trajectories of two men. In 1797 Gérard was a promising young artist trying to make a name for himself with a series of showy history paintings and portraits. His painting Belisarius, exhibited at the Salon of 1795, had been a critical success, and while he was painting Revelliere-​Lépeaux he must already have been at work on his Cupid and Psyche, destined to be the hit of the Salon of 1798. But when he offered to paint the director, Gérard had yet to secure the kind of patronage that could support his artistic agenda. The portrait of Revelliere-​Lépeaux was only his second full-​length portrait; the first, of his friend and fellow artist Jean-​Baptiste Isabey and his daughter, had also been painted without a commission. The portrait of the director was designed as much to promote Gérard’s skill as a portraitist as to celebrate the qualities of the republic’s most prominent citizen. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s career also hung in the balance in the summer of 1797. Because he was occupying the rotating presidency of the Directory, he was serving as the official head of the republic. In the spring, legislative elections had returned a strong contingent of royalists, alarming the moderate leadership. Revelliere-​Lépeaux,

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Figure 65  François Gérard, Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux, 1797–98. Oil on canvas, 152 × 111 cm. mba J 66, Musée des beaux-​arts d’Angers.

as president of the Directory, orchestrated a coup against the new assembly on 17 Fructidor (September 3); on the authorization of the directors, the conservative deputies were arrested and removed from office. Revelliere-​ Lépeaux believed that this breach of electoral politics was necessary for the salvation of the republic. The attack on the deputies, however, undercut the legitimacy of the new constitution that Revelliere-​Lépeaux himself had helped to write in 1795. The portrait of the director as a private citizen, humbly seated on a rock in peaceful contemplation of nature, seems deliberately to evade all questions of public policy and political conflict. However, it is precisely the use of the landscape setting, and the ideas about nature that it evokes, that allowed Gérard and Revelliere-​Lépeaux to make an argument about post-​Thermidorian political power. Admittedly, this is not the same kind of political image as the print portraits of the deputies to the National Assembly, which were explicitly produced to provide a picture of the representatives of the people and were intended for mass circulation. Nor did it serve the same functions as the portrait of Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s fellow director, Charles-Louis-​François Letourneur, who posed for Jean-​Baptiste François Desoria in his official costume, à la Louis XIV, and sent his image to the Salon of 1798 (fig. 66).2 Both the print portraits and the Letourneur painting draw on earlier conventions for the depiction of illustrious men. Gérard and Revelliere-​Lépeaux, by contrast, invented a new kind of political portraiture, and simultaneously reinvented the genre of portraiture in the landscape. By associating himself with the natural world, the director invoked one of the central tenets of

revolutionary political discourse: the moral authority of nature. To speak in the name of nature was to cast aside artificial systems—​monarchy, social hierarchy, academic aesthetics—​and embrace a universal good. The pastoral setting of Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s portrait, with its heady overtones of science, sentiment, and morality, allowed Gérard and his sitter to craft an image that is at once private and public, personal and collective, sensible and political.

Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Reluctant Revolutionary Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux himself never stopped saying that he preferred the tranquility of country life and the company of his family to the demands of Paris and politics. As he put it, describing the beginning of his political career, “I had at first an invincible repugnance for leaving private life, in order to find myself so often in representation.”3 By “representation,” Revelliere-​Lépeaux meant something like the creation of a public image of one’s self, as opposed to one’s private or essential character. But in the context of his political life, he was also alluding to his reluctance to become a deputy, a representative of the people, responsible not only for his own opinion but for channeling the will of the nation—​a delicate task, as we saw in chapter 2. Gérard’s portrait of Revelliere-​Lépeaux represents a man who resists being “in representation,” balancing the sitter’s yearning for some more private “real” self with his official identity as a revolutionary politician, and with his position as the

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Figure 66  Jean-​Baptiste François Desoria, Charles-Louis-​François Letourneur, 1796. Oil on canvas, 225 × 147 cm. mv 4617, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles.

subject of a large-​scale portrait. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s reluctance to put on that public face is a guiding theme of his memoirs, which were, in a telling irony, written expressly for publication.4 Yet he never failed to respond to the call of civic duty, from his appointment as a lecturer at the Angers Société des Botanophiles, to his

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election to the National Assembly and the Convention, to his ultimate selection as one of the founding five directors of the post-​Thermidorian republic. Revelliere-​Lépeaux was born in 1753 to a bourgeois family in a small town near Angers, in the Anjou region. Although the family was not wealthy, both Louis-​Marie and his older brother were sent to Paris to study law. In his memoirs, Revelliere-​Lépeaux admits that he would much rather have been a doctor, and indeed he never practiced the profession for which he was trained. In Paris, he studied music and Italian, went to the theater, and generally immersed himself in the republic of letters. In 1778 he returned to the Anjou with no greater sense of vocation, but better acquainted with the cultural and political landscape of the capital. From the late 1770s to the outbreak of the Revolution, Revelliere-​Lépeaux led a provincial life of happy moderation. In 1781 he married a friend’s sister, Jeanne-​Marie-​ Mélanie-​Victoire Boyleau de Chandoiseau (known as Jenny). His interest had been piqued by her impressive knowledge of botany; her identification and explanation of a flower called a ficaire during their walks in the countryside sparked both their romance and his life-​long interest in the natural sciences.5 Mademoiselle de Chandoiseau brought to their marriage a small property, where they rebuilt an old house and lived off the agricultural revenues. In 1788 he was solicited by local medical students and the amateurs of the Angers Société des Botanophiles to give a public course in botany. According to his own account, he vigorously resisted the lectureship, but in the end he accepted, and found that he had a gift for public oratory.

His botany lectures must have brought Revelliere-​ Lépeaux into the public eye. One year later, he was elected a deputy of the Third Estate to the Estates-​ General. Revelliere-​Lépeaux was, by his own account, astonished and dismayed: “What I could not explain is how I was elected third, unanimously, minus my own vote, I, who had always lived in seclusion, who was known to very few people, who asked for nothing and had not expressed to anyone a desire to be nominated, and who had no idea that such a thing could happen.”6 Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s protests sound like false modesty, but his lack of interest in pursuing a legal career and his lyricism on the subject of his family and the beauties of nature suggest that he genuinely yearned for a life limited to the private sphere. However, private life and public good were so intertwined in late eighteenth-​century and revolutionary thought that in many ways his virtuous private life made him an ideal candidate for public office in the eyes of his fellow citizens. Revelliere-​Lépeaux may have been retiring, but he was by no means a lukewarm patriot. In fact, even before he left for Versailles he had published several political pamphlets defending the rights of the Third Estate.7 The presiding officer of the provincial assembly described him as “the most perfectly honest man, but a little obstinate in his ideas and preoccupied with the great system of equality among all men.”8 His writings, and his behavior at the provincial assembly as well as at Versailles, show that Revelliere-​Lépeaux was indeed a staunch advocate of social equality. His memoirs record several confrontations with the noble members of Anjou’s delegation, and once at Versailles he vigorously resisted the royal

edicts that emphasized the divisions between the estates. He was in fact one of the most vehement critics of the official costume of the Third Estate, which he referred to as “that sad and baroque accoutrement.” Instead, he wore black street clothes and a sword (to which, as a member of the bourgeoisie, he was technically not entitled) and immediately started dressing in colors instead of black as soon as the three orders were united.9 Revelliere-​ Lépeaux’s resistance to court regalia clearly extended to his own portrait. Although the directors had official costumes (minutely illustrated in the Desoria portrait of Letourneur), he chose to be painted in the same kind of outfit he wore during his first years as a deputy. Once Revelliere-​Lépeaux yielded to his sense of civic responsibility, his passion for social equality transformed him into a political leader.10 After the conclusion of the Constituent Assembly (the final incarnation of the National Assembly), he returned to Angers, only to be elected to the Convention. There he showed himself to be a committed republican, voting for the execution of the king. But he was also suspicious of popular political intervention, and he worried about the possibility of a dictatorship.11 Increasingly alarmed by the persecution of the more moderate elements of the Convention, he resigned his seat in protest in the summer of 1793 and fled the capital under the threat of arrest. Earlier in the year, he had moved his wife and daughter out of Paris to an inn in the nearby forest of Montmorency. As the violence in Paris intensified, Revelliere-​Lépeaux sent them back to Angers. By the time he himself left Paris, his family was already in danger of arrest by local Jacobins in the Anjou (as well as being the target of

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counterrevolutionary militias as the family of a regicide). Unable to return home, Revelliere-​Lépeaux remained in hiding until Robespierre was overthrown. The political agitation during Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s tenure in the pre-​Thermidorian legislature did not prevent him from pursuing his botanical interests. While in Paris, he met the celebrated André Thouïn, head gardener at the former Jardin du Roi, renamed the Jardin des Plantes. Thouïn was famous not only for his botanical knowledge but also for the congeniality of his household on the grounds of the garden, where he received naturalists and philosophes, including Rousseau, in the bosom of his extended family. Revelliere-​Lépeaux was immediately enchanted by Thouïn’s hospitality; when his wife and daughter came to join him in Paris, the whole family became regular guests in the Thouïns’ modest kitchen salon. It was during these evening gatherings that Revelliere-​Lépeaux met the flower painter Gérard van Spaendonck, the official iconographer of the Jardin des Plantes and the man who would later collaborate with Gérard on his portrait.12 Once Robespierre had been executed and the Terror ended, Revelliere-​Lépeaux and his wife and daughter were reunited in Paris. Their house near Angers had been destroyed during the civil war in the Vendée and their land had been ravaged; consequently, they found themselves living in near poverty. Fortunately, Revelliere-​ Lépeaux was recalled to the Convention. He quickly became one of the most active members of the reconstituted legislature, serving on the committee charged with drafting a new constitution. Revelliere-​Lépeaux brought to the constitution of the Year III his essentially

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moderate republicanism. He had always been leery both of popular rule and of the concentration of power in too few hands; the new constitution limited voting rights to the propertied classes and instituted a system of checks and balances that involved a bicameral legislature (the Conseil des Cinq-​Cents and the Conseil des Anciens) and a rotating five-​man executive directory, appointed by the legislature. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s dedication to the rapid reestablishment of constitutional rule and his steadfast desire for reconciliation between former Jacobins and their enemies (particularly admirable given that his brother had been executed during the Terror) won him the respect of his fellow deputies. He was their first nominee for the new Directory, but he accepted the post reluctantly. His letter to the legislature accepting the nomination is worth reprinting in full; it demonstrates Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s enduring sentiment of being torn between civic duty and private life. Citizens, Reduced to a very great exhaustion by a long series of illnesses and fatigues, and consequently not being able to work except with difficulty, having furthermore an extreme repugnance for everything that tears me away from private life, I had taken the firm resolution to refuse my nomination to the Executive Directory in the event that I was called, and I explained this to all of my colleagues. Nonetheless the two councils honored me with their vote and the men in whom I have the most confidence strongly urged me to accept; I do not consider myself

wiser than the legislative body and so many men who have all my esteem. I therefore accept. I will go forward until my force fails me. Happy! if my feeble powers can be combined with the wisdom of the legislative body and the generous efforts of my new colleagues to consolidate the Republic, to strengthen the constitution, to dismantle all plots, diffuse all hatreds, extinguish the thirst for all vengeance, bind up all wounds and finally restore to us confidence, harmony, peace, and abundance. Greetings and respect, L.-​M. Revelliere-​Lépeaux13 In this letter, Revelliere-​Lépeaux rehearses the sacrifice of his health and personal inclinations to the greater good. His respect for the opinion of the legislature and his friends forces him to obey the call to political duty; he puts aside his particular concerns and yields to the collective voice of the republic. The narrative strategy Revelliere-​Lépeaux chooses in this rejection-​acceptance letter—​protesting that he has an “extreme repugnance” for public life but yielding to the wisdom of the legislature—​is, like his portrait, a savvy deployment of his private virtues as proof of his worthiness for public office. By emphasizing his attachment to his home life and his respect for the elected representatives of the nation, furthermore, he hints that he will never become another Robespierre. The very simplicity and frankness of the letter’s rhetoric, like the visual strategies of Gérard’s portrait, create the impression of a man with nothing to hide. Revelliere-​Lépeaux might have done better to heed his personal repugnance for public office. The Executive

Directory, which took office in November 1795, faced the nearly impossible task of restoring France’s economy at home, waging wars on several fronts abroad, and protecting the republic from threats from the Left and the Right. In May 1796 the government arrested the ultra-​Jacobin insurgent Gracchus Babeuf, who was in the midst of planning a coup d’état. Then, in April 1797, the first general elections to the Conseils returned a majority of royalist deputies, despite active campaigning (if not election rigging) on the part of the moderate government. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, then serving as president of the Directory, ordered the army to surround the legislature and arrest the newly elected conservative deputies, along with two directors who had opposed military intervention.14 Revelliere-​Lépeaux took an active part in the propaganda campaign justifying the coup, signing a number of pamphlets published in the name of the Directory that denounced the so-​called royalists as a threat to the republic.15 Despite (or because of ) the political turmoil around him, Revelliere-​Lépeaux made a point of preserving his leisure time and his circle of friends. Every evening after dinner he walked from his official lodgings in the Luxembourg Palace to the Jardin des Plantes to visit the Thouïns, and every décadi (the revolutionary day of rest) he would invite the botanical crowd, along with Gérard and other cultural luminaries, to the palace for an evening of discussion and music.16 Moreover, his position as head of the republic afforded him enough income to purchase, sometime in 1798, a small property in Andilly, near the forest of Montmorency, where his family had stayed during the Terror.17 Montmorency had long been

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considered the most beautiful and unspoiled rural area in the environs of Paris, and its reputation as a country retreat had been sealed by Rousseau himself, who had lived there from 1756 to 1762, during which time he had written Julie and Émile. The director used his country house as a summer residence and as a place to entertain friends from Paris. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s efforts to avoid the corruption of the Directory’s social life may have been successful, but his attempts to maintain a moderate republican government ultimately failed. The antiroyalist coup of 1797 did not succeed in stabilizing the government; scarcely a year later, on May 11, 1798 (22 floréal an VI), the directors forced the legislature to annul the latest round of elections, which had returned a large number of Jacobin deputies. Finally, on June 18, 1799 (30 prairial an VII), the left-​moderate majority in the Conseils turned against the Directory. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, along with one of his fellow directors, was forced to resign on charges (certainly justified by past actions if not accurate for the present moment) of plotting a coup against the legislature. Revelliere-​Lépeaux and his family packed their bags and left Paris. By his account, he had never been happier than the night he retired from political life: “For many long years I had not enjoyed a sleep as agreeable and undisturbed as that of the first night I spent after leaving the Luxembourg forever. The next morning, upon finding myself far away from government affairs, in the bosom of my family, I tasted the inexpressible contentment of a man who, at the end of a long and painful dream, wakes up full of life and health, and sees that all the evils that he thought he had experienced were nothing but a dream.”18

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The Origins of the Portrait Sometime during those last few years of Revelliere-​ Lépeaux’s bad dream, François Gérard offered to paint his portrait. Correspondence from Revelliere-​Lépeaux to the artist, dating from 1805 and 1807, attests to their friendship; Gérard sent a print of his Belisarius to Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s wife, which joined his previous gift, a print of Ossian Summoning the Spirits (particularly appropriate since the politician had named his only son, born in 1797, after the fictional Celtic bard).19 The two men probably first met sometime in the early 1790s, perhaps through their mutual attachment to the valley of Montmorency. Gérard, during a trip to the area in 1794 to make landscape studies for Belisarius, stayed at the same inn, Au Cheval Blanc, that had been a temporary home to the Revelliere-​Lépeaux family; the artist even painted a signboard for the establishment.20 Whatever the case, Gérard was friendly enough with Revelliere-​ Lépeaux in the first years of the Directory to persuade the normally publicity-​shy politician to sit for a full-​ length portrait in the midst of a constitutional crisis. The circumstances of the commission are known from three early accounts of the portrait, the first dating from 1805. By that time, the Revelliere-​Lépeaux family had left Andilly, which they could no longer afford, and moved to a remote estate in the countryside near Orléans called La Rousselière. There they lived in almost complete seclusion, enlivened by visits from Parisian friends such as the poet and dramatist Jean-​François Ducis, who was also a good friend of Gérard’s. Ducis wrote from La Rousselière to a friend on June 12, 1805, “The host of

La Rousselière, who gives me bread and salt, knows you and holds you in esteem. His portrait by our mutual friend Correggio is here. He painted him seated, peaceful, dreaming, as a botanist does, about a flower that his wife has given him. This small and charming flower has a German name which means: forget me not. I have before my eyes, in this family, the mores of Isaac and Jacob, or a life of Plutarch.”21 The description of the painting given by Ossian in an 1843 letter to the mayor of Angers, offering the portrait as a gift to the city, dwells more on his father’s scientific activity than on his happy married life: This work, painted during the era of the Directory (around 1798) is on canvas and is 1 meter 60 centimeters in height and 1 meter 30 centimeters wide. It is by François Gérard and from his best period, that in which he painted his Belisarius. Larevellière is represented seated on a stone and next to a fountain, having returned from a “herborization” in the forest of Montmorency. The book that he holds in his left hand is the Botanical Philosophy of Linnaeus; in his right hand are two plants he has just collected, the Ficaire and the Myosotis. These flowers are by the famous Van Spaendonck, who, as intimately connected with Larevellière as Gérard, wanted to collaborate with him on a work consecrated to their friend. The site and all the accessories are faithfully reproduced after life, along with the landscape background, which represents the wooded hillsides of Andilly.22 Ossian described the painting again in the preface to his father’s memoirs, which he published in 1873:

François Gérard had not, I believe, been back from Italy very long when he insisted on doing a full-​length portrait of Larevellière, who certainly was hardly thinking of having himself painted at a time when, as president of the Directory, he carried, in such critical circumstances, the heavy weight of the government of France. Gérard created a masterpiece, with which another friend of my father’s, Van Spaendonck, wanted to associate himself by painting the flowers that Gérard had put in his hand. The friendship of the great painter for his sitter was durable and courageous; it never altered.23 These firsthand accounts of the portrait provide evidence for the dating of the painting; Ossian proposes a date of around 1798 in the earlier letter, and in the preface to the memoirs notes that it was painted while his father was president of the Directory (from August to November 1797). Ossian’s letter also attests to the specificity of the landscape in which his father is seated; it is Andilly, where the Revelliere-​Lépeaux family purchased property in 1798. The various interpretations provided by family and friends of the director’s portrait, alternately understood as a testament to his sentimental and scientific commitments, indicate the richness of the discourses on which it drew. By posing Revelliere-​Lépeaux in the landscape, Gérard was able to bring to the portrait the many personal, economic, and political virtues associated with nature in the late eighteenth century. From the explosion of popular interest in botany to the glorification of rural life, by way of major reforms in garden design and

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agronomy, the Revolution inherited from the eighteenth century an obsession with the “natural” that spilled over into political life and became a justification for everything from renaming the months of the year to the Terror itself. Two of many significations of the “natural” are already evident in the descriptions of the portrait provided by Ossian and Ducis. Ducis reads the landscape setting, and particularly the flowers in the director’s hand, as a sign of a loving family life reminiscent of the patriarchs of the Old Testament or the Roman military and political heroes of Plutarch. Ossian sees the same flowers as evidence of his father’s scientific predilections, and creates a narrative of gathering and identifying specimens, where Ducis sees a sentimental story of conjugal devotion. In fact, both of these ideas about the relationship between the human and natural worlds are present in Gérard’s painting, as well as in Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s own writings. The portrait thus mobilizes nature and landscape in ways that reflect not only the sitter’s biography but also larger concerns about subjectivity, social organization, and political leadership during the Directory. Gérard was one of the first artists to visualize these discourses in portraiture, particularly in portraits of men. Portraiture in the landscape was not new to France in the late eighteenth century; early and mid-eighteenth-​ century sitters were often posed in more or less vaguely delineated outdoor settings. Two portraits by Jean-​Marc Nattier neatly demonstrate the conventions for men and women (figs. 67 and 68). The male sitter, dressed as a hunter, dominates a minimally described landscape, his rifle in hand and his dog by his side. The female sitter is seated in a more articulated natural setting that reinforces

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Figure 67  Jean-​Marc Nattier, Portrait of a Gentleman as a Hunter, 1727. Oil on canvas, 117 × 92.6 cm. bf.1992.1, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston.

her assumption of the persona of Diana, goddess of the hunt. In both paintings, the landscape serves primarily as a backdrop; the point of junction between the sitter and the natural space is disguised by drapery or accessories, making it difficult to discern exactly how the figure is inserted into the landscape. Nattier, the most popular and prolific of midcentury portraitists, painted dozens if not hundreds of women in similar landscape settings, in the guise of Diana or Flora or other mythological figures with connections to the land. His portraits of

The Enlightenment Enthusiasm for Nature

Figure 68  Jean-​Marc Nattier, Portrait of a Woman as Diana, 1735. Oil on canvas, 136 × 105.5 cm. Musée d’art et d’histoire, Cholet, France.

men in the landscape are much rarer and overwhelmingly depict men as hunters. The male portrait en chasseur was in fact a subgenre all its own. Because hunting was a privilege reserved for the nobility and was practiced almost exclusively by men, portraiture en chasseur allowed men to assert their social status and masculinity in an appealingly casual setting. The only other subgenre in which men regularly appeared in the landscape was military or naval portraiture, which likewise promoted a vision of aristocratic manhood.

The persistence of these very conventional forms of landscape portraiture, in which nature serves as an allegorical backdrop or as a site to be dominated, belies the growing enthusiasm of the French elites for nature in all its guises during the same years. The pastoral ideal had long been a part of French literary and visual culture, but the second half of the eighteenth century ushered in a more serious, and more moralizing, preoccupation with nature in general and the French countryside in particular. This development manifested itself in a boom in literary productions celebrating country life, a growing interest in landscape gardening, the popularization of the natural sciences (particularly botany), and finally, beginning in the 1780s, the emergence of a new kind of portraiture in the landscape. All of these modes of understanding nature had in common an emphasis on subjective experience; the individual was thought to be improved and enlightened by his or her contact with the natural world.24 It is this late eighteenth-​century notion of nature, and its influence on human subjectivity and society, that was adopted by revolutionary political theory, and that Gérard evoked in his portrait of Revelliere-​Lépeaux. The literary and philosophical reevaluation of nature was inspired, at least in part, by the work of Jean-​ Jacques Rousseau. His immensely popular novel, Julie, ou La Nouvelle Héloïse, first published in 1761, concretized changing ideas about nature and disseminated them to a large reading public. Rousseau’s use of nature as a mirror

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for his characters’ moral development, and his rapturous account of the virtues of isolated country life, proved immensely influential in promoting an appreciation of his version of the “natural,” which imbued the landscape with intense emotional meaning. In particular, the description of Julie’s garden, referred to in the novel as her “Elisée,” is credited by historians with crystallizing new ideas about nature; its rejection of all obvious artifice and symmetry in favor of seemingly pristine natural surroundings is closely associated with Julie’s own role as virtuous wife and mother.25 Rousseau’s other writings likewise give nature pride of place. The educational program set out in Émile (1762) asserts the “natural” goodness of the child and advocates a rural upbringing. Reveries of the Solitary Walker (published posthumously in 1782) posits the loss of particular identity within the all-​encompassing force of nature.26 Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s own life and writings reflect Rousseau’s influence at nearly every turn. His aversion to city life, his highly emotional relationship with his wife and children, and even his retreat to La Rousselière ( Jenny’s garden there was referred to in family letters as her “Elisée”) speak to the intensity with which the director, like many members of the French elite, read, spoke, and lived Rousseau’s work. Rousseau’s relationship to the natural world was empirical as well as meditative; he was, like Revelliere-​ Lépeaux, an amateur botanist.27 The philosopher and the director were two of the many French men and women caught up in what one scholar has termed the “botanophilia” of the later eighteenth century.28 As E. C. Spary has argued in her study of natural history during the ancien régime and the Revolution, the eighteenth

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century’s interest in the natural world was bound up in its attempts to understand and reform society; the natural order and the social order were understood as a continuum.29 The field of botany in particular, formerly the province of doctors and pharmacists, was transformed by the development of rigorous systems of classification based on scientific observation, the most influential of which were the publications of Carl Linnaeus. His Philosophia botanica figures prominently in Gérard’s portrait of Revelliere-Lépeaux—​in fact, the artist was so intent on showing the title of the book that he violated spatial logic by putting it on the back cover. Linnaeus’s texts were almost purely technical and made for dry reading. Nonetheless, botanophiles read an ethical system into Linnaeus’s ordering of the vegetable world. Rousseau himself, in a letter to Linnaeus, praised the moral qualities of the botanist’s writings: “Alone with nature and with you, I pass delicious hours during my country walks, and I gain a more real profit from your Philosophia Botanica than from all the books of morality.”30 Rousseau understood his study of nature, guided by Linnaeus, as a means of spiritual self-​improvement. The prominence of Linnaeus’s text in Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s portrait indicates that the director wanted the viewers of his portrait to see him as someone who, like Rousseau, cast a learned eye on nature, and who drew moral lessons from his contemplation of botanical truths. Underlying the eighteenth century’s interest in the natural sciences was the growing acceptance of a new system of psychology and epistemology based on the relationship between sense perception (“sensation”) and ideas. The foundational text of sensationalism was John Locke’s

Essay Concerning Human Understanding, first published in England in 1690. Locke held that all ideas are based on the information gathered by our senses, and that therefore nothing we know is innate. Locke’s argument made human receptivity to the natural world crucial to the formation of character and morality. His work was quickly popularized in France; the great Encyclopédie project, the defining publication of Enlightenment France, was based on sensationalist principles. The idea of the human being dependent on sense perceptions gained even wider cultural currency with the concept of the homme sensible—​ the man who was especially sensitive, in the physical and moral sense of the word. Although the cult of sensibility in France remained grounded in the physical senses and never quite attained the level of self-​conscious discourse found in England at the same time, sensibility became a distinct and eminently fashionable cultural construct.31 Revelliere-​Lépeaux explicitly identified himself as an homme sensible. He was, he says, “born with a heart, perhaps for my misfortune, excessively sensible, endowed with an active imagination, and subject to a habitual and profound melancholy.”32 His sensibility was, of course, applied to the study of nature and the appreciation of its beauty. But Revelliere-​Lépeaux was also susceptible to excesses of emotion. His attachment to his family, one of the most common themes of the literature of sensibility, permeates his correspondence. In fact, Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s happy domestic life was the subject of an unusual family portrait dating to the same years as the Gérard portrait. Sometime in 1797 or 1798, the flower painter Van Spaendonck and the genre painter and miniaturist Piat-​Joseph Sauvage collaborated on a

tiny still-​life painting representing, among a profusion of flowers, trompe l’oeil bas-​reliefs depicting the Revelliere-​ Lépeaux family (fig. 69).33 In the lower part of the composition, Revelliere-​Lépeaux raises the naked infant Ossian in the air while his wife and their daughter Clementine look on; in a separate relief, maidens in classical dress install a bust portrait of the director Revelliere. The miniature speaks to the centrality of family to Revelliere-​ Lépeaux’s persona and literally associates his domestic happiness with the natural world. Revelliere-​Lépeaux also cultivated his reputation as an homme sensible in his professional life. He confesses in his memoirs to having succumbed to tears on numerous occasions in his career—​sometimes in the least appropriate situations, as when, as per the new constitution, lots were drawn to see which of the directors would be the first to step down. Revelliere-​Lépeaux so hoped that his lot would be drawn that, upon learning that he had to stay in his post, he burst into tears in front of his colleagues.34 Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s unpublished writings dwell on the same themes of family, friendship, nature, and emotion. A manuscript poem reveals Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s literary tastes; titled “Romance by L. M. Revelliere-​ Lépeaux, subject taken from the English novel The Vicar of Wakefield,” it reworks in verse the plot of one of the classic British novels of sensibility.35 Revelliere-​Lépeaux paid homage to another canonical novel of sensibility by naming his daughter Clementine after the virtuous Catholic heroine of Samuel Richardson’s Sir Charles Grandison. In another manuscript poem—​undated but clearly written while he was living in Paris—Revelliere-​ Lépeaux transfers his feelings about political life to the

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Figure 69  Gérard van Spaendonck and Piat-​Joseph Sauvage, The Family Meal, ca. 1797–98. Watercolor and gouache on cardboard, 9 cm diam. mba 488, Musée des beaux-​arts d’Angers, on deposit from the Musée du Louvre.

natural world. Titled “Stanzas addressed to a couple of turtledoves perched in the trees of the Tuileries garden,” the poem urges the birds to abandon the city for the countryside: Don’t stay, faithful couple So far away from the calm of the woods! The seductions of the city Hide a severe destiny Flee far from this treacherous asylum Return to the fields, to be happy.36 The analogies to his own situation are painfully clear. As soon as he was forced out of the Directory, Revelliere-​ Lépeaux and his wife, like the turtledoves, fled Paris for the countryside. The literary and scientific exaltation of nature in eighteenth-​century France went hand in hand with a new passion for landscape gardening. In the decades immediately preceding the Revolution, French writers published a number of treatises on the virtues of a more “natural” style of garden. These essays often insisted on the moral as well as the aesthetic advantages of the new style of landscape design. For instance, in 1777 René-​Louis de Girardin published On the Composition of Landscapes (De la composition des paysages), which was based on his famous garden at Ermenonville, an estate not far from Andilly, where Rousseau spent his last days and where he was buried. Girardin’s criteria for effective landscape design neatly make the connection between aesthetic enjoyment of nature and the moral improvement derived from that enjoyment. A properly planned garden would

lead the viewer from appreciation, to reflection, to action: “The good man, returned to a purer air and brought back to the countryside by the true pleasures of nature, will soon feel that the suffering of his fellow men is the most painful spectacle for humanity; if he starts with picturesque landscapes that charm the eye, he will soon attempt to form philosophical landscapes that charm the soul; because the sweetest and most touching spectacle is that of universal well-​being and contentment.”37 The visual enjoyment of the garden prompts the viewer to cultivate his own intellectual landscape, which in turn, Girardin confidently assumes, will yield projects of social improvement. Girardin’s enthusiasm for this utopian chain of events, all predicated on landscape gardening, reflects the Enlightenment faith in nature as the source of all good.

The New Landscape Portraiture Portraiture reacted slowly to the new interest in nature. Even as writers extolled the virtues of the landscape and the possibilities for self-​realization therein, sitters and portraitists seemed reluctant to take up the theme. The change in taste probably began at the top of the social hierarchy. Marie Antoinette’s well-​known aversion to formal ritual and her taste for rural pleasures had initiated a new kind of royal portraiture. Images like Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller’s full-​length portrait of Marie Antoinette and her children (Salon of 1785) presented the young queen in the landscape, not in allegorical guise as in Nattier’s portraits of Louis XV’s court, but rather strolling in a fashionable “picturesque” garden (fig. 70). Adélaïde

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Labille-​Guiard’s Portrait of Madame Victoire with a Statue of Friendship (Salon of 1789), a more successful composition, depicts the king’s aunt on a terrace overlooking a garden, holding a bouquet of wildflowers in one hand and gesturing with the other at a statue personifying friendship (fig. 71).38 This taste for landscape imagery seems to have been felt most strongly in female portraiture, both at court and among the greater public. Male portraiture took even longer to respond to the new ideas of the natural. The hunting portrait, the most common pre-​Enlightenment form of male landscape portraiture, lost its popularity

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in the second half of the eighteenth century. Because hunting was traditionally linked to aristocratic military prowess, the portrait en chasseur shared the fate of military portraiture after the Seven Years’ War. But no alternate form of male portraiture in the landscape took its place. Why did it take so long for artists and sitters to develop a visual vocabulary for the man of sensibility or the gentleman botanist? The lack of images of the homme sensible in the landscape is all the more puzzling given that most literary and scientific considerations of the natural world assumed that both the designer and consumer of the landscape were male. Perhaps noble clients, confronted with Enlightenment challenges to traditional justifications of aristocratic privilege, were wary of embracing imagery that undercut feudal notions of authority. Conversely, bourgeois sitters like Revelliere-​ Lépeaux might have been reluctant to take up a portrait format that alluded, even faintly, to an outmoded definition of social status. Whatever the reason, the natural world appeared only sporadically in portraits of men in the 1770s and 1780s, usually as a sliver of background, with little physical or emotional implication of the sitter in the landscape. If anything, the place of nature in masculine portraiture seems to have waned. The first years of the Revolution, however, marked a reversal of earlier trends. The most important surviving examples of portraiture in the landscape from the early 1790s are of male sitters. As the weakening of the academic system stimulated portraitists’ powers of invention, and as political change began to rewrite the definition of male citizenship, more artists and clients looked to landscape settings as a way of depicting the

new French man. The resulting portraits drew on earlier conventions but modified them to fit changing social and political norms. Pierre-​Paul Prud’hon’s 1791 portrait of a man in the landscape clearly demonstrates this shift of vocabulary (fig. 72).39 Prud’hon places his sitter on a grassy bank in a landscape that includes a classicized urn and a vista over a lake or bay. The young man’s pose and accessories recall the portraits en chasseur of the first half of the century, but the references to the hunt are subtle and ambiguous. No gun or dog here—​just the lightly bent riding crop held in tension in the bottom center of the picture plane, and the gloves, leather boots, and high hat that had already become fashionable urban street wear. Moreover, the landscape itself is one of meditation rather than venery. Prud’hon situates his sitter firmly in nature rather than in front of it; the few blades of grass that overlap his upper thigh emphasize his integration into the landscape, as does the rhyming of his body with the trees and shrubbery that surround him. The subtraction of the dog and the gun from the traditional formula, and the elaboration of the landscape beyond the vague background of older portraits, makes the depiction of the natural world an essential part of the portrait’s characterization of its sitter’s interiority. Another portrait from around the same moment makes the transition from chasseur to homme sensible even more explicit and links the new man to the new political order (fig. 73). The sitter’s right hand rests on his dog; his left hand holds a book. A bust of Rousseau, garlanded with roses, looms over the sitter and the picturesque landscape in the background. L’ami Jean-​ Jacques’s benign gaze passes over the sitter’s face to rest on

Figure 70 (opposite)  Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller, Marie-​Antoinette and Her Children, Salon of 1785. Oil on canvas, 276 × 194 cm. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Figure 71  Adélaïde Labille-​Guiard, Portrait of Madame Victoire with a Statue of Friendship, Salon of 1789. Oil on canvas, 271 × 165 cm. mv 3960, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles.

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Figure 72 (opposite)  Pierre-​Paul Prud’hon, Portrait of a Man (possibly Charles-​Louis Cadet de Gassincourt), 1791. Oil on canvas, 115 × 89 cm. Musée Jacquemart-​André, Paris. Figure 73  Jean-​Baptiste Greuze (attr.), The Marquis de Girardin, ca. 1790. Oil on canvas, 125 × 94 cm. Musée de l’abbaye royale, Chaalis, France.

a revolutionary cockade pinned to a high hat tucked away at lower right. The equation of moral virtue, political activism, and immersion in nature could hardly be more obvious. The unemployed hound represents the ancien régime of noble privilege; the book and hat embody the new regime of reflection and equality. This eminently

legible portrait has been identified as a likeness of René-​ Louis de Girardin—​nobleman, landscape architect, host to Rousseau in his final years, and passionate supporter of the Revolution. After 1789 Girardin served as an officer in the National Guard and was a member of the Jacobin club, converting his enthusiasm for nature into

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Figure 74  Jacques-​Louis David, Emilie Sériziat and Child, Salon of 1795. Oil on wood panel, 131 × 96 cm. rf1282, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

political activism. The landscape setting in the portrait holds together the various aspects of the sitter’s identity and grounds them in the unanswerable argument of nature.40 These reworkings of the portrait en chasseur were followed four years later by another variation on the same

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theme by no less a portraitist than David, who sent pendant portraits of his sister and brother-in-​law the Sériziats to the Salon of 1795 (figs. 74 and 75). Emilie Sériziat is depicted against a typical blank David portrait background, even if her flushed checks and bouquet of wildflowers suggest that she has just returned from a brisk

Figure 75  Jacques-​Louis David, Pierre Sériziat, Salon of 1795. Oil on wood panel, 131 × 96 cm. rf1281, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

walk in the countryside. The portrait of her husband, Pierre, on the other hand, is set in a cursory landscape.41 David, the great visual theorist of the Revolution, had never shown a particular interest in landscape painting. His evocation of the natural world in the Sériziat paintings, exceptional in his portrait production, demonstrates

the artist’s desire to reassert himself, post-​Thermidor and postimprisonment, as the leader of the French school. By capitalizing on the new interest in male portraiture in the landscape, David positioned himself once again at the forefront of the portrait market—​which in 1795 must have looked like the only lucrative path for a painter, even

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one of David’s reputation. Moreover, in the portrait of Pierre Sériziat, David explicitly associates the landscape with revolutionary subjectivity, emblematized by the tricolor cockade in Pierre’s hat.42 This portrait, executed and displayed immediately after the fall of Robespierre, proposes a model of masculine citizenship that associates nature, fatherhood (if we read it in tandem with the portrait of Emilie and their child), and patriotism. Such a model of citizenship is a large burden for one portrait to bear, and David’s image, by giving the actual landscape so little attention, arguably fails to mobilize all the pictorial elements that might have contributed to this image of post-​Thermidorian civic virtue. It was left to François Gérard, one of David’s most promising students, to consolidate this new mode of portraiture and make it speak effectively to the cultural and political needs of the revolutionary moment.43 Unlike Laneuville or the producers of the National Guard portraits, Gérard circulated in the highest circles of the Parisian art world, and his career is much better studied that those of most revolutionary portraitists. We thus have a fuller understanding of his ambitions as an artist and of his engagement with revolutionary aesthetic theory. Gérard entered David’s studio in 1786. A promising student of history painting, he placed second in the Prix de Rome competition of 1789. He never won the competition, but he did travel to Italy with his mother (herself Italian) after the death of his father. By 1791 he had returned to Paris to work with David and promote his own career. Upon the death of his mother in 1793, he married her sister (his aunt) and took on the responsibility of raising his younger brother. By the beginning of

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the Directory, Gérard’s career as a history painter seemed to be taking off. In 1795 his entry in the government’s much-​delayed competition for artworks with revolutionary themes, the Concours de l’An II, was awarded one of two first prizes. The resulting commission, a monumental painting titled The 10th of August, 1792, earned him an apartment and studio in the Louvre, but payment for the project was not forthcoming—​it was not until May 1797 that the artist saw even a fraction of the promised fee.44 Gérard needed ready money, both to finance work on The 10th of August and to support his family. One means to this end was his ongoing collaboration with David and Anne-​Louis Girodet on a set of illustrations for a luxury edition of Virgil, a project begun sometime in 1790 and completed only in 1798.45 These compositions speak to Gérard’s investment in the depiction of the landscape in the 1790s. Gérard was responsible for all of the illustrations of the Bucolics and the Georgics, which celebrate the relationship between humanity and the natural world. The engravings after his drawings give the landscape a great deal of compositional weight (fig. 76). The image accompanying the second eclogue of the Bucolics, for example, depicts an ephebe leaning against blocks of rough-​hewn stone in front of a large basin of water from which a stream trickles. The wooded landscape around the figure gives way in the background to rolling hills—​a setting that, in combination with the stone blocks and the trickling stream, strongly resembles that of the Revelliere-​Lépeaux portrait. Gérard continued to exploit the language of nature in his other post-​Thermidorian work. His well-​received entry in the Salon of 1795, Belisarius (known today through the

reduced 1797 version in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum), placed the wandering hero in a landscape based on studies executed in the forest of Montmorency (fig. 77). That Gérard was serious enough about landscape painting to work from life indicates its importance to his artistic vocabulary. The foreground of Belisarius, moreover, included detailed depictions of plants that demonstrate Gérard’s attention to botanical specificity. His equally popular Cupid and Psyche, shown at the Salon of 1798, featured the same rolling hillsides and clearly delineated vegetation in the foreground (fig. 78). For Gérard, the Revelliere-​Lépeaux portrait was part of a larger engagement with the depiction of the landscape. That Gérard’s experimentation found its fullest expression in a portrait is itself an indication of how the art world had changed since 1789. Portraiture was now central, both economically and ideologically, to the visual arts. It had taken on many of the tasks once performed by history painting: providing moral examples, defining heroism, and glorifying national history. It is thus not surprising that Gérard, one of the most promising history painters of his generation, chose portraiture as a means of rethinking what the imitation of nature meant for painting—​a question that was fundamental to late eighteenth-​century artistic practice. Portraiture not only addressed the central concerns of the Revolution; it also offered Gérard the opportunity to attract both public attention and private compensation. The Revelliere-​Lépeaux portrait was a key image in Gérard’s campaign to establish himself as a portraitist of the highest rank; it both associated the artist’s name with the most prominent political figure of the moment

Figure 76  Henri Marais, after François Gérard, Alexis, 1798. Engraving. Réserve des livres rares, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

and showed off his ability to paint a male sitter in the landscape, a mode of portraiture that had recently been thrust into the spotlight. That his friend and rival Girodet had just completed a spectacular portrait of the former representative of Saint Domingue, Jean-​Baptiste Belley, in which landscape played an important role, was

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Figure 77  François Gérard, Belisarius, 1797. Oil on canvas, 91.8 × 72.5 cm. Inv. 5005.1, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

no doubt a further incentive for Gérard to distinguish himself in this genre.46 Gérard’s solution to the problem of landscape portraiture owes a certain formal and conceptual debt to David and, more overtly, to Prud’hon. Revelliere-​Lépeaux is seated on a roughly hewn stone in a pose equivalent to that of David’s and Prud’hon’s models, wearing the same two-​tone leather boots with side ties (clearly an

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indispensable accessory for the fashionable man of the 1790s), abundant neck linen, and cut-​away frac as his predecessors. Like David’s and Prud’hon’s sitters, Revelliere-​ Lépeaux holds an object in each of his hands. The blocks of stone, the tumbling fountain, and the winding road of the Gérard portrait serve roughly the same function as the pedestal, urn, and sailboats of the Prud’hon image—​ they introduce traces of civilization into the landscape

Figure 78  François Gérard, Cupid and Psyche, Salon of 1798. Oil on canvas, 186 × 132 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris.

and suggest the means by which the sitter interacts with nature. Finally, Revelliere-​Lépeaux, like the earlier sitters, makes direct eye contact with the viewer, establishing a link of camaraderie that is reinforced by the informality of the seated pose.

The tenor of the relationship between the sitter and the landscape in Gérard’s portrait, however, represents a departure from earlier examples. David, Prud’hon, and the painter of the Girardin portrait maintain the formal and ideological trappings of the traditional

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portrait en chasseur, in which the male sitter, with a gun in his hand and a dog at his side, dominates nature. This persona is both aggressive and possessive—​he who kills the game is understood to control the land over which it ranges. The sitter-as-​hunter usually dominates the landscape formally as well, pressed up against the picture plane and looming over a landscape with a low horizon line. By the 1790s this model of portraiture had certainly been modified, but the basic formal aspects persisted. Girardin caresses a dog, and both Pierre Sériziat and Prud’hon’s sitter are equipped with gloves and riding crops, accessories that imply, if not the hunt, at least riding, an activity linked to an aristocratic or pseudo-​ aristocratic identity. Moreover, all three artists, and particularly David, still place their sitters firmly in the foreground (an impression heightened by the fact that both portraits are three-​quarter rather than full-​length) in landscapes that drop off rapidly, giving the impression that the sitter is located on a high promontory. Gérard’s portrait revises these formal conventions and thus tweaks their ideological import. The bouquet of flowers and the book substitute for the gloves, whip, and dog. Indeed, Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s flowers replace the virility of the hunt with a kind of immersion in nature associated more with women, at least in contemporary portraiture. We have already seen a similar bouquet in the hands of Labille-​Guiard’s Madame Victoire and David’s Emilie Sériziat. Gérard’s portrait of Revelliere-​ Lépeaux suggests a new kind of masculinity, defined by the appreciation, contemplation, and classification of nature rather than its forcible conquest and destruction. This definition of manhood, rational but also sensible,

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harmonizes with revolutionary ideals of personal transparency and social equality. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s nonaggressive demeanor, moreover, assures the viewer that his version of transparency and equality has been purged of Jacobin excess. He is “in representation”—​a state he professed to hate—​but the face he puts on political agency is more akin to the Levachez deputy portraits of the early years of the Revolution than that of his colleague Letourneur in his 1798 portrait, or of Louis XVI, Letourneur’s not so distant model. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s pose and address to the viewer, in fact, are oddly similar to those of Thérésia Cabarrus in her 1796 prison portrait. Cabarrus’s portrait uses her passive pose and mild expression to temper its suggestions about her political engagement. The director’s portrait uses similar strategies of indirection. The difference between the ways in which portraiture constructs male and female agency, however, is crucial. The Revolution had no desire for a new kind of femininity; indeed, its ideal was based on women’s “natural” role as wife and mother. In order to present herself as a political subject, Cabarrus and her portraitist had to pay lip service to the conventions of female portraiture. The Revolution was, however, heavily invested in making new men. Revelliere-​ Lépeaux and Gérard felt authorized to borrow from many different modes of painting, even female portraiture, to propose new ideas about masculinity, political authority, and portraiture itself. Ewa Lajer-​Burcharth has suggested that republican masculinity suffered a debilitating crisis after the fall of the Jacobins and the “autonomous, impermeable, emotionally restrained manliness” that constituted their ideal self.47 Lajer-​Burcharth

argues that the psychic trauma of the Terror and the cultural visibility of women like Lange and Cabarrus after Thermidor destabilized gender divisions and challenged the masculine ideal of citizenship.48 Careful study of pre-​Thermidorian portraiture, however, indicates that male citizenship was always a more capacious category than Lajer-​Burcharth suggests; indeed, it was constructed around an ideal of openness, transparency, and emotionally unrestricted communication between citizens. Gérard’s portrait of Revelliere-​Lépeaux, marked as it is by the will to overcome what Lajer-​Burcharth calls the “trauma” of the Terror, nonetheless resuscitates pre-​Thermidorian ideals and repackages them in the trappings of nature to create a male citizen for the Directory—​one neither debilitated nor in crisis but ideally suited to lead a rational, moderate republic. To be an homme sensible during the Revolution was not to be feminized but rather to inhabit fully the masculine ideals of fraternity and equality. This revolutionary reformulation of masculinity is reinforced by the physical relationship of Revelliere-​ Lépeaux to the landscape. By choosing a full-​length pose, Gérard automatically reduced the compositional dominance of his sitter, who recedes from the viewer into the background. Moreover, Revelliere-​Lépeaux, unlike earlier sitters, is seated at the bottom of a hill rather than at its summit; as a result, his body is almost entirely encompassed by the rising ground behind him. Gérard’s portrait identifies Revelliere-​Lépeaux with the landscape, in the strongest sense of the word; the director’s stable, pyramidal pose, contrasted with the nervous energy of Sériziat or the elongated elegance of Prud’hon’s sitter,

rhymes with the permanence of the blocks of stone and the hill itself. The relationship between man and nature is central to the portrait’s proposals about masculinity and politics. Gérard’s composition evokes almost all of the practices and values associated with nature in the second half of the eighteenth century: the natural sciences, intellectual and moral improvement, friendship and familial love, and, encompassing all of these concerns, the discourse of sensibility. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, with his copy of Linnaeus in one hand and his botanical specimen in the other, is portrayed as a man who observes and learns from nature. The landscape in which he is seated is not clearly a garden, nor is it entirely a wilderness—​it is the kind of countryside, marked but not dominated by man, that garden treatises evoked as the ideal rural retreat. Revelliere-​Lépeaux is shown engaged in the contemplation of nature, an activity that was thought to lead both to self-​knowledge and to better understanding of social and political problems. Solitary though he is, Revelliere-​ Lépeaux’s direct gaze, along with his casual pose, costume, and hairstyle, solicits an intimacy with the viewer entirely consonant with the friendship and familial love that contact with nature was supposed to foster. It is almost as if Revelliere-​Lépeaux is posing en Rousseau instead of en chasseur, taking on the attributes of the patron saint of nature and emotion. The director’s political ideology, like that of most revolutionaries, was deeply influenced by Rousseau; in one 1795 pamphlet, Revelliere-​Lépeaux calls him “the true apostle of liberty and of virtue.”49 The Gérard portrait not only depicts Revelliere-​Lépeaux with Linnaeus in hand, as ardent a

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reader of the Philosophia botanica as Rousseau himself; it also situates the director in the valley of Montmorency, a landscape associated with Rousseau and some of his most important writings. The director’s natural hair and casual dress contribute to an air of informality and egalitarianism that Rousseau himself worked hard to cultivate, as in the famous passage in the Reveries in which he describes his retreat from the temptations and vanities of urban life by listing all the accessories he renounced: sword, watch, white stockings, gold embroidery, elaborate wig.50 As we saw in chapter 2, sartorial simplicity was endowed with political significance in the first years of the Revolution. Here, Revelliere-​Lépeaux, formerly a vehement opponent of the Estates-​General costumes, presents himself resolutely uncoiffed, his lank dark hair a guarantee of his sincerity. In posing for a portrait in the guise of Rousseau, Revelliere-​Lépeaux becomes l’ami Jean-​Jacques, the one Enlightenment thinker consistently revered by the French revolutionaries.

Nature in Revolution At no time in the eighteenth century were Rousseau’s ideas about nature and society more current than during the Revolution. Revelliere-​Lépeaux himself made the case for the connection between the study of the natural sciences and the thirst for liberty in a 1791 pamphlet defending the utility of the Angers botanical garden. Following Rousseau’s line of argument in his famous Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences, Revelliere-​Lépeaux condemned literature and the arts as

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fostering laziness and luxury. The hard sciences and natural history, by contrast, encouraged those who studied them to seek the truth and publicly support it. “They are therefore more favorable to the establishment and the preservation of liberty, liberty that primary goal toward which all our eyes must be turned.”51 Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s conviction that the botanical garden would foster the love of liberty in the hearts of citizens reflects a larger revolutionary faith in nature. Revelliere-​Lépeaux and his compatriots were fervent in their belief that the new political order they were building was essentially natural, and thus essentially good. Nature served the Revolution as both a justification for political change and a program for social reform. Indeed, as Spary argues, nature served throughout the Revolution as a new kind of authority that could be used to counter older religious and political arguments justifying the status quo.52 Nature was considered the source of all good, from political rights to moral virtue, two closely related revolutionary concepts. France needed only to return to what was “natural” in order to forge a prosperous republic.53 This faith in nature was a pillar of revolutionary rhetoric; in his public address at the Festival of Unity and Indivisibility on August 10, 1793, Marie-​Jean Hérault de Séchelles, in his capacity as president of the Convention, apostrophized nature as the source of republicanism: “It is in your bosom, it is in your sacred sources that [this people] has recovered its rights, that it has regenerated itself. After having traversed so many centuries of error and servitude, it was necessary to return to the simplicity of your paths in order to recover liberty and equality. Oh Nature! Receive the

French people’s expression of their eternal devotion to your laws.”54 Or, as Saint-​Just put it, using fewer words, “He who does not believe in Nature cannot love his country.”55 Hérault de Séchelles’s simple paths and sacred sources are literalized in Gérard’s portrait of Revelliere-​ Lépeaux; the director is seated at a spring, and a winding path ascends the hill behind him. Both the Jacobin political rhetoric and the Directory-​era portrait depend on nature’s ability to represent liberty and equality in a language that transcends factionalism and political violence. Indeed, the benevolence of nature was a credo that the Directory could safely salvage from the radical Revolution at a moment when so many other signs of republicanism were contaminated by the memory of the Terror. Nature was benign, logically ordered, enduring, a source of material and philosophical sustenance—​everything, in fact, to which the Directory government itself aspired. This recourse to nature, both before and after Thermidor, occurred in a wide range of cultural and political debates. The “natural rights” of man, a concept elaborated in the political writings of Locke and further refined by Rousseau and other eighteenth-​century thinkers, were enshrined almost immediately by the revolutionaries in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of August 1789.56 The first sentence of the declaration states that the representatives of the people “have resolved to expose in a solemn declaration, the natural, inalienable, sacred rights of man,” while article 1 affirms that “men are born and remain free and equal in rights.”57 Thus nature—​not the monarchy or the church—​was proclaimed the source of political and civil rights, and nature, thanks to the scientific and sentimental culture of the

eighteenth century, was understood as universally legible and morally good. This faith in the connection between nature and politics, in fact, contributed to the moral inflexibility of radical republicanism. If the political order was natural, then any resistance to it was unnatural and thus subject to punishment.58 The post-1789 regime also drew on the natural world for its political imagery. For instance, one of the most important symbols of the Revolution was the “liberty tree,” a living tree that was ceremoniously planted in towns and villages across France to represent the regeneration of the French people. According to Mona Ozouf, who includes a magisterial analysis of the liberty tree in her study Festivals and the French Revolution, this symbol was chosen for its universality, its immediate, “sensible” appeal to its viewers, and its longevity.59 The tree also assimilated the Revolution to the rhythms of nature, justifying political change by linking it to a fundamentally “natural” kind of growth. Revolutionary festivals, which Ozouf also analyzes, incorporated a whole range of natural elements in their attempts to unify and educate the population. A painting by Pierre-​Antoine Demachy depicting the Paris décor of the Festival of the Supreme Being, which took place in June 1794, just before the fall of Robespierre, shows how objects in nature were deployed in the service of the republic (fig. 79). The centerpiece of the depicted ceremony is an artificial mountain crowned with a liberty tree, which itself is crowned by a liberty bonnet. At the foot of the mountain, a cart drawn by oxen supports another liberty tree, symbols of natural abundance such as the wheat sheaf, and a female figure personifying liberty.60 The celebration

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of republican virtues was indeed a celebration of nature; as Robespierre described it in a report to the Convention, “The true priest of the Supreme Being is nature, his temple the universe, his rite virtue, his festivals the joy of a great people assembled before our eyes to tighten the sweet bonds of universal fraternity and to offer him the homage of pure and sensible hearts.”61 Robespierre’s cult of the Supreme Being is often held up as an example of Jacobin excess, but the idea of a

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“natural religion” was widespread during the Revolution. As Revelliere-​Lépeaux, himself vehemently anti-​Catholic, declared in his memoirs, “I cannot therefore acknowledge any religion to be true and useful except that which is commonly called natural religion, because it alone is in accordance with reason, and because it alone offers a solid base for public and private morality.”62 Natural religion reached its apogee during the Directory with the appearance of the movement known as Theophilanthropy.63

Figure 79  Pierre-​Antoine Demachy, Festival of the Supreme Being, n.d. [ca. 1794]. Oil on canvas, 53.5 × 88.5 cm. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

Beginning in 1797, Theophilanthropic worship services began to pop up in Paris and elsewhere in France. The adoration of nature was central to the new religion’s rites. Prayers were addressed to the “Père de la nature,” and suggested readings included a meditation on “la loi naturelle” and writings on the beauties of nature such as “Contemplation de la nature dans les premiers jours du printemps” (Contemplation of nature in the first days of spring).64 This new natural religion fostered devotion to the nation as well as reverence toward nature. It is not surprising, then, that the government subsidized Theophilanthropic publications and allotted worshippers space in many Paris churches. Revelliere-​Lépeaux was among the religion’s most fervent governmental advocates. In May 1797, just a few months after the first official Theophilanthropic meetings (and shortly before Gérard started work on his portrait), Revelliere-​Lépeaux read to the Institut national a discourse titled “Réflexions sur le culte, sur les cérémonies civiles et sur les fêtes nationales,” which endorsed the principles of Theophilanthropy.65 Thereafter, Revelliere-​Lépeaux became the government interlocutor for the Theophilanthropes, meeting with their leaders and promoting their cause.66 Indeed, Revelliere-​ Lépeaux was so closely associated in the public mind with the new religion (despite having never attended worship services) that he was caricatured in the French as well as the foreign press as the “Pope of Theophilanthropy.” In the most elaborate of these caricatures, by the English satirist James Gillray, Revelliere-​Lépeaux (identified in the accompanying text and marked out visually by his deformed back) appears as a high priest preaching

to a crowd of fawning pro-​Jacobin English journalists (figs. 80a–b). On the altar behind him stand three statues representing Justice, Philanthropy, and Sensibility, the last clutching a volume labeled “Rousseau.” The English press, as well as various French detractors, may have seen the director as the ringleader of a Jacobin cult, but in fact Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s official support for the Theophilanthropists was short-​lived. Despite the growing popularity of “natural religion,” the government cut off support to the group in the spring of 1798 because of its real or imagined ties to radical republicanism.67 Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s advocacy of natural religion in the service of the nation was not his only intervention in the revolutionary discourse on nature. He also produced a proposal for a national pantheon that combined the eighteenth-​century enthusiasm for contemplative gardens with the cult of the great man. In November 1797 Revelliere-​Lépeaux published a proposal titled Du Panthéon et d’un Théatre National, which described two cultural projects aimed at reinforcing patriotism and public morality. The first part of the proposal, which discussed how best to honor the great men of France, was couched in the language of earlier gardening treatises that associated the landscape with moral improvement. Revelliere-​ Lépeaux’s proposed pantheon, unlike the existing site in the middle of Paris, made nature an essential element of the act of commemoration. “The idea of concentrating the fame of the best and greatest citizens in one building,” he argued, “and in the middle of the city, is indeed narrow-​minded. It is under the vault of the heavens, in the midst of the majesty of the forests, in their vast and somber windings—​in a word, in a picturesque, varied,

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Figure 80a  James Gillray, New Morality, or The Promis’d Installment of the High-​Priest of the Philanthropes, with the Homage of Leviathan and His Suite, 1798. Hand-​colored etching, 27.4 × 62 cm. Published in the Anti-​Jacobin Review and Magazine (London), July 1798, p. 114. British Museum, London. Figure 80b  Gillray, New Morality, 1798 (detail). British Museum, London.

and tranquil enclosure—​that those whose names are destined to be constantly present in the memory of men should rest.” He suggested a suburban site for this “Elysée national,” remarking that its natural features would make it easy to redesign the land in the “genre romantique.” “This

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location also has the advantage of distance; it is far enough away from Paris so that the National Elysium does not become a meeting place for loafers or dissipated and corrupt people; however, it is not so far away that citizens cannot, from time to time, in its winding paths and under

its domes of greenery, warm their souls with the love of virtue and of the republic by remembering those who were its models.”68 Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s project clearly revealed his distrust of the city and its population. His slightly hysterical reference to “dissipated and corrupt people” conjures up a vision of the motley crowd of speculators, journalists, radicals, and prostitutes that populated Parisian sites like the Palais-​Royal, and also an anti-​Jacobin distaste for the celebrations surrounding the “pantheonization” of Jean-​ Paul Marat, hero of the Terror. But the plan for a pastoral pantheon also bears witness to his firm belief in the correlation between the landscape and virtuous patriotism. In his proposal, citizens wander in a picturesque garden dotted with monuments to the great men of France. There they experience the kind of contemplation and moral improvement that Girardin described in his treatise. The idea of an “Elysée national” even makes reference to the garden in Rousseau’s Julie. Now, however, the landscape is explicitly associated with national glory and republican virtue. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, like so many other revolutionary thinkers, fervently believed that the landscape could be transformed into a theater for political education. If, as Revelliere-​Lépeaux and his fellow revolutionaries thought, nature was the source of republican morality, the director’s choice to be portrayed in the landscape becomes all the more significant. His physical harmony with nature, his contemplative pose, his scientific activity, the irregular landscape and winding path behind him—​ every aspect of the portrait evokes the revolutionary faith in nature as the guarantor of equality, morality, and happiness. Gérard’s portrait presents a vision of nature that, as Revelliere-​Lépeaux said of “natural religion,” forms a

“solid base for public and private morality.” The director’s level gaze, his slight smile, and the open pose of his body invite viewers to share his experience of nature and to profit from it—​indeed, to “warm their souls with the love of virtue and of the republic by remembering those who were its models.” It is the natural setting itself that allows the portrait to foster this relationship between the director and his viewers. The very openness of Gérard’s landscape speaks of liberty and equality—​the wooded hillside displays itself to the eye of the viewer without the constraints of walls, terraces, or allées. Even before the Revolution, the new style of landscape design had been understood as a symbol of a new social and political order, tearing down the walls of feudal authority in favor of relationships constructed around friendship and egalitarian sociability.69 As one author, writing in 1784 about the most notable gardens of the valley of Montmorency, put it, “soon we will have the satisfaction of only seeing one garden in France; then we will hardly be able to conceive of the idea that man, born free, born with the horror of slavery, had in the past taken pleasure in shutting himself up in the middle of his estates, as one shuts up a criminal in prison.”70 The landscape in which Revelliere-​Lépeaux sits is just this kind of open space, a space that fosters freedom and knowledge, both of the natural world and of the self. In Gérard’s portrait, the director is part of that “one garden,” a France liberated from the constraints of the ancien régime and available for revolutionary cultivation. Gérard’s portrait of Revelliere-​Lépeaux shows the director as a private citizen, engaged not in governmental

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affairs but rather in private meditation on the wonders of the natural world. In the world of revolutionary politics, however, private life and public duty were not so easily separated. Gérard and Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s mobilization of revolutionary discourses of nature, and of the persona of the homme sensible, in fact encourages the viewer to read the portrait as a political statement. Sensibility was a mode of subjectivity based on the most personal, and bodily, responses to the outside world. But it also required that the subject empathize with other people and participate in collective emotion. Revelliere-​ Lépeaux’s sensibility, like that of a character in a Rousseau novel (or indeed of Rousseau himself ), is demonstrated by his harmony with nature. That harmony is expressed in the portrait both formally, by the integration of the figure in the landscape, and symbolically, by Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s bouquet and botany treatise, which indicate not only his receptivity to the natural world but also his understanding of it. The portrait marshals late eighteenth-​century and revolutionary ideas about nature in order to formulate an homme sensible for the renewed republic—​learned but without pretension, receptive to nature (the source of political and moral good) but also to humanity. In combining the language of sensibility and revolution, Gérard was entirely in step with the revolutionary political project. In many ways, the guiding ideals of the Revolution—​equality, transparency, universality—​were natural extensions of the cult of sensibility. The revolutionaries themselves were products of an eighteenth-​ century education saturated by theories of physical and moral sensibility, from the lofty heights of the

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Encyclopédie to the more prosaic narratives of sentimental novels.71 The rhetoric of sensibility was deployed by the whole spectrum of political factions to advance their arguments. Sensibility, however, was a double-​edged political sword, and radical republicans were particularly aware of how a naturally sensible people might be led astray from the difficult task of preserving the nation. Urging severity at the trial of Louis XVI, Robespierre himself acknowledged the dangers of sensibility, or rather the dangers of its misapplication: “the ultimate proof of devotion which the representatives of the people owe to the fatherland [la patrie] is to sacrifice these first stirrings of natural sensibility for the salvation of a great people and of an oppressed humanity. The weak sensibility which sacrifices innocence to crime is a cruel sensibility; clemency which colludes with tyranny is barbarous.”72 Robespierre warns against “weak” and “cruel” sensibility but acknowledges that sensibility itself is “natural.” He calls on the deputies to be less sensible to the fate of the monarch and more sensible to the sufferings of the French people, victimized by tyranny. This is a less a call for the suppression of sensibility than for its universalization; the deputies need to feel the suffering not of one particular person but of the largest possible number of people. A politician who has his portrait painted as an homme sensible, immersed in that nature from which political rights and moral leadership spring, is making a political argument. Gérard’s portrait, by extolling Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s personal virtues, also lauds his civic virtues. Robespierre drove a wedge between personal sensibility and “national” sensibility; the portrait of

Revelliere-​Lépeaux attempted to make them whole again, in the person of a new leader, neither king nor terrorist. What are the characteristics of this version of political power? It is anticeremonial, stripped of the pomp and frills of Desoria’s portrait of the director Letourneur, embodied not in silk stockings and with swelling chest but in Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s undisguised physical frailty. It is expressed in egalitarian terms—​the director is depicted not standing beside a table laden with the symbols of office but seated on a chipped stone block with his feet in the dirt. It is rational, based on observation and bolstered by scholarship. It is stable and contemplative. And, finally, it is natural, springing from the earth and in harmony with its order. This vision of political power is very much in tune with Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s own governmental priorities and with the Directory’s policies. Revelliere-​Lépeaux had built his political career on the advocacy of equality combined with the suspicion of concentrated executive power. As one of the architects of the constitution of 1795, he helped replace what was perceived as a Jacobin dictatorship with a diffuse and frequently renewed five-​ person executive body. Gérard’s image of the citizen-​ director, for whom political leadership was only a temporary, and even a secondary, identity, helped promote the concept of rotating leadership; any man could rule, and the ruler remained a benign everyman. As Revelliere-​ Lépeaux himself wrote in an executive proclamation in the late summer of 1797, in the wake of the suppression of the newly elected royalist deputies, “The universal right to the highest positions of the State is the first clause of the pact of equality. No distinction based on birth or

privilege; only merit is honored; necessary motivation in order to raise men up to formulate great thoughts and to attempt great things.”73 In practice, this right to the highest positions of the state was something less than universal. Revelliere-​Lépeaux himself helped institute an electoral system that offered the vote only to men with sufficient property; indeed, he actively undermined the principle of free elections by arresting deputies whose politics he found dangerous. In his own portrait, however, Revelliere-​Lépeaux chose to embody the principle rather than the reality. His image declared that the right to political power belonged to everyone, and that equality was the necessary condition for greatness. The portrait itself hints at the elevation of the humble—Revelliere-​ Lépeaux’s modest pose can also be read as the memorialization of a new kind of grand homme, a living statue of a representative of the people installed on a monumental plinth. The portrait also embodies, less directly but just as surely as Laneuville’s portrait of the citoyenne Tallien, the Directory’s ambivalent relationship with its Jacobin past. On one hand, the specter of Robespierre, and the threat of a renewed radical republicanism, haunted the Directory. The image of Revelliere-​Lépeaux, with its emphasis on rationality and contemplation, is in many ways the portrait of an anti-​Robespierre. It promises a republican consensus built on empathy and deliberation rather than unanimity enforced by the instantaneous justice of the Terror. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s simplicity of dress, and address, serves as the emblem of the “pact of equality.” In this way, the portrait recalls an earlier, and equally tenuous, vision of political leadership during the early

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Revolution, embodied by the Levachez deputy prints. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s image thus returns us to the recent political past, to a moment before the Revolution went wrong. On the other hand, the Directory considered itself the guarantor of revolutionary values that had, at least in part, been articulated during the radical stage of the Revolution. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s portrait can be read as recouping some of the themes and strategies of Jacobin imagery. After all, David’s Death of Marat also stresses the simplicity of dress and physical vulnerability of a man understood to represent the nation. The director presents

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himself as a revised and corrected model of republican virtue—​a new Incorruptible or Friend of the People. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, who had lost a brother to the Terror and been forced to flee Paris under threat of execution, was known during the Directory as an advocate of reconciliation; his portrait similarly strives to unite a multitude of arguments for republicanism after the Terror. Gérard’s portrait—​in the face of factional strife, violations of the constitution, and war abroad—​is a picture of how the ideal executive should represent the general will: directly, fraternally, rationally, sensibly, and, above all, naturally.


  duty and happiness

The inventiveness of revolutionary portraiture is nowhere more clearly on display than in family portraiture. A family portrait necessarily entails a more elaborate composition and narrative structure than even the most creative single-​figure image, providing an opportunity for a commissioner and an artist to make an unusually articulate and complete statement of their personal ambitions and political allegiances. It would be difficult to find a more ambitious patron than the industrialist François-​Bernard Boyer-​Fonfrède, who decided in 1795 to commemorate his financial and social success with a large family portrait (fig. 81). Boyer-​Fonfrède chose an equally ambitious portraitist: François-​André Vincent, whose career as one of France’s foremost history painters had been stymied after 1789 by the paucity of commissions and the political and artistic dominance of his rival David. Vincent’s portrait of the Boyer-​Fonfrède family, initially conceived in 1795, was completed in 1801. Its conception and execution thus span the Directory and early Consulate. On the surface, the Boyer-​Fonfrède portrait is the very picture of domestic happiness. The scale of the canvas (253 by 166 cm) impresses that happiness forcefully on the viewer. The figures are tightly grouped in the lower two-​thirds of the canvas; the mother, father, and older child are all depicted in profile or near profile.

The columns that create a niche at the back of the space and the baldachin suspended from the ceiling indicate that the space pictured is a bedroom. The elegance of the interior, as well as the restrained luxury of its furnishings, both lends an air of Greco-​Roman monumentality and signals the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes’ modishness—​the room is decorated in the height of fashion, down to its classicizing firedog. The details of this décor are meticulously rendered, with particular attention to the tactile property of different materials—​the gleaming marble flooring, for instance, reflects the sofa leg that rests on it, and Vincent’s signature, which reads “Vincent a Paris L’an 1801,” is carefully incised in the vertical support of the mantel. The chestnut-​colored marble columns in the upper left corner and the rich red fabric covering the walls close off the top half of the composition and focus attention on the family group below, and particularly on the brilliantly lit white-​clad figure of the mother. Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède, seated on a bright red sofa, cradles an infant resting on a pillow in her right arm and reaches out to touch the face of the older child with her left hand. Her body is turned in three-​quarter view; her right breast, framed by the infant’s head and arm, is bared. Madame Boyer-​Fonfrède’s costume is a hybrid of fashionable dress à la grecque and a more abstract

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Figure 81  François-​André Vincent, The Boyer-​Fonfrède Family, 1801. Oil on canvas, 253 × 166 cm. mv 4788, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles.

version of classical drapery. The heavy cascades of fabric that pool on the floor near the sofa’s front-​most leg are echoed by the drape of the white and gold cashmere shawl that frames the figure’s Junoesque shoulders and chest. She wears a classically inspired turbanlike headdress with a gold filet over her dark curls. Madame Boyer-​Fonfrède’s likeness hovers between Consulate society woman and Roman matron; her physiognomy seems fairly specific, but the profile view of her face schematizes her features and reinforces the classical analogy. The figure of François-​Bernard Boyer-​Fonfrède bends toward her from the right. His bottle-​green coat, abundant white neck linen, tight dark pants, and high boots are resolutely contemporary, and his face is more individualized than his wife’s. Both of his hands support his naked child, who stretches out his own hands toward the mother’s face, giving the impression of dynamic forward motion, almost flight. The child’s startling nakedness simultaneously references classical putti and Rousseauian methods of natural child rearing, allusions that seem incongruous amid all this civilized luxury.1 The tangle of hands and the exchange of touches are very dense at the center of the painting: the baby touches the mother, the mother touches the child, the child’s hands reach toward and frame the mother’s face, and the father’s hands touch the child. The downward-​curving line formed by the profiles of the three central faces, the gestures of the father and children, the swoop of the baldachin fabric, and the vertical of the column all draw the viewer’s attention to the mother. The baby grasps a band of material that runs across her chest, separating her bare breast from the flesh of her neck and face. The roundness

of the baby’s head further emphasizes the volume of the breast. Even the dog directs its gaze, and the attention of the viewer, toward Madame Boyer-​Fonfrède, or more precisely toward the convergence of the baby’s head and her breast. Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède is constituted by her motherhood; the shape of the baby is subsumed by the outlines of her body, as if an extension of her own flesh. The portrait evokes family sentiment, but it just as surely (perhaps even more surely) evokes wealth. Vincent’s vivid rendering of luxury goods like the firedog and the pot of narcissus, emphasized by their proximity to the central figure of the mother, demands almost as much attention as the interaction between the family members. The peculiar composition of the portrait, with its generous allowance of space for the bed canopy and the polychrome marble columns, forces the viewer to consider those decorative elements, and the expanse of the domestic space itself, as part of the meaning of the portrait. The costumes also mark the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes as members of fashionable Parisian society. The cashmere shawl, for example, was a particularly visible status symbol; Boyer-​Fonfrède notes in one of his many legal documents that he paid two thousand francs for one of his wife’s shawls—​far more than the average price of a portrait.2 The emphasis on material goods, the valorization of maternity and paternity, the tight family unit in the private interior—​Vincent’s composition gives us no sense of a world outside this domestic interior, no hint that the father has occupations other than at the foot of his wife’s sofa. The closed-​off interior is not a semipublic living or reception space, with doors leading to and from it, but

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a fabric-​swaddled and windowless bedroom. The focus on Madame Boyer-​Fonfrède’s bare breast emphatically reinforces gender roles within the family—​the contrast between the woman’s open neckline and the man’s abundantly draped chest drives the difference home. What ought to be the image of a happy family in fact has a certain strained didactic quality. The poses and gestures of the four figures are formal and frozen, as if they were acting out roles in one of the family dramas popular in late eighteenth-​century theater. This impression is reinforced by the crystalline paint application and the sharpness of the figures’ outlines, which makes them pop out of the background like paper silhouettes. Moreover, the amount of canvas devoted to the relatively featureless space of the room and the towering vertical of the columns counteracts the intimacy conveyed by the family’s tender gestures. The portrait feels more like an official revolutionary injunction about the importance of the family than an image of a particular group of individuals; portraiture seems to cede to propaganda. Vincent’s oddly stilted image betrays, by its very awkwardness, the ideological and artistic difficulties inherent in picturing the revolutionary family. The family was universally understood to be a model of society, and the nature of the relationships it fostered was thought to be crucial to the revolutionary project. As Revelliere-​ Lépeaux, whose own political sentiments were inseparable from his domestic life, put it (in typically Rousseauian terms), “It is only . . . by concentrating in the heart of man all of the familial affections that, following the expression of the citizen of Geneva, you will give him

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this exclusive passion for the fatherland [la patrie].”3 The cultural emphasis placed on the family perforce lent any family portrait a meaning beyond the merely personal. Artists and commissioners engaged in the production of family portraiture also participated in the Revolution’s reformulation of social class, the education of children, and the relationship between men and women. The use of the family as a metaphor for the social order was certainly not new to the Revolution. Throughout the ancien régime, the family was understood as the model of, and indeed the cradle of, society—​the king was the father of his people, and every father ruled as a king within his own family.4 However, perhaps because it had been so fundamental to the construction of the monarchical state, the family was subjected to even closer scrutiny during the Revolution. Family portraits also make pointed arguments about gender and class. As we saw in chapter 4, the role of women in political and social life was a matter of heated debate after 1789. Almost all family portraits include adult women and thus make propositions about what constitutes appropriate behavior for women within the family and, by analogy, in the larger social sphere. Family portraits also helped define revolutionary masculinity. As the examples of Revelliere-​ Lépeaux and the Hauer and Descarsin National Guard portraits demonstrate, marriage and fatherhood were central to the formation of the male self and the definition of citizenship. A man’s identity, as much as a woman’s, was bound up in his relationship to his family, and many portraits figured men as both loving fathers and husbands and politically active citizens. Images of the

family also treated issues of property and class in the new republic. Only well-to-​do commissioners could afford family portraits, which were more expensive than single-​ figure likenesses. Different patrons and artists, however, adopted different approaches to the display of wealth within the portrait itself. Some images efface the signs of wealth in favor of a pared-​down examination of a family’s emotional bonds. Others, like the Boyer-​Fonfrède portrait, go to great lengths to inscribe the markers of financial success within a narrative of revolutionary virtue, attempting to invent a class identity that somehow transcends the ancien régime society of orders in favor of a new republican prosperity. In each case, portraiture struggled to rework its conventions to respond to the pressures of political and social change. Many commissioners and artists used portraiture to stake a claim in the clamorous debates about family and society during the Revolution, but few images were as ambitious as the portrait of the Boyer-​Fonfrède family. In fact, the 1801 portrait is only one of many portraits that François-​André Vincent executed of the Boyer-​ Fonfrèdes. Artist and commissioner used the conventions of family portraiture to create an entirely new kind of revolutionary painting, marshaling many of the artistic and political strategies generated around the problem of the family during this period. Vincent’s images of the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes incorporate the innovations of the revolutionary period but also attempt to reimpose ideological and stylistic order on the French family. This imposition of order, as we will see, closely paralleled the efforts of the Directory and Consulate to end the Revolution.

Portraiture and the Family Under the Ancien Régime Both the structure and the popular perception of French family life were changing in the late eighteenth century. The monarchy’s battle with the church to gain legal authority over marriage rites, as well as the promotion of individual liberty and sentiment by Enlightenment thinkers, transformed concepts of the family. By the 1780s, marriage was no longer understood primarily as a contract intended to advance the partners’ social and economic interests, but rather (in its ideal form) as an emotional bond formed in order to promote the happiness of the spouses, based on sentiment and the equality of family members.5 Family portraiture participated in this shift. Early eighteenth-​century portraits, such as a 1721 portrait of an anonymous family by Robert Levrac-​Tournières, generally visualized the family group as a collection of emotionally and spatially independent figures, bound together primarily by pointing fingers and arranged in vague and obviously imaginary interiors or landscapes (fig. 82). As the century progressed, family portraits moved toward a more relaxed and intimate vision of family life. The 1780s in particular saw an increasing emphasis in portraiture on physical and emotional tenderness between married couples, and between parents and children. Artists such as Nicolas-​Bernard Lépicié, Danloux, and Boilly made a specialty of easel-​size anecdotal family scenes that emphasized the domestic virtues. This small-​scale format was financially accessible for families

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of relatively moderate means, although it was also eagerly embraced by the upper echelons of court society.6 A portrait of Marc-​Étienne and Suzanne-​Sophie Quatremère and their two daughters, painted by Lépicié in 1780, exemplifies the happy family of the late ancien régime (fig. 83).7 This modest oval canvas, measuring only 53 by 62 centimeters, concentrates a wealth of sentiment (and markers of prosperity) in a small space. Marc-​Étienne Quatremère rests one hand affectionately

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on his wife’s shoulder and offers the other to his infant daughter. The older child, clutching a face-​down doll, is clasped between his knees. Husband and wife are dressed in informal morning gowns, reinforcing the feeling of intimacy. Their heads are almost on a level, and their bodies occupy the same amount of space; indeed, Madame Quatremère’s elaborate cap makes her figure into the apex of this familial pyramid. The portrait is particularly emphatic about Monsieur Quatremère’s

emotional investment in fatherhood—​the circuit created by his outstretched hand, his infant daughter’s tiny fingers grasping his thumb, and his wife’s hands cradling the baby is the focal point of the composition. The portrait, like Vincent’s picture of the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes, signals wealth as well as intimacy. Lépicié’s brush labored over

Figure 82 (opposite)  Robert Levrac-​ Tournières, Portrait of a Family in an Interior, 1721. Oil on canvas, 89.3 × 124.2 cm. Inv. 720, Musée des beaux-​arts, Nantes. Figure 83  Nicolas-​Bernard Lépicié, Marc-​ Étienne Quatremère and Family, 1780. Oil on canvas, 53 × 62 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris.

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the glistening silk of Monsieur Quatremère’s dressing gown and the polished surface of the silver chocolate pot. Quatremère was a wealthy Parisian merchant whose family had recently been ennobled; he would become one of Paris’s first municipal officers after 1789. The portrait he and his family commissioned speaks to the popularity of the notions of companionate marriage and engaged child rearing among French elites. The look of family portraiture at the end of the eighteenth century depended not only on new conceptions of self and society but also on the conditions of artistic practice. As we saw in chapter 1, the portrait process involved a complicated negotiation between artist and commissioner. Family portraits, with their complex compositions and multiple sitters, compounded the challenges of this collaboration. Few artists had the opportunity to paint more than a handful of family portraits, and such compositions were rarely hung at the Salon (one appeared at the Salon of 1787, none in 1789). The family portrait thus gave an artist a rare chance to showcase his or her powers of invention, and the sitters free rein to exercise their decision-​making capabilities. If portraitists had few works in their own oeuvre to serve as models for a family portrait, they were well provided with scenes of family life in other genres of painting. Since at least the middle of the century, French genre painting had made contemporary French family life its bread and butter. In the decades before the Revolution, these scenes became more and more emotionally and morally fraught. The phenomenal success of Jean-​ Baptiste Greuze’s family scenes, including The Village Bride (1761) and the pendants The Father’s Curse and

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The Punished Son (both 1777), sparked a critical and popular vogue for moralizing multifigure domestic scenes that foregrounded household dramas and tender sentiments. History painting also took up familial themes in the late eighteenth century. Many of the artists who answered the Royal Academy’s call for more serious and instructive painting in the 1770s and 1780s chose to portray exemplary virtue or courage within the confines of the family. The most famous example is David’s Oath of the Horatii (1784), but the family also takes center stage in Jean-François-​Pierre Peyron’s Funeral of Miltiades of 1780 (a son volunteers to take his father’s place in prison so that the father can have a proper burial), Vincent’s 1781 Intervention of the Sabine Women (women with their babies interpose themselves between their warring husbands and brothers/fathers), and Jean-​Simon Berthélemy’s 1785 Manlius Torquatus Condemning His Son to Death (a father condemns his son for violating the law). The multiplication of history and genre paintings on domestic themes helped popularize familial narratives among commissioners and provided artists with ready models, both formal and thematic, for family portraits.

Revolutionary Rhetoric and the Family The Revolution intensified the visual and rhetorical promotion of family sentiment. Familial ties became one of the most important metaphors for describing new relationships between citizens and between the individual and the nation, and family portraiture responded accordingly. Although the ideal of the patriarchal family

was challenged in the first few years of the Revolution by a language of brotherhood, the dream of family sentiment as the model for social unity never really died, even at the height of Jacobinism. This revolutionary vision of the family was more egalitarian than its ancien régime predecessor. Its members were bound together by love, and their mutual affection nurtured their patriotism.8 The first years of the Revolution saw the development of a discourse of individual liberty and equality at the expense of the authority of the father, both figuratively, in the body of the king, and literally, as the legal head of the family.9 Indeed, Lynn Hunt, in her classic study The Family Romance of the French Revolution, argues that the singular paternal authority of the king was replaced by the precarious fraternal rule of “the band of brothers”—​the new political class that made up the successive legislatures and committees between 1789 and 1794. Hunt argues that the failure to recast Louis XVI as the “good father” and his subsequent dethronement and execution made possible an ideal fatherless child, an individual liberated from familial authority and able to act freely, and heroically, for the good of the nation.10 Laws passed before Thermidor did indeed favor the liberty of individual family members, particularly women and children, at the expense of paternal authority. The most radical expression of this pattern of legislation was the legalization of divorce in September 1792.11 Revolutionary divorce laws, although defended by contemporaries as promoting happier and more fecund marriages (since loving spouses were likely to produce more children), effectively reinforced the liberty of the individual, freeing both men and women from unwanted

marital ties. In theory, at least, husbands lost absolute control over their wives, who could now demand and receive a divorce on their own initiative.12 Revolutionary legislation concerning the age of majority and patterns of inheritance further undermined the authority of the husband and father. In September 1792, at the same time as the establishment of divorce, the legal age of majority was lowered from twenty-​five to twenty-​one, allowing young men and women to enter into marriage and other contracts at an early age without the consent of their fathers.13 The revolutionary government also challenged the father’s ability to designate a legatee. A series of laws passed in 1793 made the equal division of an estate between all children (legitimate or illegitimate) mandatory.14 At the same moment, the legislature even granted married women independent economic rights, approving a law that gave spouses equal rights in the administration of their joint property—​a law that was quickly abandoned.15 This abortive project, along with the better-​ implemented laws concerning majority, inheritance, and divorce, privileged individual rights over the prerogatives of the family as a unit, and drastically reduced parental, and particularly paternal, authority.16 Extreme Jacobin rhetoric went so far as to present the family as a breeding ground for antirepublican ideals. Félix Le Peletier, Thérésia Cabarrus’s friend and the brother of the assassinated regicide deputy, proposed a plan for national education to the Jacobin club in July 1793 that advocated removing children from their families altogether. The state, according to the plan, was to provide compulsory primary education for all French children from the age of five to twelve (five to eleven for

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girls) by sending them to public boarding schools. The goal of these schools would be to form children’s morals and bodies in accordance with republican ideals.17 A report made by the Committee of Public Safety in May 1794, shortly before the fall of Robespierre, returned to Le Peletier’s idea of national education, arguing that the family was not even competent to form children into citizens: “The fatherland [la patrie] has the right to raise its children; it cannot confide this trust to the pride of families, or to the prejudices of private interests, eternal source of aristocracy and of a domestic federalism that shrinks souls by isolating them.”18 In this analysis, the family is a positively dangerous institution that fosters pernicious particularism and aristocratic isolation from society as a whole. The family is federalist, hampering the development of civic virtue and the expression of the general will. Children belong not to their parents but to the nation, which must take responsibility for raising them. These Jacobin projects for national education are emblematic of a significant strain of revolutionary ideology that regarded the family with suspicion, as inequitable, destructive of liberty, and potentially dangerous to the collectivity of the nation. However, that Le Peletier’s plan was rejected as both impractical and incompatible with individual liberty and parental authority points to the continuing power of the family as both lived experience and metaphor. Moreover, even those who wanted to liberate the individual from his family (the individual was always understood to be male) continued to believe that the citizen belonged to a larger, and indeed a familial, collective body in which authority was held communally. As a 1793 pamphlet put it, “The large family must

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outweigh the small family of each private individual, otherwise private interest will soon undermine the general interest.”19 The republic, “la grande famille,” or “la patrie” was understood in familial terms, and its citizens were bound to it by love as children to a father. An anonymous print of the Festival of the Supreme Being, Robespierre’s most extravagant (and last) effort to impose a Jacobin symbolic order, demonstrates how the nuclear family was used, even at the height of the Terror, as a synecdoche for the French people (fig. 84). A young mother and father point out to their children, including a naked infant, an encyclopedic collection of republican symbols massed on the left side of the composition, dominated by a languid, bare-​breasted allegorical figure with a cornucopia representing the bounty of nature. This family group is meant to exemplify a citizenry open to the ideals of the radical republic; even the Jacobin virtues of liberty, equality, and reason are offered not to an autonomous individual but to the family unit as a whole. The idea of the “petite famille” as the foundation of society clearly persisted in both political rhetoric and the popular imagination. Suzanne Desan’s study of family life during the Revolution challenges Hunt’s Family Romance argument, stressing the importance of domestic ties to contemporary notions of political identity. After the dissolution of the system of corporate bodies (both those based on professional identity and those based on social status) and the undermining of the church, the Revolution turned to the family as a model for national unity and as a means of forming patriotic citizens. If stable families were necessary for the regeneration of the French people, Desan argues, the emotional bonds between

Figure 84  Anonymous, Festival of the Supreme Being, 1794. Engraving, 31.5 × 26 cm. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

family members were particularly important. As revolutionary legislation chipped away at the traditional patriarchal structure of the family, the sentimental family of the late Enlightenment took on political significance—​ now it was feeling, rather than paternal authority, that bound family members together and created the stability and virtuous impulses necessary for a republic. The most valuable product of this happy revolutionary family was,

of course, male citizens—​not only sons raised up for la patrie, but also adult men whose sensibilité, fostered in the home, made them more receptive to, and better participants in, revolutionary fraternité and the general will of the sovereign people.20 The Revolution, torn between the vindication of the (male) individual and the desire to regenerate the social order, imposed ambitious reforms in domestic relations

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but never entirely abandoned the idea of the happy family as a model for society. Artists and commissioners likewise continued to produce portraits of the “petite famille.” Like other modes of portraiture, family portraiture during the Revolution became more and more inventive as previously little known artists competed at the Salon to advertise their wares, and portraitists trained outside the academic tradition found more clients. Family portraiture had always presented artists with an opportunity for experimentation; under the Revolution, it proved to be the mode of portraiture most responsive to political change.

Painting the Revolutionary Family, 1789–1794 The intersection between family life and political engagement is brought to the fore in a remarkable family portrait from the early years of the Revolution (fig. 85). This painting, traditionally identified as an image of the journalist and politician Camille Desmoulins, his wife, and their child, is unsigned and undated, but appears by the costumes of the sitters to date to 1791–93.21 If the portrait indeed represents the Desmoulins family, as seems likely, the infant depicted would be the couple’s son Horace, who was born in July 1792. The portrait can thus be dated more precisely to late 1792 or the first few months of 1793, only a year before both husband and wife were guillotined, in April 1794. Its composition intensifies the conventions used by late eighteenth-​century family portraits, like the Lépicié image of the Quatremère family,

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to convey physical and emotional intimacy between the sitters, and also between the family and the viewer of the portrait. The three bodies—​woman, infant, and man—​form so tight a unit that only a sliver of negative space interrupts their grouping. The woman looking out at the viewer is the tallest figure in the composition; her left hand supports the baby perched on her husband’s shoulder. Her touch is palpable—​the child’s flesh ripples in response to her grip. Her right hand reaches across the composition and rests on that of her husband, binding the three figures together. The husband’s hand, under that of his wife, holds a quill pen, and the end of the quill in turn tickles the toes of the naked baby. The husband turns from his writing to look up at the faces of his wife and child, and the baby returns his gaze, patting his father on the head. The unidentified portraitist has used every possible formal strategy to impress the love and unity of this family upon the viewer: the tight arrangement of bodies, the proximity of the three figures’ heads, the interlacing of their limbs, even the echoing of colors from the wife’s red sash and white dress to the husband’s white shirt and red lapels. The color harmony draws another element of the composition into the circle of the family—​the sheets of white paper on the desk. The man’s activity as a writer is intimately linked to his role as husband and father. His wife and child stand behind him, guiding his hand and head, acting out the gesture of both muse and genius in the iconography of inspired poets.22 It is as if the woman and child are not only the source for but the very substance of what the man is writing. If the man is indeed Camille Desmoulins, editor of the moderate

Figure 85  Anonymous, Portrait of Camille Desmoulins, His Wife, Lucile, and Their Son, Horace, ca. 1792–93. Oil on canvas, 100 × 123 cm. mv 5651, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles.

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Jacobin journal Le Vieux Cordelier and a member of the Convention, this portrait is a powerful evocation of an alternate Jacobin rhetoric of the family, in which domestic happiness can and should be translated directly into public speech and political action. Desmoulins himself supported the most radical of marriage reform laws, the right of married women to administer jointly held assets, arguing that the equality of women was crucial to the success of the Revolution: “I do not want marital power [of men over their wives], which is a creation of despotic governments, to be maintained any longer. My opinion is supported by this political consideration—​it is important to make women love the Revolution; you will attain this goal by putting them in possession of their rights.”23 Desmoulins argues that women must love the Revolution for it to succeed, and that fostering civic (if not political) equality will help win them to the revolutionary cause. His line of argument demonstrates how much faith was placed in personal happiness and domestic relations as the root of political change. Family portraiture made visible this connection between private transactions, both emotional and financial, and the love of la patrie. The Desmoulins painting demonstrates that family portraiture was an important site for the definition of citizenship, even in the most radical years of the Revolution. It was, to be sure, circumspect in its public manifestations, and few examples appeared in the Salon. However, it is clear that family portraiture, produced and displayed in private, did not hesitate to take on the theme of revolutionary change, or to assimilate political ideology and private sentiment.24 The Hauer painting of the National Guardsmen and their family (fig. 41) discussed

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in chapter 3, another example of early revolutionary family portraiture, is overtly concerned with political change. The Desmoulins portrait makes more abstract and more complicated reference to revolutionary thought. The reduced setting of the portrait, which gives little hint of any interior space, and the simplicity of the couple’s dress suppress the markers of class; it is rather the universality of the Desmoulins family bond that is (literally) foregrounded. The ecstatic communion of this nuclear family, which pours out into the husband/father’s work, writes revolutionary égalité into the family unit.25 The Desmoulins portrait is a dream about the affective possibilities of a regenerated society, in which loving individuals of modest means are forged into a single entity in order to effect change. The Desmoulins family, with the child at its center, represents a Revolution in which public and private personae have merged, and citizenship is harmonious with family attachment—​indeed, springs from it. The naked infant, in all its pudgy glory, embodies the new beginning that Desmoulins and his fellow revolutionaries yearned for. The Jacobins may have championed fraternity, but it was the nuclear family that persisted as a political metaphor, even at the height of the Terror. One of the obstacles to the fraternal ideal visualized by the Levachez deputy portraits was the unavoidable reality of women and children. What was their role in an egalitarian government? To some radical republicans, the answer to this question involved pushing women out of public life and removing children from the harmful influence of the family. For these theorists and politicians, femininity and infancy posed a threat to male autonomy in the

new republic. But family portraiture provides evidence of another mode of thought, in which familial sentiment fostered men’s political agency and women and children were essential (if subordinate) participants in the articulation of public virtues. This incorporation of the Revolution into the domestic sphere attests to a widespread belief that individual liberty and equality could be reconciled with sentimental ties to the “petite famille.”

The Family in Post-​ Thermidorian Thought After the fall of Robespierre, France once again felt the need to regenerate society, this time by erasing the memory of the Terror and reconstituting a more moderate republican society. The defeat and execution of Robespierre in July 1794 left the surviving revolutionary government with a pressing need to repudiate the Terror and come to terms with its social and cultural by-​products. One of the tropes that the Directory seized upon was the sentimental family of the 1780s, which, as we have seen, persisted into the early Revolution. The very qualities of the family that the radical republic found suspicious—​its isolation from the greater society, its hierarchical structure, its very “smallness”—​made it ideal as the building block for a reconstructed post-​Terror society. Suzanne Desan argues that post-​Thermidorian legislators, influenced by petitions addressed to the government by individuals all over France, abandoned earlier revolutionary ideals of the legislative transformation of society and the preeminence of the general will in favor of “natural law” in

the form of the encouragement of a cohesive family unit. Desan’s analysis of petitions to the legislature shows a groundswell of popular support for a stable society with the family as its most basic unit and laws based on social utility, not abstract ideas of individual liberty or regeneration. Legislators took up this ideology, reaffirming the family as the symbolic foundation of society.26 The primacy of the family to the Directory is borne out by the ways in which citizenship was redefined after Thermidor. The constitution of the Year III (August 1795) officially inscribed civic duty within the family circle. Article 4 of the Declaration of Duties clearly stated, “No one is a good citizen if he is not a good son, good father, good brother, good friend, good husband.”27 Not only was membership in the polity redefined, however vaguely, in terms of successful fulfillment of domestic roles, but political power was predicated on domestic entanglement. Perhaps in reaction to the band of bachelor brothers who conducted the Terror (Robespierre and his fellow radical Louis-​Antoine Saint-​Just were both single), unmarried men were henceforth banned from serving in the Conseil des Anciens, the upper house of the bicameral system.28 In a parallel move, active citizenship was drastically reduced by the new constitution to wealthy property holders. After Thermidor, investment in society, whether financial or emotional, was considered a requirement for active membership in the polity. There were to be no more disembodied political actors, no more pure participants in the republic. A 1799 directive from the minister of the Interior to local administrators typifies the new emphasis on membership in the family as prior to, and necessary for,

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membership in the polity: “It is in fulfilling the duties of husband and father that one learns to fulfill those of citizen. The sacred love of the fatherland [la patrie] is able to embrace only hearts already filled with the sweet affection that provides the charm of the conjugal union. It is in making peace reign in the family that one feels the necessity to obey the laws that establish a vast empire.”29 Here the (male) citizen learns, by ruling over a family, the necessity of his own submission to the law. His obedience may be born of love for la patrie, just as his wife and children’s obedience is inspired by the “sweet affection” that binds the family together, but it is still a question in both cases of bowing to a higher power. This is not the optimistic egalitarian family of the Desmoulins portrait. The home may still be a laboratory of citizenship, but a man’s affective ties now foster subjection to authority. The “grande famille” of the republic appears to have shrunk into the “petite famille,” in which one’s rights are grounded in the immutable familial hierarchy.30

Duty and Happiness: The Case of the Boyer-​Fonfrède Family Considered in the context of revolutionary ideas about the family, and of the response to those ideas in family portraiture, certain puzzling features of Vincent’s 1801 portrait of the Boyer-​Fonfrède family become easier to explain. For instance, the naked toddler in the center of the composition reflects the key role of children in both family portraiture and political rhetoric. From the suckling infant of the Hauer National Guard portrait

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to the baby muse of the Desmoulins family, children are at the heart of revolutionary family portraiture, signifying the literal regeneration of the French citizen and the future of the republic. The emphasis on Madame Boyer-​Fonfrède’s bared breast can similarly be linked to the importance of maternity in the revolutionary lexicon. The nursing mother had already been a figure of cultural importance in the last decades of the ancien régime, thanks to the Rousseauian cult of natural child rearing.31 During the Revolution, the woman with milk-​swollen breasts became an important symbol of republican values, particularly fraternité, as a 1794–95 figurine testifies (fig. 86). Madame Boyer-​Fonfrède’s bare breast, like the nudity of her older child, is thus a symbol of public as well as private virtue, standing in not only for good mothering skills but also for the generosity and solidarity of the republic. The scale and ambition of the Boyer-​Fonfrède painting, however, exceed even the most complex portraits produced after 1789. In fact, the 1801 portrait was the culminating image in a series of portraits and allegorical compositions commissioned from Vincent by François-​Bernard Boyer-​Fonfrède. Together, they form an extended meditation on the nature of citizenship and the relationship of the family to the nation. Why would a private individual commission such a ponderous and monumental family portrait, let alone a series of images about family life? The answer lies in Boyer-​Fonfrède’s exceptional appetite for self-​aggrandizement. When Boyer-​Fonfrède commissioned this portrait from Vincent, he was at the apogee of his career as an industrialist and patron of the arts.32 He was born in

Figure 86  Manufacture de Niederviller, Fraternity, ca. 1794–95. Hard paste porcelain, 24 cm ht. Inv. 1993.23.03, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille.

Bordeaux in 1767, the second son of a family of wealthy merchants. His father owned plantations in Saint Domingue and fitted out ships headed to the colonies. Late in life he purchased an office that ennobled the family.33 François-​Bernard’s older brother, Jean-​Baptiste Boyer-​Fonfrède, who had probably been intended to take over the family business, was elected a deputy, first to the National Assembly and then to the Convention, before falling victim to factional politics; after speaking out against the excesses of Marat and the Jacobins, he was guillotined in October 1793.34 François-​Bernard, more cautious, avoided involvement in politics during the early years of the Revolution. Instead, he launched a career in commerce and manufacturing, marrying—​perhaps as a means of cementing a business connection—​Mariannita Barrero (translated into French as Marianne Barrière), the daughter of a Spanish business associate, in December 1792. At the time of his marriage, Boyer-​Fonfrède was involved in setting up a major cotton business based on British principles. He had already made a semilegal trip to England to inspect techniques and hire away workers with knowledge of machine design. In 1791 Boyer-​ Fonfrède had taken advantage of the nationalization of church property to establish a cotton-​spinning factory in a group of former convent buildings in Toulouse. His enterprise was successful enough to allow him to construct a six-​story factory building and a house for his own use adjacent to the factory. His business suffered setbacks during the Terror, but Boyer-​Fonfrède weathered the revolutionary storm and emerged in the Directory as the proprietor of a manufacture considered France’s

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Figure 87  Charles Norry, Project for Meynier’s Gallery of Muses, House of M. Boyer-​Fonfrède, ca. 1795. Drawing, 41.9 × 53.8 cm. Inv. D 97-1-48, Musée Paul-​Dupuy, Toulouse (on deposit from Musée du vieux Toulouse, inv. mvt 80-106 or 50-157).

best hope in the competition against British textile production, and as a bon vivant with houses in Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Paris.35 It was during this period that Boyer-​Fonfrède made his mark as a patron of the arts. In the social milieu in Bordeaux in which he grew up, patronage of the arts was a natural complement to commercial success and the quest for social position. His father, for instance, had commissioned Louis-Nicolas-​Victoire Louis, Bordeaux’s most renowned architect and the designer of its Grand Théâtre, to build an hôtel particulier.36 Boyer-​Fonfrède, raised to understand the importance of art and display, was a canny investor in cultural capital as well as an entrepreneur. Such acumen became particularly valuable during the Directory, when a newly enriched class of financiers and war profiteers came under fire for their poor taste. One critic, in a review of the Salon of 1796, inveighed against modern art collectors for preferring lascivious cabinet paintings and colored engravings to history painting: “The newly rich, afraid to attract attention to the scandal of their fortunes, or lacking both a feeling for the beautiful and a taste for sentimental pleasures, dedicate themselves brutishly to those of the senses, more suited to their long-​established habits and to their education.”37 Such attacks on the new elite’s lack of refinement and education were common. In order to counter them, a collector had to make a dramatic statement about his or her commitment to large-​scale, morally improving art. That is exactly the approach that Boyer-​Fonfrède took to art patronage. François-​André Vincent, the artist whom the industrialist chose to craft his public image, was not known primarily as a portraitist but rather as a

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master of the revitalized French school of history painting. Vincent trained in the atelier of Joseph-​Marie Vien, competing successfully for the Prix de Rome in 1768 and enjoying official success in the years that followed.38 After 1789 Vincent produced a number of sketches and paintings with revolutionary themes, including a monumental William Tell commissioned by the government in 1791 and exhibited in 1795. During the most radical years of the Revolution, his sympathy for the more moderate Girondin party, his efforts to reform the Academy from within, and his romantic and professional partnership with Adélaïde Labille-​Guiard (former portraitist to the royal family) brought him into conflict with David and his radical Jacobin allies. Even after 1795 Vincent’s career as a history painter was stymied by the lack of government commissions and his own uncertain health. Instead, he increasingly depended on private patronage, and especially portrait production, to sustain himself and fulfill his ambitions. It is not clear how Boyer-​Fonfrède met Vincent, but once the contact was made the industrialist established himself as a major patron of large-​scale historical and allegorical painting, as well as of portraiture, throwing all his known patronage to Vincent and Charles Meynier, his most accomplished student. Boyer-​Fonfrède’s first important artistic commission seems to have been a series of paintings of Apollo and the nine muses by Meynier for a purpose-​built gallery in his new house in Toulouse. When the first three Meynier canvases were exhibited at the 1798 Salon, the livret entry specifically (and unusually) cited Boyer-​Fonfrède’s patronage: “These three paintings belong to Citizen Boyer-​Fonfrède of

Toulouse. They, as well as the other Muses which have been commissioned from the artist, are destined to decorate a gallery.”39 The identification of the patron, as well as the mention of the space the paintings were to occupy, pointedly positions Boyer-​Fonfrède as a cultivated man investing in history painting rather than a mere nouveau riche collecting trifling genre scenes. We know the series now from a drawing, attributed to Charles Norry, of the paintings’ projected installation, as well as from

the surviving Meynier canvases (figs. 87 and 88).40 The house in Toulouse for which the series was intended was constructed by Boyer-​Fonfrède sometime in the 1790s to close the courtyard formed by his factory and its outbuildings. We do not know if a gallery on the scale of that depicted in the drawing was ever constructed, and the muses series itself was apparently never completed. However, the drawing, with its grand architectural setting and its pensive male viewer, conveys the sense of

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Figure 88  Charles Meynier, Apollo, God of Light, Eloquence, and the Fine Arts with Urania, Muse of Astronomy, 1798. Oil on canvas, 275 × 235 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund, 2003.6.3.

a quasi-​public space, one suitable for the contemplation of history painting. The scope and siting of this project, as well as its thematic celebration of the arts, bear witness to Boyer-​Fonfrède’s ambitions as a patron. At the same time that Meynier was working on this major series, Boyer-​Fonfrède was commissioning portraits from Vincent. In an 1836 legal document, Boyer-​Fonfrède mentions ordering two portraits from Vincent prior to the execution of the Versailles canvas: “I gave my mother as a gift, when I was living in Paris, my portrait and that of my wife holding her oldest son in her arms. These

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Figure 89  François-​André Vincent, Portrait of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède and Her Son, 1796. Oil on canvas, 96 × 79 cm. rf1938-73, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

two large paintings were painted in oil by the famous Vincent, David’s rival. The first one cost me 1,200 francs; the second 1,800 francs. They formed pendants.”41 The portrait of Boyer-​Fonfrède has been lost, but the portrait of his wife and child is now in the Louvre (fig. 89). This mother-and-​child portrait and its lost pendant would have formed a typical pair of Directory portraits; the Louvre portrait in particular is completely in keeping with the conventions of female society portraiture discussed in chapter 4. The sums Boyer-​Fonfrède paid for the two pendant portraits are quite high in comparison with other

portraitists’ prices, particularly at a moment of great political uncertainty just after the end of the Terror. Boyer-​ Fonfrède was clearly making a deliberate, and extravagant, investment in self-​representation in the 1790s, even before the commission of the 1801 family portrait. The Louvre mother-and-​child portrait and his own lost portrait should also be considered in the context of the extraordinary set of images that Boyer-​Fonfrède commissioned from Vincent at roughly the same date. These images, which include the 1801 portrait, form an ambitious, never completed four-​part series of monumental and semi-​allegorical scenes of everyday life that can also be read as a set of family portraits. The series pushes the boundaries of the genre and represents a major innovation in the conception and use of portraiture during the Revolution. The surviving drawings for Vincent’s project represent scenes of daily life intended to illustrate the stages of education. The first in the series, Duty and Happiness, signed and dated 1795, is a domestic scene that closely resembles the 1801 portrait (fig. 90).42 The second scene, titled Comfort the Unfortunate, depicts a young boy giving alms to the poor and is also signed and dated 1795 (fig. 91). The third episode, which shows a young boy learning to plow, exists in two versions; one is signed and dated 1795, and another, slightly different in composition, is signed and dated “An 5,” late 1796 or early 1797 (figs. 92 and 93). The series is completed by a scene of commerce, Merchants at the Port of Marseille, also signed and dated 1795 (fig. 94). The existence of these drawings casts new light on the 1801 portrait. The Duty and Happiness drawing is clearly a preliminary drawing for the family portrait, even though it is dated six years before the completion of that canvas.

Figure 90  François-​André Vincent, Duty and Happiness, 1795. Mixed media on paper, 40 × 22.5 cm. Location unknown.

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Figure 91  François-​André Vincent, Comfort the Unfortunate, 1795. Mixed media on paper, 40 × 22.5 cm. Location unknown. Figure 92 (opposite)  François-​André Vincent, The Plowing Lesson, 1795. Ink on paper. Location unknown.

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The compositions are almost identical; slight changes were made in the poses and the setting, but the disposition of the four figures and the space of the domestic interior remain the same. But the Duty and Happiness drawing just as clearly belongs to the four-​part series, representing infancy, the first stage of education. The figures of the father and mother match those seen in the other three scenes. Physically, the fourth image makes a set of two vertical and two horizontal canvases. Symbolically, a series of four images neatly fits the traditional pattern of painting cycles, such as the four seasons or the four times of day. The relationship of the Duty and Happiness drawing to the family portrait means that the portrait was in fact conceived, six years before it was completed, as the first image in an allegorical series. This helps to explain its stiff and self-​important composition and reinforces the notion that it was intended to speak to larger concerns than one family’s happiness. Vincent has, if anything, multiplied the visual markers of aesthetic seriousness in the transition from drawing to painting. For instance, the outlandishly large naked child in the center of the composition began in the drawing as a more naturalistically babyish figure. Its size and centrality in the painting not only call the viewer’s attention to the political and cultural valences of infantile nudity; the figure also makes reference to the Renaissance masters revered by the former Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Vincent seems to have lifted the figure directly from Raphael’s 1518 Holy Family (fig. 95), which had recently gone on view at the Louvre as part of the Revolution’s project to convert the royal collections into a public museum.43 This kind of borrowing supported Vincent’s attempt to make portraiture

bear the weight of history. It prompted the viewer to bring together two modes of viewing and thinking: that demanded by history painting and that solicited by portraiture. It also encouraged its viewers to think of the Boyer-​Fonfrède images not just as pictures of one family but as an archetype, like the holy family. In this way, the portrait became a mediator between a glorious past and the even more glorious republican present and future. Given the aesthetic and moral seriousness of the images, Boyer-​Fonfrède and Vincent clearly meant the Versailles painting and its projected companion pieces to be a public as well as a private statement. The series traces the education of a boy, presumably the Boyer-​ Fonfrèdes’ oldest son, from infancy to young adulthood. In Duty and Happiness he is the naked object of his affectionate parents’ regard. In Comfort the Unfortunate

he learns to distribute charity at his mother’s knees while his father looks on. In The Plowing Lesson the adolescent receives a lesson in farming from an obliging peasant in the presence of his parents and his younger sister. Finally, in Merchants at the Port of Marseille, the boy has become a young man; he stands behind his father and observes his negotiations with a group of Ottoman traders. Curiously, while the boy traverses the stages of life, his parents barely age. His father in particular cuts the same debonair figure in all four images. In each scene, the clearly contemporary details of the figures’ fashionable dress and the specificity of the settings (the port of Marseille, the pergola of Comfort the Unfortunate) are counterbalanced by the classicizing drapery and seminudity of figures such as the central merchant in Merchants at the Port of Marseille, the Romanized peasants in Comfort the Unfortunate,

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and the monumental barefoot plowman in The Plowing Lesson. The citizens of 1795 in each instance find themselves in conversation with these refugees from the classical tradition, as if to emphasize the confrontation of the revolutionary-​era family with an idealized past. The device of juxtaposing antique and contemporary figures gives visual form to the revolutionary preoccupation with the classical past as a model for an ideal republican France, uneasily collapsing the distance between the ancient and the modern, as well as between history painting and portrait.

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Only one other of these four scenes was executed as an oil painting—​the depiction of a plowing lesson, which was exhibited in the Salon of 1798 (fig. 96). The description of the painting in the Salon livret presented the series to the public and explained its origin and significance: Convinced of the truth of the idea that Agriculture is the basis of the prosperity of States, the painter has represented a father of a family who, accompanied by his wife and his young daughter, comes to visit a laborer in the midst of his work. He renders

Figure 93 (opposite)  François-​André Vincent, The Plowing Lesson, ca. 1796–97. Red chalk, pen, brown ink, brown wash on paper, signed and dated, pen and black ink, bottom right, 35.5 × 38 cm. Prat Collection, Paris. Figure 94  François-​André Vincent, Merchants at the Port of Marseille, 1795. Mixed media on paper, 40 × 45 cm. Musée de la Marine de Marseille.

him homage by being present at the lesson which he has asked him to give to his son, whose education he considers incomplete without this knowledge. Nota. Commerce and other interesting components of education are intended to follow this first painting, which, along with the rest of the series, is intended for Citizen Boyer-​Fonfrède of Toulouse.44 This account of the series, with its emphasis on abstract principles and Vincent’s intellect, favors its reception as history painting. Boyer-​Fonfrède’s role is reduced to cultivated but passive supporter of the artist’s ideas. The cycle’s iconography, however, is far less abstract than that suggested by the truism attributed to the artist: “Agriculture is the basis of the prosperity of States.” Despite Vincent’s classicizing touches, the series

promotes a very particular and contingent idea of family life and the education of children, one that was peculiarly appropriate for the commissioner, a wealthy young man whose own growing family bore more than a passing resemblance to that depicted in The Plowing Lesson and the other projected canvases. Indeed, in the painted version of The Plowing Lesson, which the Salon livret referred to as Agriculture, the features and hairstyle of the father have been altered from the drawing to more closely resemble those recorded in the 1801 portrait. Although Agriculture lays claim to the status of history painting not only by its content but by its very scale—213 by 313 centimeters—​the genrelike subject matter and the similarity of the father’s features to Boyer-​Fonfrède’s own give the painting, and the entire series of images, the ambiguous status of allegorical portraiture.45

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Figure 95  Raphael, The Holy Family, 1518. Oil on canvas, 207 × 140 cm. Inv. 604, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Figure 96 (opposite)  François-​André Vincent, Agriculture, Salon of 1798. Oil on canvas, 213 × 313 cm. Musée des beaux-​arts de Bordeaux.

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The discovery that the portrait completed in 1801 was based almost entirely on a figure group conceived six years earlier as part of a quasi-​allegorical painting series has important implications for the meaning of both the Versailles portrait and the unfinished education series. It is possible that the Duty and Happiness drawing was always a portrait of the Boyer-​Fonfrède family, in the strictest sense of the word; in 1795 the couple’s oldest son, Jean-François-​Bernard, would have been two years old, and the second child (a daughter born in 1794 who died in childhood) would have been an infant. A third child, François-​Bernard (known as Paul), was born in 1797, after the drawing was completed. It is more likely that the drawing was already something of an ideal portrait; the generic rumpled good looks of the parents depicted in this and the other three drawings give them an allure quite different from Vincent’s habitual mode of portraiture. However, the fact that this composition was taken up as the basis of a portrait later in Vincent and Boyer-​Fonfrède’s working relationship implies that both parties accepted it as a representation of the industrialist and his family. By analogy, the other three images in the series are thus something like preemptive fantasy portraits. Hung in his family home, the pictures would have allowed Boyer-​Fonfrède and his wife to watch their son and daughter grow up before their eyes, and to see their current prosperity projected into an idealized future. The origin of the 1801 portrait as part of the education series certainly explains certain peculiarities in the composition, including the large expanse of empty space above the figure group (more characteristic of history painting than of portraiture, and an echo of the composition of

Comfort the Unfortunate) and the lack of eye contact between the figures and the viewer. However, the changes made between the drawing and the painting all move in the direction of greater specificity, particularly in the depiction of the interior and of Boyer-​Fonfrède’s face. The 1801 painting, although it recorded the specific features of a particular group of people, would not have functioned very effectively as a portrait at the time, because it depicted the state of the family in 1795. In 1801 the Boyer-​Fonfrède boys would have been about seven and three years old, and the girl, if still alive, would have been about six. Why would Boyer-​Fonfrède have commissioned such a backward-​looking image, and why did Vincent agree

to transform the first image of an important series of allegorical paintings into a conventional portrait? One possibility is that by 1800 or 1801 both parties knew that the series would never be realized. If there was time or money for only one more canvas, perhaps this composition was the one most attractive to Boyer-​Fonfrède and Vincent. This hypothesis might explain why the composition was reused, but it does not account for the representation of the family in its 1795 state. In the absence of any documentary evidence, we can only imagine that the artist and the commissioner were trying to preserve the continuities between the 1801 canvas and Agriculture, in anticipation of the future completion of the series as

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originally conceived, which is to say as a group of history paintings-cum-​fantasy portraits. The exact circumstances of creation may be unrecoverable, but the visual testimony of the drawings and paintings tells us a lot about the ambitions of the artist and the sitter. The magnitude of the commission—​ four projected allegorical compositions and the two completed portraits (the Louvre portrait of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède and her son and the lost portrait of François-​Bernard Boyer-​Fonfrède)—​represents a major professional accomplishment for Vincent, and also a considerable source of financial support at a moment when his career was stagnating. Vincent was a gifted portraitist. Like many of his colleagues, however, he understood history painting as the true test of an artist’s intellect. In a letter addressed to a former student, written in 1800 while he was at work on the Boyer-​Fonfrède commission, Vincent justified portraiture as a laudable means of accessing truth in painting, while in the same breath regretting that he and others had been driven to this lesser genre: One can console oneself in reflecting that the greatest masters, far from disdaining this sort of art, gave it all their attention, and so it is to Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Tintoretto, that we must turn for the most beautiful portraits. . . . Among our contemporaries, those who have the greatest reputation occupy themselves with this branch of art. . . . I would view this return to imitation with an enormous satisfaction were I not forced to recognize this as the fruit of necessity rather than a reckoning with a more

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in-​depth study of the truth. It is only too true that the first talents in the historical style are not encouraged and that the shortage of work forces a return to a less elevated order.46 Vincent’s backhanded praise of portraiture cannot conceal the fact that he felt the “historical style” to be the real goal of painting. The Boyer-​Fonfrède series allowed the artist to make lemons into lemonade, or rather portraits into history paintings—​history paintings that combined “imitation” and the “study of the truth” with “elevated” intellectual content. Considered together (as we now know they should be), this set of images, if completed as planned, would have given Vincent a triumph that even David could not claim—​the production of a major painting cycle that initiated a new genre of revolutionary imagery. As for Boyer-​Fonfrède’s ambitions, the paintings and drawings make a number of claims on his behalf: about the proper roles of men, women, and children, the legitimate expression of wealth and social status, and the relationship between private life and the public good in a post-​Jacobin republic. The relationship between men and women that the series proposed conforms strictly to the neo-​Rousseauian tenets of social organization in circulation in France since the 1780s, and forms a stern rebuff to the kind of volatile and public femininity typified by female political activists such as Thérésia Cabarrus. Throughout the series, Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède is depicted as a “natural” and virtuous mother whose rights and responsibilities are strictly limited to the domestic and the moral. She nurses her infant while reaching

out a caressing hand to her firstborn, teaches the son to distribute alms, looks on tenderly as that son takes on adult male responsibilities, and then is effaced in the final image of the series. But it is fatherhood, even more than motherhood, that the series promotes. François-​Bernard Boyer-​Fonfrède, like the male protagonists of many late ancien régime and revolutionary family portraits, is portrayed as an attentive and emotionally engaged father. Indeed, the series revolves around Boyer-​Fonfrède’s transmission of knowledge and wealth to his son. His guiding presence dominates all four scenes, either as the tallest figure in the composition or, in Merchants at the Port of Marseille, as the focus of the pictured interaction. The family functions as a kind of laboratory for the replication of the male citizen, and the end result, in Merchants, is a son who is almost indistinguishable from his father. But the men in this family are not associated with any signs of political activity. Boyer-​Fonfrède certainly makes peace reign in his household, but the sacred love of the patrie is nowhere in evidence. The series, according to the 1798 Salon livret, was conceived of as a meditation on the theme of education. Unlike pre-​Thermidorian projects to educate children in public schools, far away from the pernicious particularity of the family, the Vincent series proposes a model of education conducted within the confines of the domestic circle. The child begins, naked, in his parents’ bedroom, supported by both mother and father in his affectionate impulses and protected from the outside world. It is a peculiar vision of the natural child enveloped in luxury, a vision of nature controlled and guided—​much as the

narcissus on the mantel, supported by a stake, blooms in its porcelain pot. The second image in the series, Comfort the Unfortunate, moves from the interior to the exterior of the house, and the young boy is confronted with people from outside the family circle.47 He remains, however, quite literally under the family roof, guided by the tutelage of his mother and under the watchful eye of his father. The mother points to the alms seekers as if to encourage the child to give them the purse he holds in his hand, but the child remains formally a part of the mother’s body, standing between her knees and looking up at her face. The theme of control and guidance is still strong—​and Vincent once again reinforces his argument metaphorically, this time by the vines overhead, trained to follow the latticework trellis that shelters the family group. Both the studies and the finished canvas of the plowing scene show the child detached from the home and the mother and under the tutelage of men. In the 1795 drawing, the role of the father is emphasized; his body frames that of the boy, and one hand rests heavily on the child’s shoulder while the other indicates the plowman and his task. In the 1796–97 drawing, which Vincent and Boyer-​Fonfrède adopted for the final composition, the child takes a more independent role, receiving instruction directly from the farmer and therefore, for the first time, from someone outside the family. The family, however, has followed the child. The presence of the group in the middle ground makes it clear that even in adolescence, the formation of an independent self still very much depends on the family. In the final stage of education, Merchants at the Port of Marseille, the scene that the

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Salon livret designated as representing commerce, the young man seems finally to have moved into the public sphere, interacting not merely with strangers but with foreigners in an urban setting that leaves the home entirely behind. Even at this final stage in his education, however, the son is accompanied by the father. Taken together, the four images of Vincent’s series propose a conception of education, and of the formation of an adult self, that takes place entirely in relation to the other members of the nuclear family. The series speaks primarily to the roles of fathers and sons; the female members of the family are portrayed as accessories to the education of the male child, and their role diminishes progressively as the child ages. The father’s role is to devote himself to the formation of his son and to prepare him to earn a living. Nowhere does political activity, or even egalitarian interaction with fellow citizens, enter the pictures. The series, conceived and executed after Thermidor, is an extended celebration of the family as the individual’s primary sphere of action. The value of particularity has changed; the family no longer poses a threat to the nation but rather supports the state by educating its citizens and producing wealth without demanding a role in government. The Boyer-​Fonfrède education series, including the 1801 family portrait at Versailles, argues not only for a widely shared theory of the relationship of the individual to the family and the nation, but also for a particular kind of political economy. Of the four proposed scenes in the education series, three (Plowing Lesson, Merchants at the Port of Marseille, and Comfort the Unfortunate) directly address the accumulation and distribution of the

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family fortune, while the fourth (the scene on which the 1801 portrait is based) more discreetly but just as clearly telegraphs their comfortable financial situation. The education series is explicit about the sources of that comfort: it claims that the Boyer-​Fonfrède family’s wealth rests on the exploitation of the land and the commercialization of its products. Agriculture, with its odd juxtaposition of fashionable Directory urbanites and timeless peasant wisdom, depends on a long philosophical tradition of the virtues of working the land.48 As we saw in the discussion of Gérard’s portrait of Revelliere-​Lépeaux, French elites in the late eighteenth century were enthusiastic about the economic and moral value of agriculture and rural life. The historian John Shovlin argues that during the Directory the agricultural ideal was explicitly linked to a desire to put an end to the Revolution and stabilize society.49 According to Shovlin, the post-​Thermidorian government encouraged private enterprise, both agrarian and commercial, as a means of distinguishing itself from its Jacobin predecessors and their schemes (more imagined than real) to redistribute land and property. Before Thermidor, virtue and patriotism were associated with collectivity and transparency to the nation. Private wealth, and particularity more generally, had been suspect. Family portraiture had participated in the struggle to reconcile particularity (both emotional and economic) with the collective. The Boyer-​Fonfrède images suggest that during the Directory that struggle was resolved by encouraging citizens to retreat from collective ideals into private wealth and attachments. After 1794 such a retreat was positively valued. Indeed, too much involvement in politics could be construed

as inimical to economic productivity and the stability of the nation. Shovlin quotes François-​Antoine Boissy d’Anglas, the conservative chair of the committee charged with drafting the constitution of 1795, on the desirability of passive citizenship for the national economy: “To make France a country in continual assembly was to deprive agriculture of those men who should attend to it with assiduity, and to deprive the warehouse and the workshop of those who would better serve the country with their work than by useless speeches and superficial discussions.”50 This line of argument savors more than a little of antipopulism; it was surely the real agricultural workers and industrial laborers who were being discouraged from engaging in those useless political discussions, rather than a captain of industry like Boyer-​Fonfrède. Still, the education series’s embrace of both the fields and warehouses, and its assimilation of those spaces of production into the family circle, makes a similar argument about the value of production over politics.51 The kind of education promoted by Vincent’s Agriculture, the first of the series to be completed and the only scene displayed in public, directly supports this post-​Terror promotion of agrarian life, or a slightly frivolous variant thereof. Vincent draws on a whole set of visual precedents to bolster this image of the Boyer-​ Fonfrèdes’ connection to the soil. The trope of the elite youth learning to plow goes back at least to a 1769 print by François-Marie-​Antoine Boizot depicting the dauphin, the future Louis XVI, plowing. The dauphin’s gesture was allegedly inspired by the example of the Chinese emperor, who was said to plow the fields every year in order to honor agricultural labor.52 The critics

who commented on Agriculture in 1798 enthusiastically approved of both the subject of the painting and Boyer-​ Fonfrède’s use of his money. The Mercure de France praised Vincent’s composition as moral and patriotic, and the author of “Observations sur les tableaux de cette exposition” called agriculture “the origin of work, of belief in the supreme being, of gratitude,” and the art that “had led men by the hand and by degrees from the rustic constitution to the political constitution.”53 Both critics affirmed the connection between agricultural labor, personal virtue, and the organization of the state. Vincent’s painting was understood to visualize the ancient origins of morality and political organization, tastefully updated for modern viewers. But no one, not even the most enthusiastic believer in the social benefits of agriculture, could mistake Boyer-​ Fonfrède or his son for political activists. Neither of the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes seems ready either to really work the land or to heed the call of civic duty. The juxtaposition of the brawny and aged cultivator and the elegantly unclad adolescent (his hat and coat form a mondain still life in the lower right corner of the canvas) drives home the pro-​agrarian argument at the risk of overemphasizing the actual distance between this modern ephebe and the agricultural mode of life into which he is supposedly being initiated. Elizabeth Mansfield, in her study of Vincent, argues that the figure of the son is derived from the famous Hellenistic sculpture The Borghese Gladiator, a work that Vincent studied in Rome; if so, the ancient warrior’s pose has been considerably softened to suit the Directory youth. Vincent’s construction of the future citizen as a tamed classical warrior only heightens the

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contrast between antique heroism and modern definitions of male citizenship.54 Indeed, the Mercure de France complained that the figure of the son was too elegantly dressed and looked better outfitted for dancing at Tivoli (a Parisian pleasure garden) than for work in the fields.55 The presence of the family audience, depicted in icy white-​blue tones, in close proximity to the dark overturned earth and powerfully naturalistic hindquarters of the oxen, further dramatizes the disconnection between this obviously urban family and the kind of labor they purport to be endorsing. The commission of such a scene, and the fact that it was the first of the series to be executed in oil, demonstrates how important the real or pretended link to the earth was to the Boyer-​Fonfrède family’s self-​image, and to Directory efforts to stabilize the republic. However, the disjunctions evident in Vincent’s painting between rural and urban, ancient and modern, also speak to the tensions inherent in the post-​ Thermidorian social and political order.

The Other Boyer-​Fonfrède Family Agriculture, and the solemn paean to rural labor that accompanied it in the 1798 Salon livret, dovetails neatly with Directory political rhetoric. But the Boyer-​ Fonfrèdes did not make their living from the land.56 The sketch for Merchants at the Port of Marseille depicts a scene more appropriate for the education of a textile manufacturer’s son. Boyer-​Fonfrède is clearly proud of the fact that his wealth derived from trade, a symbolically nonaristocratic activity. Agriculture may allude to feudal

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claims to wealth though land or fashionable theories of political economy, but Merchants at the Port of Marseille definitively declares the source of the money that makes possible the classical firedog and cashmere shawl of the 1801 portrait. Or, rather, Merchants at the Port of Marseille declares a particular version of the source of that money. Trade, not manufacture, is depicted—​there is no “young man visiting the factory” scene in the series, and no sense of any of the physical labor that goes into the production of textiles. Boyer-​Fonfrède is not ready to show his son learning to run the spinning jenny; industrial labor does not have the politically or historically evocative value of agricultural labor, or even of international commerce.57 Industrial labor was, moreover, a resolutely contemporary form of production, and more resistant to Vincent’s classicizing mode. Merchants at the Port of Marseille, intended to hang in Boyer-​Fonfrède’s house directly adjacent to his cotton enterprise, is a sublimation of the six-​story factory and the industrial secrets stolen from England. Boyer-​Fonfrède’s business concerns were more than simply unpicturesque. They were also based on principles decidedly at odds with the vision of childhood and education that he endorsed in the paintings he commissioned. Boyer-​Fonfrède was a pioneer in the use of industrial child labor. His first attempts to recruit children to work in his textile factory date to the Year V (1796–97), when he requested authorization to “hire” five hundred abandoned children from state hospices.58 It was not until the Year XI (1802–3) that he succeeded in recruiting hundreds of children from poor families for his Ecole gratuite d’industrie, or Free School of Industry. This “Ecole gratuite” consisted of Boyer-​Fonfrède’s promise to

house, clothe, and feed children as young as seven years old in exchange for their free labor for at least four years. Boyer-​Fonfrède signed numerous contracts with parents for the labor of their children, despite his spotty record (five children died at the factory in one month) and the twelve-and-a-half-​hour workday he required.59 Boyer-​ Fonfrède’s enterprise was essentially dependent on his use of child labor, and moreover on a kind of labor far removed from that which he envisioned for his own son in Agriculture. His reasons for omitting any “visit to the factory” scene are quite clear. Although Boyer-​Fonfrède probably sincerely felt that his employment of children in his factory was consonant with his ideas about the value of education (witness his subsuming of child labor under the rubric of an “ecole gratuite d’industrie”), his hiring practices made the actual industrial foundations of his fortune doubly difficult to represent in the classicizing idiom that he and Vincent chose for the rest of his portraits. Even a steady supply of cheap labor could not guarantee the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes’ prosperity. The industrialist’s finances were always shaky, a fact that his art patronage effectively concealed. In 1796 he published an appeal to the Directory government claiming that he had been unfairly taxed in both Bordeaux and Toulouse and protesting the state’s seizure and sale of furniture from his house in Bordeaux.60 A firm in Paris alleged in a legal brief that Boyer-​Fonfrède cheated it of money he owed during the Directory while drawing profits from the Toulouse manufacture and leading “an extravagant lifestyle.”61 Another legal brief, this one filed by Marianne Boyer-​ Fonfrède, notes that as early as the Year VII (1798–99)

her husband had been “notoriously behind in his business.”62 In 1799, according to other documents, the family was forced to borrow fifty thousand francs as an emergency measure, and could only repay it through the sale of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède’s jewels.63 Boyer-​Fonfrède finally declared bankruptcy in the month of Prairial of the Year VIII (May–June 1800), well before the completion of the Versailles portrait. Although Boyer-​Fonfrède remained in the cotton business (and even started other enterprises) throughout the empire, his fortune was always precarious, and he spent the last years of his life in near poverty, making legal demands for support from his wife and sons. In 1828, in fact, financial woes forced Boyer-​Fonfrède to sell Agriculture to the Musée des beaux-​arts in Bordeaux for a fraction of the price he paid for it.64 Boyer-​Fonfrède’s family life was no more idyllic than his hiring practices or financial outlook. In Germinal of the Year IX (March–April 1801), after her husband declared bankruptcy, Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède filed for a legal separation.65 Boyer-​Fonfrède’s relationship with his wife and even with his surviving children was acrimonious, and the legal documents surrounding an 1836 trial pitting the father against the sons demonstrate that the unity and prosperity projected by the portraits and the education series were an illusion. Boyer-​Fonfrède accused his wife, in a letter reprinted in his legal brief, of abandoning her older son to lead a life of dissipation in Paris: If finally he [their older son] had committed some mistake, would you have the right to reproach him for it, you who abandoned him in his childhood to go live,

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without my consent, in the capital, in the bosom [sein] of pleasure, thereby leaving your husband and child? And if I had not had the excessive goodness to leave our son Paul with you, wouldn’t you have abandoned him too, even though he was the only one to whom you gave your breast [sein]? And on what motive was this abandonment based? Always on your pleasures.66 Boyer-​Fonfrède’s bitter accusation exposes the delicate balance established in the Versailles portrait between lady of fashion and good mother. Vincent works hard to convince the viewer of the compatibility of the two roles, but his efforts are in part defeated by the Directory

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and Consulate anxiety over the proper fulfillment of the duties of motherhood. These anxieties are expressed not only in the insistence on virtuous motherhood in portraiture but also in images such as a Directory print contrasting good and bad mothers (fig. 97). Boyer-​Fonfrède’s anger at his wife’s perceived preference for pleasure over duty mobilizes just these kinds of fears of the uncontrolled, independent woman; even in his own language, Boyer-​Fonfrède makes the contrast between the “sein” of pleasure and the “sein” of the nursing mother, an opposition between the proper and improper uses of the female body equally present in the print. The basket of fruit that the daughter holds up in front of the good mother’s

Figure 97  Anonymous, The Fashionable Mother, ca. 1799. Engraving. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

breasts makes the comparison painfully obvious. Boyer-​ Fonfrède’s outrage over his wife’s supposed hedonism and abandonment of her child demonstrates not only the fragility of their family happiness but also the undercurrent of anxiety and doubt that accompanied the Directory and Consulate attempt to reinstate the happy patriarchal family as the building block of society. The contrast between the image of republican motherhood promoted by Vincent’s paintings and drawings and the apparent reality of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède’s independent life in Paris points to the ways in which family portraits, and indeed all portraits, worked to create a kind of ideal identity for their sitters that sometimes had little to do with the realities of individual lives. This is particularly true in the case of female sitters. As we saw in chapter 4, women posed a problem for the Revolution’s claims to represent a universally applicable ideal of liberty and equality. Their participation in politics, and their representation in portraiture, kept the problem continually in the public eye. The inherent difficulty of incorporating women into the republican ideal perhaps explains the vehement insistence on self-​effacing wifeliness and motherhood in revolutionary family portraits. It also explains the alacrity with which those tropes were deployed against women whose independent identities overflowed the boundaries prescribed for them, as in Boyer-​Fonfrède’s attacks on his estranged wife. How many of the women pictured in revolutionary family portraits led lives similarly at odds with the officially sanctioned image of republican femininity? The Boyer-​Fonfrèdes separated, and divided up the custody of their children, only months after the

completion of the 1801 portrait, or possibly even before the painting was delivered. The fate of the portrait is unknown; it apparently stayed in the family and was donated by Paul, the younger son, to the state after his death in 1849. Before its donation, the portrait probably hung in one of the splintered family’s houses. For the members of the Boyer-​Fonfrède family, and for other viewers familiar with their story, it must have been a sadly transparent fiction, an even greater work of fantasy than Vincent and the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes intended it to be. The wealthy, united, and affectionate family of 1801, and the prosperous future projected by the education series, never existed anywhere but on canvas and paper. The Boyer-​Fonfrède images demonstrate how difficult it could be to picture the citizens of the new revolutionary order. These images draw on an arsenal of cultural references—​classical antiquity, agrarianism, Rousseauian philosophy, contemporary fashion and decoration—​ to picture a family both turned in on itself and functioning as ideal but politically disengaged citizens of a rational and prosperous republic. In order to synthesize all these references, and to balance the ideal with the reality of the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes’ situation, Vincent invented a mode of representation that was both history painting and portraiture. Vincent’s paintings, unlike the National Guard portraits or Laneuville’s likeness of Cabarrus, do not simply insert contemporary sitters into current events. His solution to the problem of painting after 1789 seeks instead to reconcile the dignity of academic history painting and the energy of portraiture. The resulting drawings and paintings constitute a new kind of revolutionary painting, clearly contemporary in its references

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but also drawing on the conventions of classicizing history painting. Vincent thus turned the erosion of academic ideals, the vitality of the market, and the inherent emotional appeal of portraiture to his advantage, putting his training as a history painter to work in the service of an expanded notion of portraiture and its purview. The ambiguous portrait/not-​portrait status of the series also benefited Boyer-​Fonfrède, flattering both his pride in his family and his ambition as a patron of the arts. Commissioning four large-​scale family portraits is megalomania; commissioning four history paintings as a meditation on the idea of the French family (with thinly veiled reference to one’s own circumstances) is laudable civic pride and support of the arts. However, the very reiteration of this imagery—​as portrait of husband and wife, as family portrait, and as allegory—​demonstrates the instability of ideas about the family and the work portraiture had to do to reconcile new concepts with old conventions. The Boyer-​Fonfrède paintings, both those that were completed and those that were never executed, are among the most artistically and intellectually ambitious private portrait projects of the revolutionary era. They actively engage with the ongoing debate about the family and its role in the formation of the individual subject and the structuring of the state, and they propose a model of citizenship based on affective relations within the family and on commercial and charitable transactions outside it. The concept of self

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promoted by the series, however, leaves little room for collectivity. There is no suggestion in the Boyer-​Fonfrède images of political or intellectual action, no sense of the requirements of a larger civic community. It is an extreme vision of the Directory’s efforts to restore social order through the restoration of the family, and its extremity tells in the images’ strained rhetoric. The Boyer-​Fonfrède portraits represent just one of many attempts by artists and commissioners to rework the family, and the relationship between individual and society, during the Revolution. Many artists and sitters addressed the problem of the relationship between public and private responsibilities directly. Some, as in the Desmoulins family portrait, produced images of politicians and public officials that suggested that public and private duties were necessarily and productively interdependent, and that women and children could be collaborators in the process of regenerating the state. Others, like the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes and Vincent, redefined the family, and by extension society, as something entirely cut off from political activity. The Boyer-​Fonfrède paintings were public images, in the sense that they were meant to be executed on a grand scale, sent to the Salon, and exhibited in a gallery in the family’s home adjacent to the factory. But the public sphere constituted by the Boyer-​Fonfrède images and by the family factory, the labor that made it function, and the wealth that it created was not what the National Assembly and its constituents imagined in 1789.


The identities created by the countless portraits produced between 1789 and 1804 were contradictory, ephemeral, and often at odds with the visions of successive waves of political theorists, but they were nonetheless revolutionary. The materialization of all these identities—in images of middle-class men turned military heroes, elected officials eager to assert their ordinariness, and women staking claims to political agency—​rubbed up against and reshaped notions of French citizenship. The selves created by revolutionary portraits were grounded in the particular, in the genre’s peculiar power to take individual bodies and lives and re-​create them convincingly enough to elicit viewer empathy and emulation. But revolutionary portraits operated on the premise that the particular was the necessary foundation of the collective. Their subjects were simultaneously individual subjects and universal ideals of citizenship in a new polity. Any ideal so profoundly rooted in the particular was bound to be precarious. Some portraits, as in the case of the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes, were undermined by the realities of the subjects’ personal lives. Other portraits, like Laneuville’s painting of Thérésia Cabarrus, took conceptual and aesthetic risks, inventing selves that exceeded the pace of revolutionary change. The sitters and artists responsible for these likenesses shared a faith in the capacity

of portraiture to test the limits of political rhetoric. Portraiture, the genre most tethered to ordinary life and its contingencies, became after 1789 the form of visual representation best suited to reimagining the fundamental structures of self and nation. Even when reactionary politics reasserted itself as resistance to republicanism and nostalgia for the monarchy, it did so through portraiture, reinforcing the genre’s centrality to civic life after 1789. Sometime during the Directory, probably in 1796, an unidentified artist produced an image that used portraiture as a metaphor for politics, while simultaneously challenging the efficacy of both portraiture and political change (fig. 98). The picture in question is a small round print, less than four inches in diameter, designed to ornament the lid of a tobacco box. The print might be tiny, but its viewership would probably have been far larger than that of the average revolutionary portrait. Richard Taws, who discusses this print in the context of an argument about trompe l’oeil, paper money, and the trauma of the Terror, points out that while many scholars have assumed that images with hidden profiles of the royal family were clandestine objects, a print designed to decorate an easily portable and frequently used object would hardly have been a private or hidden image. Taws cites a 1794 advertisement

Figure 98  Unknown, Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats, ca. 1796. Hand-​colored etching, 3.5 in. diam. The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

for a similar image that claimed a print run of more than fifty thousand copies.1 The box-​top print was intended to be seen by many people; it was widely circulated, handled frequently by a consumer and his or her acquaintances, and subject to close inspection and discussion. The print makes an argument about the cyclical nature of time and the impermanence of the Revolution, an argument reinforced by its circular composition. The image is constructed out of other images: curling and torn print portraits of major political figures, assignat bills, and scraps of paper inscribed “Constitution de 1791” and “Constitution de 1793.” The figure of Father Time

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wielding his scythe looms over the pile of paper, his blade crossing Robespierre’s neck. Hidden along the edges of portraits are silhouette profiles of the royal family—​ Louis XVI, for instance, emerges from the left edge of the Lafayette portrait. This is an image of portraits as consumer goods, used up, tossed aside, succumbing to changing fashion—​almost exactly what Houdon warned poor Périn-​Salbreux the miniaturist about in his letter describing the perils of the portrait market. Portraits and revolutionary ideals, the print tells us, are just stuff: stuff that fluctuates in value and eventually succumbs to time and political change.

This print affirms the importance of portraiture during the Revolution; the image of the individual here is the stuff of politics, the basic unit of political change. But the print also sums up one of the major problems of revolutionary portraiture: the danger of illegibility. The piling up of faces, the multiplication of individuals who at one time represented the nation but who emigrated or were discredited or executed, makes visible the potential chaos of a collective national image made up of individual portraits. All those scattered political actors, frozen in their portraits, add up not to a picture of le peuple but to a testament to the difficulties of constructing a new polity out of fallible individuals. Like the deputy portrait series of 1789–90, which the prints within the print evoke, the pictured portraits’ ties to political ideology guarantee their ephemerality. The print also points to another problem of revolutionary portraiture: pictures and selves produced as consumer goods are vulnerable to the hazards and gluts of the market. Not only have these fragile portraits become the raw material for a trompe l’oeil joke about the fickleness of power and fame; their claims to represent the people are eroded by a resurgent past. Regeneration and transparency (represented not only by the portraits but by the assignats and the constitutions, emblems of revolutionary economic and political structures) are papered over by layers of successive revolutionary leaders and eaten away by nostalgia for the monarchy in the form of more and different portraits. It is a surfeit of portraits, portraits that contradict each other, portraits whose subjects are attacked by other portraits and by the blade of time. The box-​top print mocks the ubiquity of portraits and their pretensions to represent revolutionary change,

but it also assumes that history is now made and told through portraiture. This belief was shared by the man who actually did superimpose himself on the revolutionary past. It was Napoleon Bonaparte, not the Bourbon family, whose portraits constituted a new regime, paying lip service to revolutionary aesthetics and ideals but in fact reasserting a singular, individual form of sovereignty. This is why the most spectacular image of postrevolutionary political power was also a portrait (fig. 99). David’s depiction of Napoleon’s coronation, begun in 1805 and completed in 1808, deploys 164 figures (eighty of which have been securely identified) across the interior of Notre Dame Cathedral, represented on a canvas measuring 621 × 979 centimeters. Of those figures, a large percentage are members of the Bonaparte family. The resulting accumulation of heads is just as visually dense and dizzying as that in the box-​top print. But these heads are meant to reestablish a sense of order and unity in the French polity. In terms of size, number of figures, and price (finally fixed at sixty-​five thousand francs), the Coronation is surely the most ambitious expression of political actuality in revolutionary-​era portraiture.2 But if scholars have long argued about when exactly the Revolution came to an end, the replacement of the republic with a hereditary empire, consecrated by the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife, Josephine (former merveilleuse and erstwhile best friend of Thérésia Cabarrus), at the altar where ten years earlier an opera singer had incarnated the goddess of reason during a Jacobin festival, is as definitive an endpoint as any. The Coronation returns us to an ancien régime mode of portrait production, ordered by the emperor from an artist soon to be his official

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premier peintre in order to legitimate a new dynasty.3 The visual language of the painting also seems old-​fashioned. David’s composition consciously evokes Peter Paul Rubens’s painting of the coronation of Marie de’ Medici, and even older precedents from fifteenth-​century illuminated manuscripts, in order to root Napoleon’s self-​creation in the history of the French royal family.4 The critic Chaussard argued in 1798 that portraiture was more meaningful under the republic because the ancien régime structure of power—​in which “one man counts for everything, and the others for nothing”—​had been overturned.5 David’s Coronation takes its viewers back to an earlier age of political authority and portraiture in which one man, and his family, in fact counted for everything.

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Napoleon and David, however, had not completely turned their backs on the political and artistic heritage of the Revolution.6 The Coronation deploys the visual language of transparency in the meticulous rendering of stuff and individual physiognomies, which David guaranteed through multiple sittings with the members of Napoleon’s extended family.7 David also mustered familial sentiment. The prominence of Napoleon’s brothers and sisters, and even of his mother (who did not actually attend the ceremony), recall the stipulations of the constitution of the Year III: “No one is a good citizen if he is not a good son, good father, good brother, good friend, good husband.” Even David’s alteration of the composition, which had originally depicted Napoleon crowning

Figure 99  Jacques-​Louis David, Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon and Josephine at Notre-​Dame on December 2, 1804, 1808. Oil on canvas, 621 × 979 cm. Inv. 3699, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

himself, emphasizes the emperor’s relationship with his wife and, as Todd Porterfield has pointed out, his hope for the rapid production of an heir to his new throne.8 The Coronation, moreover, capitalizes on revolutionary portraiture’s assumption of the intellectual, moral, and compositional perquisites of history painting. It is a portrait and a painting of contemporary history; it combines monumental scale, complex narrative, and national political issues with particularity and familial relations. Napoleon would continue to exploit this formula in the paintings he commissioned to consolidate his power and promote his regime to the public; he, his generals, and his family members populate innumerable large-​scale battle paintings, heroic military portraits, and laudatory genre scenes produced between 1804 and 1815. The Coronation mobilizes the visual strategies of revolutionary portraiture, but those strategies, in the changed political climate of 1808, fall flat. Porterfield and Siegfried, in their analysis of the Coronation, argue that while the painting creates an illusion of accessibility and participation, its numbing repetition of faces and bodies forecloses all possibility of critical thinking and offers its viewers no choice but quiescence.9 Did David’s and Napoleon’s efforts entirely undermine the revolutionary culture of political portraiture? Among the many contemporary commentaries on the Coronation is one that speaks specifically to how ordinary people, who from 1789 to 1804 had notionally been the locus of French sovereignty, reacted to the painting. Boilly’s 1810 painting, The Public Viewing David’s “Coronation” at the Louvre (fig. 100), depicts a dense huddle of people gathered in front of the Coronation, some earnestly

examining the painting but most talking to one another, consulting printed keys, or looking at fellow museumgoers. We could certainly read the Boilly painting as an argument about how much the French admire, and identify with, their new emperor and his family.10 The friezelike group of figures in the foreground mimics the composition of the Coronation itself, encouraging the viewers (of the Boilly painting) to identify the bodies of the viewers (of the David painting) with the politically powerful figures in the Coronation. This form of personal identification in fact had guaranteed portraiture’s political power during the Revolution. Moreover, many members of the crowd are literally identifying figures in the David composition with the help of print copies, published simultaneously with the exhibition of the Coronation, that named each individual. This kind of identification was no longer that of the people of 1789 confronted with the deputy print portraits, but rather one that offered no real choice or exercise of judgment. Seen in this light, the Boilly painting represents the successful co-​option of revolutionary portraiture in the service of imperial authority; we see the French people once again united with, and under, a singular sovereign. Indeed, we see them rushing to admire that sovereign, accepting his rule even in the disposition of their own bodies. But Boilly gives us reason to read his painting as something other than a picture of portraiture’s, and France’s, new servitude. His crowd does not so much mimic the image of their new rulers as overwhelm it. The mixed group of women, children, and civilian and military men far exceeds the neat line assembled in front of the painting, occupying all available floor space and

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flowing backward as far as the eye can see into the blank space beyond the doorway at right. The Coronation, by contrast, seems strangely diminished in scale, shunted off to the left of the composition, smaller than its actual twenty by thirty feet and wan and faded compared to the vivid and varied crowd. Boilly’s French people are hardly an attentive or unified audience, either. The artist’s scrupulous delineation of each figure (including numerous identified portraits, among them a self-​portrait) guarantees that whatever accord is achieved in this post-1804

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crowd is inflected by a pre-1804 kind of liberty.11 This is a French people united in their individuality and by their viewing and evaluation of a political portrait in the public space of the Louvre, a former royal palace. It’s hard to imagine a painting like Boilly’s, in which a motley assembly of ordinary people evaluate (or ignore, or overwhelm) a portrait of the king, being painted before the Revolution. Boilly shows us a portrait of political power subject to comparison with prints and texts, public discussion, multiple other voices and bodies, and all the forces of a

Figure 100  Louis-​Léopold Boilly, The Public Viewing David’s “Coronation” at the Louvre, 1810. Oil on canvas, 61.6 × 82.6 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 2012.156.

consumer culture that erode the authority of David’s and Napoleon’s singular, expensive picture of power. Still, Boilly’s viewers can no longer be participants in the body politic. The formal commitments of revolutionary portraiture survived into the nineteenth century—​ both David and Boilly are heavily invested in the specificity of bodies and stuff, and both happily violate boundaries between genres. But revolutionary transparency lost its political meaning when representative government and republican notions of the individual and the collective were co-​opted and corrupted by Napoleon and the succession of monarchist and imperial regimes that followed him. The Coronation uses a lumbering and monumental form of portraiture to reassert the idea of stable political power, mobilizing the sentiment and transparency of the Revolution to combat the chaos and ephemerality evoked by the box-​top print. But sentiment and transparency no longer signify politically as they did during the Revolution. The lessons that artists and sitters learned about the power of portraiture to intervene in political debates were not entirely forgotten, however. Sometime between 1800 and 1805, an unidentified family commissioned a life-​size portrait from an unknown artist (fig. 101).12 This portrait is in many ways the Coronation’s opposite: private, unceremonious, and emotionally direct, it combines a deeply satisfying materiality with a profound indeterminacy. It’s not just that the painting has remained stubbornly anonymous; its inconclusiveness is part of the artist’s characterization of its sitters. The family depicted is unusual in that it lacks a mother—​portraits of men and their children are rare. Perhaps to make up

for the missing mother, the family group is composed as an extraordinarily tight circle of heads and bodies. The figure of the father anchors this circuit of bodies and gestures—​his solid occupation of space, his placement in the fullest light, and his forthright outward gaze draw the viewer’s eye immediately. However, it is a strange kind of authority: in shirtsleeves, with tousled hair and dirty fingernails, he contrasts sharply with his elegant older son, who looms above him and also looks out at the viewer. The father’s tenderness toward his youngest child is familiar to us from other revolutionary-​era portraits, but the whiteness of his costume and the flood of light that draws our eye to his figure are conventions usually reserved for wives and mothers. Familial hierarchy is further disturbed by the compositional prominence of the little daughter at the keyboard, whose figure closes the circle. Her serious demeanor, adult accomplishment, and elegance of dress transform her into a surrogate mother. The attentive gaze of two of her brothers reinforces her importance. The members of this tight-​knit and self-​sufficient family are interdependent, physically and emotionally. As a post-​Thermidorian meditation on family, the portrait celebrates male citizens as good fathers, good sons, good brothers. But the family represented here does not perfectly embody the social order that the Directory was eager to impose. Father and children exist in a kind of fellowship, destabilized by the lack of an adult female figure. Their world seems hermetically sealed, an interior furnished with tokens of a refined bourgeois life, but the figures’ scale, their proximity to the picture plane, and their address to the viewer suggest participation in a

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Figure 101  Anonymous, Family Portrait, ca. 1800–1805. Oil on canvas, 160 × 127 cm. Musée de Tessé, Le Mans.

larger social body that starts with their fellow citizens in front of the portrait. Moreover, the oddly casual attire of the father of the family, which reads as a working-​class costume, could well be understood by contemporary viewers as a political gesture, in the manner of the studied undress of the deputy prints or of Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s long, unpowdered hair. This family portrait is an arresting depiction of a family and a nation destabilized but recomposed, made up of individuals but bound together by sentiment, physically rooted in the private sphere and yet turned resolutely outward. Here the ideal of transparency is fully realized in paint, from the carefully detailed household objects to the frank intimacy of the father’s gaze. Compared to the Boyer-​Fonfrède pictures or David’s Coronation, it is both an affirmation of the value of domestic life and a sly subversion of the notion that an orderly society is based on orderly, hierarchically organized families. To put it in revolutionary terms, a delicate equilibrium is achieved

here between the family members’ individual liberty and their companionable equality. The portrait’s failure to provide a conclusion to the Revolution makes it emblematic of what survived and carried forward from portraiture’s commitment to making (and selling) revolutionary selves. Its ambitious format and gravity point to the ways in which portraiture after 1789 became the most important artistic means of investigating pressing philosophical and political questions about selfhood and nation. Revolutionary portraiture made moral exemplarity and historical agency something that ordinary people could claim for themselves. This seizure of power marks a turning point in the history of art, when seriousness of purpose and aesthetic ambition passed from the formulation of historical narratives to the depiction of contemporary individuals—​both men and, uneasily, women. The end of the Revolution cut off portraiture’s direct engagement with politics. But even after 1804, its claims to political and social agency were not forgotten.

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Introduction 1. Erika Naginski discusses this print, which served as a frontispiece to an issue of Camille Desmoulins’s newspaper Révolutions de France et de Brabant, in the context of revolutionary destruction. See Naginski, Sculpture and Enlightenment, 289–304. All translations are my own unless otherwise noted. 2. O’Neill, “Musée des beaux-​arts, Orléans,” 55. 3. Félibien, Conférences de l’Académie royale, cited in Pommier, Théories du portrait, 233. 4. Beaurain, “Art du portrait au dix-​huitième siècle,” 15–28. 5. For instance, Gérard de Lairesse’s painting manual, written in the late seventeenth century and republished in 1787, cites the example of Anthony van Dyck as a painter who had sacrificed his superior talents to portraiture. See Lairesse, Grand livre des peintres, 2:132. 6. La Font de Saint-​Yenne, Réflexions sur quelques causes, 209–10, quoted in Pommier, Théories du portrait, 316. 7. Pommier, Théories du portrait, 317–18. 8. A. C. [André Chénier], “Beaux-​Arts,” 1–3. 9. Chaussard, “Beaux-​Arts,” 535. 10. Ibid. 11. See, for example, Watelet and Lévesque, Dictionnaire des arts, 5:145–59. 12. On the ancien régime art market, see Michel, Commerce du tableau à Paris; Edwards, Alexandre-​Joseph Paillet; Bailey, Patriotic Taste; and Chatelus, Peindre à Paris. For the revolutionary period, see Becq, “Artistes et marché,” and Bordes, Portraiture in Paris. Halliday alludes to the place of portraiture in the marketplace in Facing the Public, but he does not provide a full investigation. 13. Goldstein, Post-​Revolutionary Self, 8–9, 40. 14. Ibid., 2. 15. Clark, “Gross David with the Swoln Cheek.” 16. For recent discussions of miniature portraits during the Revolution, see Halliday, Facing the Public, 122–31, and Mansfield, Perfect Foil, 41–43.

Chapter 1 1. Lacour, Notes et souvenirs, 78. 2. “Je croirois manquant à l’amitié si je ne vous [rapellois?] pas Monsieur ce que vous savez aussi bien et même mieux que moi, c’est

que dans ce pays ci, les artistes doivent profiter de tous les momens de la mode, qu’il ne suffit pas à Paris d’être habile mais encore d’être du jour qu’à cette époque de la vie, l’artiste ne doit pas démaré d’un instant qu’il doit être à son pinceau depuis le levé du soleil jusqu’à son couché et que s’il laisse [seulement?] un instant refroidir le vogue ou qu’elle prenne une autre route il est fini; ces vérités Monsieur vous sont [connees?] vous êtes précisement à l’époque de votre vie où elles peuvent s’appliquer, vous luttez avec Isabey il ne faut pas lui laisser le champ [libre inserted here above line] et certes depuis trois mois vous lui donnez beau jeu. . . . Revenez donc Monsieur dans cette Capitole où vous êtes attendu avec impatience et pardonnez moi mes avis qui ne sont fondés je vous [avoue?] que sur mon amitié l’interet qui vous est du et le chagrin de savoir qu’à ma connaissance votre longue absence vient de vous faire manquer quatre portraits.” Houdon to Lié Louis Périn-​Salbreux, August 1796, Frits Lugt Collection, ms 1973-​ A.1514b, Fondation Custodia, Paris. 3. On transparency in revolutionary political culture, see de Baecque, Body Politic, 209–46. Mark Darlow provides a good survey of more recent considerations of the subject in “History and (Meta-)Theatricality.” 4. On Rousseau and his influence on revolutionary thought, see McDonald, Rousseau and the French Revolution, and Blum, Rousseau and the Republic of Virtue. 5. Bruson and Léribault, Peintures du Musée Carnavalet, 245. Susan Maslan discusses this image in the context of surveillance during the Terror in Revolutionary Acts, 158. 6. Robespierre, Rapport sur les principes de morale politique, 541. 7. On Rousseau and the continual gaze, see Maslan, Revolutionary Acts, 140–53. 8. Mavidal and Laurent, Archives parlementaires, 8:293, quoted in Lucas, “Theory and Practice of Denunciation,” 770. 9. An example of such a certificate, in the name of the portraitist Joseph Ducreux, can be found in the collection of the Fondation Custodia, Paris, ms 1994-​A.236. 10. On revolutionary denunciation, see Lucas, “Theory and Practice of Denunciation,” 783; Jaume, Discours Jacobin, 192–215; and Linton, “ ‘ Tartuffes of Patriotism.’ ” 11. For analyses of personal narratives, see Andries, “Récits de survie”; Garnier, “Conduites politiques”; and Lüsebrink, “Désir de témoigner.” 12. On transparency and virtue, see Cavaillé, “De la construction des apparences.”

13. For Blauw’s biography and an account of the commission, see Wilson, “New Acquisition.” 14. Chomer, Peintures françaises avant 1815, 159–60. See also my discussion of this painting in “Revolution at Home,” 18–20. 15. Bourcet’s service to the Crown, along with the history of his family, is described in Maignien, Ingénieur militaire Bourcet, 35–36. 16. Pellegrin, Vêtements de la liberté, 169. 17. Clark’s “Gross David with the Swoln Cheek” provides an important model for the consideration of materiality in revolutionary portraiture. 18. Hesse, “Law of the Terror,” 716–18. 19. Robespierre, “Opinion de Robespierre sur le bonnet rouge,” 300. 20. Aulard, Société des Jacobins, 4:149. 21. See Roche, Histoire des choses banales; Pardailhé-​Galabrun, Naissance de l’intime; and Fairchilds, “Production and Marketing of Populuxe Goods.” 22. Sewell, “Empire of Fashion,” and also “Reply”; Jones, “Great Chain of Buying”; and Kwass, “Ordering the World of Goods.” 23. In “A World of Goods?,” Jonathan White dissects the liberal triumphalism of many accounts of eighteenth-​century consumption. 24. Sewell, “Reply,” 264. 25. See Shovlin, Political Economy of Virtue. 26. On the symbolic power of revolutionary goods, see Auslander, “Regeneration Through the Everyday”; Mannoni, Faïences révolutionnaires; Pellegrin, Vêtements de la liberté; and Wrigley, Politics of Appearances. 27. Margaretta Lovell makes an elegant argument about how portraits acknowledge and construct viewer subjectivity in Art in a Season of Revolution, 28. 28. My Salon statistics are drawn from a database that I developed based on the official Salon livrets. When possible, statistics reflect the exact number of portraits exhibited by each artist. However, multiple portraits by the same artist were sometimes listed as “plusieurs portraits sous le même numéro.” In these cases, I counted “plusieurs” as three portraits. Thus the total number of portraits I report as produced in any given year or genre reflects the minimum estimate. 29. The Salon of 1789 opened on August 25. Thirty-​eight artists exhibited portraits—​thirteen painters, nineteen sculptors, and six practitioners in other genres. Three of the thirty-​eight portraitists were women.

246  / Notes to Pages 19–27

30. For a discussion of public exhibitions of art in eighteenth-​ century Paris, see Berger, Public Access to Art in Paris. On the Académie de Saint-​Luc, see Guiffrey, “Histoire de l’Académie de Saint-​Luc,” and “Expositions de l’Académie de Saint-​Luc.” On the Exposition de la Jeunesse exhibits, see Berger, Public Access to Art in Paris, 149–56, and Dorbec, “Exposition de la Jeunesse.” Laura Auricchio explores another alternate exhibition space in “Pahin de la Blancherie’s Commercial Cabinet of Curiosity.” 31. Wille, Mémoires et journal, 2:323 (entry for October 1, 1791). On the revolutionary Salons, see Van de Sandt, “Fréquentation des Salons”; Michel, “Art des Salons,” in Bordes and Michel, Aux armes et aux arts; and Heim, Béraud, and Heim, Salons de peinture. 32. The proportion of artists practicing in each medium remained roughly the same (fifty-​two painters, thirty-​two sculptors, and nineteen practitioners in other media). Miniaturists may be underrepresented because I did not count as portraitists any miniaturists whose livret entry did not specify their work as portraits, despite the fact that the majority of miniatures of this era are indeed portraits. 33. The figures for the total number of portraits are conservative estimates; see note 28. 34. Van de Sandt, “Institutions et concours,” in Bordes and Michel, Aux armes et aux arts, 142. 35. La Gazette Française, 23 vendémiaire an V (October 14, 1796), 3. 36. For detailed discussions of women’s artistic strategies during the Revolution, see Oppenheimer, “Women Artists in Paris”; Auricchio, Adélaïde Labille-​Guiard; and the exhibition catalogue Marguerite Gérard. Auricchio, in her essay “Revolutionary Paradoxes: 1789–94,” also argues that female artists were quickly discouraged by new artists’ organizations and government edicts. Her essay, however, does not account for the opportunities presented by the market. 37. Quoted in Portalis, Henry-​Pierre Danloux, 388. 38. The number of miniatures displayed at each Salon, as a percentage of the total number of portraits, is as follows: 1787: 6 percent; 1789: 3 percent; 1791: 4 percent; 1793: 5 percent; 1795: 3 percent; 1796: 12 percent; 1798: 19 percent; 1799: 17 percent; 1800: 24 percent; 1801: 25 percent; 1802: 19 percent; 1804: 12 percent. 39. See Lovell, Art in a Season of Revolution, 8–25, for a discussion of the paradoxical relationship between portraits and eighteenth-​ century commodity culture.

40. On disinterestedness and portraitists’ professional aspirations, see Halliday, “Artists and Other Heroes,” chapter 3 of Facing the Public. 41. Ibid., 5–10. 42. “Mélanges: Exposition au Salon,” Journal de Paris, 21 brumaire an V (November 11, 1796), 206. 43. Coquery, Hôtel aristocratique, 69–71. 44. I base this analysis of the portrait market’s geography on my mapping of studio locations, using addresses noted in Salon livrets, almanacs, and other primary sources. 45. Coquery, Hôtel aristocratique, 54–56, 62. 46. On the Palais-​Royal and its commercial activities, see the exhibition catalogue Le Palais Royal, and Coquery, Hôtel aristocratique, 51, 64–65. 47. État actuel de Paris, 1:125–27. The physionotrace process and the business practices of its operators are described in Hennequin, “Photographe” de l’époque de la Révolution. 48. The work of Carolyn Sargentson is particularly helpful in developing a model for portraitists’ business practices; see her Merchants and Luxury Markets. 49. Ibid., 91–92, 100. 50. On the appeal of Boilly’s depiction of Isabey’s studio, see Siegfried, Art of Louis-​Léopold Boilly, 96–98, and Halliday, Facing the Public, 139–44. 51. Isabey’s portrait drawing of himself and his family in a boat, La Barque, was one of the hits of the Salon of 1798. 52. Dumont, Livre de raison, Jacques Doucet Collections, ms 104, Bibliothèque de l’Institut national de l’histoire de l’art, Paris. Of the portraits Dumont exhibited at the Salon of 1793, that of Paolo Mandini is noted on fol. 15r, that of Luigi Cherubini on fol. 15v, and that of Anna Morichelli on fol. 16r. 53. Quoted in Portalis, Henry-​Pierre Danloux, 60. Portalis’s 1910 study and partial transcription of Danloux’s journal remains the most comprehensive source on the artist’s practice. A more recent evaluation of the journal appears in Goodden, “Journal de Danloux.” See also Meslay, “Henry-​Pierre Danloux.” 54. Portalis, Henry-​Pierre Danloux, 278, 108. 55. Reichardt, Hiver à Paris, 215–16, 218, 302–3. 56. Greatheed, Englishman in Paris, 32–33, 72–73. 57. Ibid., 32.

58. For a history of these stereotypes, see Beaurain, “Art du portrait au dix-​huitième siècle,” and Pommier, Théories du portrait. 59. For the geography of artists in London, see Wedd, Peltz, and Ross, Creative Quarters. Portalis describes Danloux’s lodgings in Henry-​Pierre Danloux, 54. 60. Portalis, Henry-​Pierre Danloux, 106, 118. 61. Marnadet, “État des biens d’Alexandre Roslin,” 74–76. 62. Jacobus Blauw to Jacques-​Louis David, 8 frimaire an IV (November 29, 1795), reprinted in David, Peintre Louis David, 1:324. 63. Hennequin, Peintre sous la Révolution, 137. 64. On Delafontaine and the Andrieux portrait, see the exhibition catalogue De David à Delacroix, 382–83, and Mirimonde, “Pierre-​ Maximilien Delafontaine.” The relationship to the smaller-​scale portrait Reverend Robert Walker Skating (ca. 1795, National Gallery, Scotland), traditionally attributed to Henry Raeburn but recently given to Danloux, is fascinating but unclear. 65. Bordes notes the surge in production of small-​scale full-​ length portraits in Portraiture in Paris, 32. 66. “Lorsque je recevrai votre commission de toile, elle sera faite avec exactitude. Ça me fait présumer que c’est quelque grand ouvrage. Ce ne sont pas ceux où il y a plus à gagner. Une tête, un bout d’habit tapé, voilà ce qui est bon.” Romany to Wertmüller, October 20, 1788, Jacques Doucet Collections, ms 107, Bibliothèque de l’Institut national de l’histoire de l’art, Paris. 67. The paintings range in size from 26 × 19 cm to 40 × 30 cm, but most measure around 32 × 23 cm. For reproductions of all the replicas, see Constans, Musée national du Château de Versailles, 364–78. The replicas are discussed at greater length in Cantarel-​Bresson et al., Napoléon: Image et histoire. There are eighty-​three replicas; it is difficult to determine whether these represent all of Gérard’s full-​length portraits, since the most complete catalogue of his portraits, the Oeuvre du Baron François Gérard (edited by Henri Gérard), used the replicas themselves as the basis of the engravings. See also Zieseniss, “A propos des ‘esquisses’ de Gérard,” 171. 68. Gauffier trained with Hugues Taraval in Paris and shared the Prix de Rome in history painting with Jean-​Germain Drouais in 1784. Apart from a brief return to Paris in 1789, Gauffier spent the rest of his life painting portraits of French and English sitters in Italy. See Crozat, “Louis Gauffier (1762–1801),” and Ottani Cavina, “Louis Gauffier.”

Notes to Pages 27–37  /  247

69. Versailles owns twelve Gauffier replicas grouped into five frames. The Musée Fabre has a set of eleven replicas on a single canvas that was donated to the museum by its founder, François-​Xavier Fabre, a friend and colleague of Gauffier’s in Italy. Each individual replica measures around 13 × 9 cm. 70. A number of eighteenth-​century French portraitists are known to have kept such pattern books. Hyacinthe Rigaud and Jean-​ Baptiste Oudry both kept visual records of their portraits, Rigaud in a now lost “livre de vérité” and Oudry in a livre de raison now partially conserved at the Louvre. See Roman, Livre de raison du peintre Hyacinthe Rigaud, xxiv, and Jean-​Baptiste Oudry’s album in the Département des arts graphiques at the Louvre. 71. Quoted in Bordes, Portraiture in Paris, 16. 72. Bruun Neergaard, Sur la situation des beaux-​arts, 14. 73. “Quand par hasard je fais un portrait on ne veut pas me payer le quar de ce qu’on me payois avant la révolution. . . . En bon patriote j’ai fait de sacrifice de tem et d’arjan pour soutenir la chose public et ci [sic] il [faloie?] sacrificier mes plus chers esperence pour que la nation entiere soit heureux je le ferois de bon [coeur?].” Vestier to his brother-in-​law Guillemot, October 16, 1790, Frits Lugt Collection, ms 1978-​A.2050, Fondation Custodia, Paris. 74. Augustin’s records for this period are held in the Cabinet des dessins at the Louvre, rf 51822. 75. Quoted in Bordes, Portraiture in Paris, 16. The undated document and the finished portrait are now in the collection of the Timken Museum of Art in San Diego. 76. Joseph Boze’s account book, the Grand livre de Boze, is held by the Jacques Doucet Collections, ms 72, Bibliothèque de l’Institut national de l’histoire de l’art, Paris. François Dumont’s livre de raison is also in the Doucet Collections, ms 104. As noted above, one of Augustin’s account books is held in the Cabinet des dessins at the Louvre, rf 51822. Additional records of Augustin’s practice are reproduced in Williamson, Catalogue of the Collection, 4:163–69. The account book of Jean-​Baptiste Sambat, a little-​known miniaturist, is partially reproduced in Guiffrey, “Sambat peintre de miniatures.” Hall’s records are in the artist’s dossier in the archives of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; they are reproduced in part in Plinval de Guillebon, Pierre Adolphe Hall, 156–59. Wertmüller’s account book, in the collection of the Royal Library in Stockholm, is reprinted in Benisovich, “Wertmüller et son livre de raison,” and also (for the sections dealing with

248  / Notes to Pages 37–42

Bordeaux) in the exhibition catalogue Le port des Lumières: La peinture à Bordeaux, 1750–1800. 77. État actuel de Paris, 1:41. 78. Siegfried, Art of Louis-​Léopold Boilly, 117. 79. Benisovich, “Wertmüller et son livre de raison,” 52; Dumont, Livre de raison, unpaginated. 80. Boyer-​Fonfrède, A messieurs les présidents et juges, 47. 81. Bordes, Portraiture in Paris, 11–12. For a more general discussion of David’s finances, see Schnapper, “David et l’argent.” 82. Latreille, “François Gérard,” 22, 24. Bordes (Portraiture in Paris, 17) cites Bertie Greatheed on Gérard’s portrait prices; the Englishman wrote that in 1803 Gérard was charging the equivalent of six thousand livres for a full-​length portrait. 83. Wildenstein, Rapports d’experts, 165–67. 84. The price of an opera ticket (48 sols, at 20 sols per livre) is noted in Reichard, Guide des voyageurs en Europe, 1:120. The price for a trip in a fiacre (1 livre 10 sols) is cited in the same source, 1:133. The sheet music was advertised in Affiches, Annonces et Avis Divers, ou Journal Général de France (Paris), 19 thermidor an II (August 6, 1794), 8758. The valet’s wage is from Reichard, Guide des voyageurs en France, 86. 85. Jean-​Baptiste Glomy, a framer of drawings in Paris whose account book is preserved at the Fondation Custodia, paid two hundred livres in annual rent in 1785 for a two-​room apartment. Glomy, Livre de raison, Frits Lugt Collection, ms 9578, Fondation Custodia, Paris. 86. All of these items were advertised in Affiches, Annonces et Avis Divers, ou Journal Général de France (Paris): the horse in the edition of January 5, 1790; the carriage, January 3, 1790; and the boarding school rates, 6 floréal an V (April 25, 1797). The annual rents were gleaned from a sampling of the same newspaper from 1789 to 1801. 87. Williamson, Catalogue of the Collection, 4:163–69. 88. Pardailhé-​Galabrun, Naissance de l’intime, 377, 385–86. 89. Bordes, Portraiture in Paris, 18. 90. “Explication des Ouvrages de Peinture,” in Sanchez and Seydoux, Catalogues des Salons, 1:58. 91. Siegfried bases her estimate on the artist’s own guess of forty-​ five hundred, and on earlier secondary sources. Art of Louis-​Léopold Boilly, 117. 92. Hennequin, “Photographe” de l’époque de la Révolution, 16–17.

93. For evidence of the use of mannequins, see the Grand livre de Boze, 8–9; Romany to Wertmüller, February 25, 1798, Jacques Doucet Collections, Bibliothèque de l’Institut national de l’histoire de l’art; Greatheed, Englishman in Paris, 73, 119; and Passez, Antoine Vestier, 321, 330. 94. See Lajer-​Burcharth, Necklines, 236–305. Hunter, in “Second Nature,” also stresses the “social communication” and the “mutual gaze” involved in David’s portrait process. 95. Rosenthal, “She’s Got the Look!” Vigée-​Lebrun herself, in the advice to her niece and fellow portraitist included in her memoirs, recommends only the most banal conversation between artist and sitter to keep the client in good countenance. See Vigée-​Lebrun, Souvenirs, 1:322–24. 96. Harry Berger Jr. has argued, in the context of Renaissance and baroque portraiture, for the performativity of portraiture; he stresses the sitter’s deliberate adoption of expression and pose and the portrait’s nature as a construction of a fiction. See “Fictions of the Pose,” 101, and also Fictions of the Pose. 97. For records of these disputes, see Wildenstein, Rapports d’experts. 98. Ibid., 170. 99. “Je suis fort occupé, et sans que personne parle beaucoup d’argent.” Romany to Wertmüller, December 10, 1790, Jacques Doucet Collections, Bibliothèque de l’Institut national de l’histoire de l’art, Paris. 100. Portalis, Henry-​Pierre Danloux, 370, also 272–73; Port des Lumières, 338. 101. Pardailhé-​Galabrun, Naissance de l’intime, 387. 102. The 1794 inventory of the Desmoulins home, drawn up after the execution of Camille and his wife, Lucile, is housed in the Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris (ms 985, Rés. 24). 103. For the display of patrons’ portraits, see Müller, “ ‘Sans nom, sans place & sans mérite’?” 104. Quoted in Wildenstein and Wildenstein, Louis David, 152–53. 105. Halliday, in Facing the Public, provides a good survey of the critical reaction to portraiture during the Directory, including that of the most thoughtful theorists, among them Amaury Duval (34–42) and P.-​J.-​B. Chaussard (85–122). Beaurain’s “Art du portrait au dix-​ huitième siècle” traces critical reaction to portraiture during the ancien régime.

106. From the “neuvième époque” of his “Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind,” the introduction to his Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, published posthumously in 1795. Translated and reprinted in Condorcet, Condorcet: Selected Writings, 236.

Chapter 2 1. The representation of the king figured largely in Martin de Charmois’s reasoning in favor of the founding of the Academy in 1648. See his “Petition to the King.” 2. Jones, Great Nation, 403. Actors, domestic servants, and bankrupts were denied voting rights. 3. For the deputies’ experience of the Estates-​General, see Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary, and Lemay and Patrick, Revolutionaries at Work. 4. Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary, 124. 5. For studies of prerevolutionary intellectual life and culture, see, among others, Chartier, Cultural Origins of the French Revolution; Maza, Private Lives and Public Affairs; and Baker, Inventing the French Revolution. 6. Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary, 3. 7. Sieyès, Qu’est-​ce que le Tiers État, 198–99. 8. Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary, 121. 9. Mavidal and Laurent, Archives parlementaires, 8:54, quoted in ibid., 141. 10. Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary, 141. 11. Lieutaud provides a not entirely reliable list of published portraits of the deputies to the National Assembly in his Liste des portraits dessinés. The series I have been able to identify are the one published by Déjabin, beginning in November 1789; another published by Jean-​Baptiste Verité and Marguerite Bergny, beginning in 1790; another produced by J. Gabriel Fiesinger (dates uncertain); and a series published by François Bonneville, which appeared later in the Revolution (possibly in 1793) and included many nondeputies. It is possible that the publisher Basset also produced a series, and Gilles-​Louis Chrétien and Edme Queneday, specialists in mechanically produced physionotraces, may also have executed portraits of the deputies. The only set of portraits to have benefited from recent

Notes to Pages 43–54  /  249

scholarly attention was engraved by Levachez’s son, Charles-François-​ Gabriel Levachez, and published from 1798 to 1804 as a supplement to the print series Tableaux historiques de la Révolution française; see Roy, “Panthéon des ‘personnages.’ ” 12. Levachez’s deputy prints also provide an address in Versailles itself, possibly an outlet established specifically for the sale of this series. Levachez’s career is poorly documented; the entry for him and his son in Portalis and Béraldi, Graveurs du dix-​huitième siècle, 2:222–23, is perfunctory. See also Préaud et al., Dictionnaire des éditeurs d’estampes. 13. The catalogue of the de Vinck Collection at the Département des estampes of the Bibliothèque nationale lists the draftsmen and engravers involved in the project, some identifiable and others known only through their signatures on this project. The portraits were drawn by Jacques Delaplace, Louis-Benjamin-​Marie Devouge, Sandoz, Duchemin, Lambert, Mercier, and Mollard. The primary engravers were two married couples: Jean-​Louis Allais and Angélique Poureau, and Antoine-​François Sergent-​Marceau and Marie-​Louise Champion de Cernel. The other engravers were Pierre-Michel Alix; Barthélemy; Jacques Bonnefoy; Bostson; Antoine Carrée; PierreCharles Coqueret; Coutellier; Crauz; Louis Le Coeur; Jean-Nicolas Lerouge; Levachez’s son, Charles-François-Gabriel; Mlle. Notté; and Pitou. See Bruel, Siècle d’histoire de France, 2:243–46. 14. The rapidity of transfer from drawing to print was made possible by the technique Levachez chose—​aquatint and stipple, methods of etching that were far faster than burin-​based engraving techniques. As a point of comparison, a large burin engraving took eighteen months to two years to execute. See Hould, “Image des images,” 20. 15. For instance, the major actors in the Diamond Necklace Affair (1785–86) were portrayed in print portraits. See Maza, Private Lives and Public Affairs, 189–90. 16. Casselle, “Commerce des estampes à Paris,” 117. 17. Ibid., 67. Casselle cites one livre four sous as the typical price for a small portrait print, in the same genre as the Levachez portraits. One livre equals twenty sous. 18. Na 45 in the Département des estampes bears a manuscript annotation in the first person noting that the volume was purchased at the posthumous sale of Desmoulins’s possessions. 19. Private portrait galleries date at least to the Renaissance in France; Cardinal de Richelieu, for instance, assembled a collection of

250  / Notes to Pages 54–64

portraits of illustrious men in the early seventeenth century. But the public proliferation of depictions of great French historical figures, and the monarchy’s involvement in the production and diffusion of such portraits, is unique to the eighteenth century. Judith Colton argues in Parnasse François for Titon du Tillet’s 1708–18 project as the origin of the modern cult of genius. 20. Andrew McClellan, in “D’Angiviller’s ‘Great Men,’ ” demonstrates just how coordinated and politically pointed that campaign was. 21. For a stylistic history of portrait prints in the eighteenth century, see Thomas, French Portrait Engraving, and Campbell, “Portrait Print.” 22. Both David Bell and Jean-​Claude Bonnet have argued that the expanding cult of the great man helped erode the cultural and political power of the monarchy. Bell specifically addresses eighteenth-​ century print series in “National Memory and the Canon of Great Frenchmen,” chapter 4 of Cult of the Nation in France. See also Bonnet, “Culte des grands hommes,” and Bonnet, Naissance du Panthéon. 23. One exception to this rule is the series of profile portraits of living notables, particularly salon luminaries and artists, produced by the illustrator and engraver Charles-​Nicolas Cochin in the 1750s. A print series based on the drawings was published in 1764. According to Christian Michel’s Charles-​Nicolas Cochin, 172–74, the portraits did not find the audience that Cochin had hoped for, which suggests that their circulation was fairly limited. 24. Levachez’s prospectus, BnF, Département des estampes, Na 45–4°. 25. Ibid. 26. The most complete and best-​documented account of the official costumes of the estates can be found in Launay, Costumes, insignes, cartes. Wrigley’s Politics of Appearances is the most recent study of revolutionary dress and its political ramifications, though Wrigley deals only briefly with the controversy surrounding the costumes of the Estates-​General. 27. On May 25, 1789, a motion was made to forbid Third Estate deputies dressed in colors to enter the hall or, at least, to make speeches. Launay, Costumes, insignes, cartes, 12. 28. The marquis de Ferrières, in a letter to his family, worried about the price of the hat but consoled himself with the possibility of recycling the plumes as evening wear during Poitiers’s winter social season. He also expressed concern about the cost of the silk suit and

joked about declaring himself to be in mourning, the only excuse for the noble deputies to appear in the much less expensive wool drap. The marquis’s letter gives a sense of how the royally mandated magnificence of the official noble costume sat uneasily on the shoulders of deputies unaccustomed to the expense of court life. See Ferrières, Correspondance inédite, 34–36. 29. Gerbod, Histoire de la coiffure, and Kwass, “Big Hair.” 30. In fact, there are two Levachez portraits of Mirabeau, one without distinguishing inscriptions (Na 45, M242126), presumably executed before his death, and the more elaborate posthumous version shown here. 31. Mirabeau, Lettres du comte du Mirabeau, 21–22. 32. For an analysis of the implications of the frac for political culture, see Mansel, “Monarchy, Uniform, and the Rise of the Frac.” 33. The form of Gérard’s jacket and vest is typical of traditional Breton costume; see Creston, Costume Breton. 34. Gérard was singled out as an example of simple peasant virtue, first by Louis XVI during the Estates-​General, and then as the subject of a popular play, the title character of Jean-​Marie Collot d’Herbois’s radical political almanac, Almanach du père Gérard, pour l’année 1792, and numerous other publications. 35. Crow speaks specifically to the connotations of an unadorned, even awkward, style of visual representation in Painters and Public Life, 211–54. The importance of the rural was reinforced by the theorists known as physiocrats; for more on physiocracy and revolutionary ideals, see Livesey, Making Democracy in the French Revolution. 36. Keith Baker, in Inventing the French Revolution, reviews the different theories of political representation current in 1789, and argues that the National Assembly’s compromise position was inherently unstable. See particularly chaps. 9 and 10, “Representation Redefined” and “Fixing the French Constitution.” Friedland’s Political Actors builds on Baker’s analysis and emphasizes the ways in which the people’s role in the revolutionary government was progressively rendered more and more passive. The evidence provided by the Levachez series adds nuance to Friedland’s thesis of a constituency reduced to passivity. 37. Labille-​Guiard sent fourteen portraits of deputies, including one of Robespierre, to the Salon of 1791. These bust portraits, executed in the stripped-​down style that she had helped to popularize

before 1789, did not quite constitute a collective image, but they did bring the Levachez rhetoric of transparency to the Salon audience. See Auricchio, Adélaïde Labille-​Guiard, 77–81. 38. De Baecque, Body Politic, 191. The reference for the circumstances of its commission and production remains Bordes, Serment du jeu de paume. 39. David intended to distribute the composition as a print as a means of funding the painting project. At his request, Dominique-​ Vivant Denon began an etching in April 1794, but the plate was never finished. See Bordes, Serment du jeu de paume, 85, 234. 40. This collection is Na 45 in the Département des estampes at the Bibliothèque nationale. 41. Cited in Bruel, Siècle d’histoire de France, 2:246. The Déjabin series, which began in November 1789 and also seems to have ended around the time of the dissolution of the National Assembly, reached a total of six hundred prints before ceasing publication; some 980 drawings for the series survive. 42. For the birth of factions and clubs, see Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary, chaps. 6 and 8. 43. Lajer-​Burcharth, Necklines, 88–118; Berger, “Fictions of the Pose.” 44. Lajer-​Burcharth rightly points to the association of profile portraits with antique medallions (98–99) and the desire to commemorate likeness for posterity. Since David and his fellow prisoners risked the guillotine, the profile pose might have been chosen less for its similarity to the Déjabin portraits than for its evocation of posthumous memorialization.

Chapter 3 1. A few nonnobles served as officers during the ancien régime, but, as Rafe Blaufarb argues, late eighteenth-​century military reformers saw the reaffirmation of the nobility’s exclusive right to officer rank as the solution to the army’s problems. In 1781 a royal edict set the bar of officer rank at four generations of nobility. In 1788 the officer corps was 95 percent noble. Blaufarb, French Army, 13–17. See also Smith, Culture of Merit, 230–61. 2. The question of class and political agency before and during the Revolution has generated a great deal of debate. Colin Jones’s lucid

Notes to Pages 64–82  /  251

essay “Bourgeois Revolution Revivified” outlines the debates between Marxist and revisionist scholars over class conflict, and especially the role of the bourgeoisie in the Revolution, arguing that despite the attacks of revisionist historians, class-​based analysis is still a productive approach to revolutionary history. David Andress also advocates a revival of the social history of the Revolution in Massacre at the Champ de Mars, while acknowledging the irresolvable complexities of revolutionary social and political identity. Jack A. Goldstone provides a recent reevaluation of late eighteenth-​century social relations in “Social Origins of the French Revolution Revisited.” 3. The Musée Carnavalet holds eight securely identified portraits of National Guardsmen; the Musée de la Révolution française has six. 4. Chevalier, “Acquisitions,” 78. 5. For biographical information on Bellier, see Heim, Béraud, and Heim, Salons de peinture, 136. 6. Blaufarb discusses the importance of military service to noble identity in chapter 1 of The French Army. David Bell also argues for the essentially courtly nature of ancien régime officer rank in “Officers, Gentlemen, and Poets,” chapter 1 of First Total War. 7. “Mercredi 15 juillet 1789 lendemain de la prise de la Bastille sept charriots de provisions d’artilleries compris canons, mortiers, Bombes, Boulets, balles de fusil &c enlevés à l’Arsenal et conduit à l’Eglise de St Germian l’Auxerrois par N. D. Volontaire de ce Bataillon à la tête de huit bourgeois.” 8. For a general history of the National Guard, see Carrot, Garde Nationale. On the Parisian National Guard, see Clifford, “National Guard and the Parisian Community.” 9. Clifford, “National Guard and the Parisian Community,” 858. 10. Clifford discusses Guard membership, citizenship, and the symbolic power of the uniform in “Can the Uniform Make the Citizen?” 11. Richard Taws provides an insightful analysis of this print and its iconography in “Material Futures.” 12. Adresse d’un garde national [sic], 1. 13. See Nau-​Deville, Sur l’exposition des tableaux; Lettre à Messieurs de l’Académie, and Compte Rendu des séances électorales. 14. Sallon de Peinture (n.p., 1791), 15, in Deloynes, Collection des pièces sur les beaux-​arts, 17:442. 15. Descriptions of National Guard uniforms vary considerably, in part because they were never fully standardized. Nau-​Deville wears

252  / Notes to Pages 83–102

two gold epaulettes without fringe, the mark of an officer but difficult to correlate with any particular rank. For the most complete contemporary description of Guard uniforms, see Manuel à l’usage des jeunes gens. 16. Andress’s Massacre at the Champ de Mars provides a detailed account of the massacre, popular and official views of the conflict, and the National Guard’s waxing and waning reputation. Andress does not, however, include the visual evidence, in prints and portraits, of the guardsman’s enduring appeal as a figure of popular authority. 17. Philippe Bordes and Alain Chevalier identify Alexandre in Catalogue des peintures, 46–48, on the basis of a biographical essay by Jacques Godechot, “Fragments des Mémoires de Charles-​Alexis Alexandre.” 18. Andress, Massacre at the Champ de Mars, 66. 19. Godechot, “Fragments des Mémoires de Charles-​Alexis Alexandre,” 150–51, 153, 154–61. 20. Ibid., 125. The manuscript is held by the Bibliothèque Thiers in Paris. 21. Quoted in ibid., 151. Godechot adds, based on archival evidence, that it was the laundresses who were most affected by the shortage, having been forced to replace their morning sugared coffee with eau-de-​vie. 22. Essai sur la garde nationale, 18. 23. Charton, A la garde nationale parisienne, 1–3. 24. By 1792 the legislation relating to the National Guard, including entrance requirements, was arcane enough to merit an anthology; see the Code de la garde nationale. 25. Journal de la garde nationale, 9. 26. Hesse, “Law of the Terror,” 713. 27. Adresse à tous les bataillons, 7. 28. Quoted in Godechot, “Fragments des Mémoires de Charles-​ Alexis Alexandre,” 153–54. 29. Charly Coleman challenges the notion of eighteenth-​century possessive individualism in “Value of Dispossession.” 30. Bénézit, in Dictionary of Artists, describes Hooghstoel as a student of David, Vincent, Doyen, and his own father (7:275); the artist himself, in his Salon livret entry for 1799, claims only Vincent as a teacher. 31. Lettre à M. le marquis de La Fayette, 3–4. 32. Rarecourt, Adresse aux soixante districts, 6–7, 10. 33. Le Page, Discours sur le choix des officiers, 4–5, 11.

34. Etat militaire de la garde nationale, 2–115. 35. Notice historique sur M. le marquis de La Fayette, 15–18. 36. Gerrit Walczak attributes this portrait to Hauer on stylistic grounds; see his “Low Art, Popular Imagery,” 250. Hauer (1751–1829) was a portraitist and genre painter who was trained in his native Germany but spent most of his professional life in France. For further analysis of this painting in the context of family portraiture, see my article “Revolution at Home.” 37. Walczak points out that Hauer was also an officer in the Parisian National Guard and identifies the man in the blue vest and breeches as a chasseur in the Guard. 38. The identification of the sitters is based on the research of Pierre-​Yves Badel, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art Français. The story of Dogereau and Trouillard is documented in Guimar, Annales nantaises, 581–82. Dogereau’s 1791 death certificate refers to him as the “doyen of the National Guard.” I am indebted to Alain Chevalier, director of the Musée de la Révolution française, for pointing me to Badel’s work, and for providing copies of archival documents from the museum’s object files. 39. Hugues, “Portrait de monsieur,” and “Famille royale et ses portraitistes,” 168–69. 40. Matthiesson, “Political Dictionary of Artists,” 130–31. 41. According to Badel’s research, Descarsin exhibited the portrait in his studio and repeatedly advertised its presence. See, for instance, the notice in Affiches de Nantes et du departement de la Loire-​ Inferieure, March 16, 1791, 180.

The Terror 1. The total number of portraits in all media for the Salon of 1793 was more than 390. 2. Jones, Longman Companion to the French Revolution, 122–25. For the text of the Law of Suspects, see Baker, Old Regime and the French Revolution, 353. 3. L’île déserte, the play in which Lange filled this role, was staged only once at the Comédie-​Française during the revolutionary era, sometime in the first four months of 1789; see Tissier, Spectacles à Paris, 1:69, and Kennedy et al., Theatre, Opera, and Audiences, 126.

4. See Friedland, Political Actors, 17–20. 5. See Rougemont, Vie théâtrale en France, 209, for ancien régime accusations against actors and actresses. Johnson points to the precarious position of actors in the face of the Jacobin impulse to unmask and denounce anyone who might be dissimulating counterrevolutionary impulses; see his Listening in Paris, 122–23. 6. See Berlanstein, “Women and Power,” and also Daughters of Eve. 7. The Lenoir portrait was executed in the early 1770s and was first shown at the exhibition of the Académie de Saint-​Luc in 1774. It (or a version thereof ) was then exhibited again in 1795. According to the livret, the portrait exhibited in the Salon of 1795 was a pastel; the version in the Comédie-​Française is oil on canvas. See Friedland, Political Actors, 178, for Vestris’s political enthusiasm. 8. Seminudity in actress portraits survived at least into the 1770s in sculpted portraits and prints, perhaps because the bust format of sculpture and the classicizing cartouches and frames of prints more directly referenced the visual and dramatic traditions of antiquity. 9. Pierre Frantz describes the exodus from the Comédie-​ Française in “Pas d’entracte pour la Révolution.” 10. Stern, Brasseur d’affaires, 55; the date is based on a letter in the archives of the Comédie-​Française. 11. Quoted in Stern, Brasseur d’affaires, 56–57. 12. For analysis of this festival, see Ozouf, Festivals and the French Revolution, 254–59, and Hunt, “The Imagery of Radicalism,” in her Politics, Culture, and Class, 87–119. 13. Quoted in Guibert and Razgonnikoff, Journal de la Comédie-​ Française, 232. 14. The portrait is not mentioned in the contemporary literature surrounding the Salon of 1793. However, only four works of criticism have survived for this Salon. 15. David O’Brien, in After the Revolution, 25–27, discusses Gros’s choice of iconography. For a case study of the confrontation of real women’s breasts and idealized (and politicized) nudity during the Revolution, see Grigsby, “Nudity à la grecque in 1799.” 16. Portalis, Henry-​Pierre Danloux, 200–202. 17. Kerbiriou, Jean-​François de La Marche, 465–91. 18. Danloux’s solution to the problem of French political portraiture in exile also draws upon English portrait conventions. The

Notes to Pages 102–120  /  253

composition bears more resemblance to Joshua Reynolds’s or Thomas Gainsborough’s portraits of scholars and clerics than to French eighteenth-​century precedents. Even La Marche’s plain black suit seems to allude to English clerical costume. This kind of Anglophilia might have appealed to British buyers of the print, but it also ran the risk of undermining the portrait’s resolute pro-​Catholic and pro-​ absolutist stance. 19. The foundational studies of the British portrait market are Pointon, Hanging the Head, and Solkin, Painting for Money. 20. An outline of the Marat commission can be found in the introduction of Vaughan and Weston, David’s “The Death of Marat.” Schnapper and Sérullaz provide a detailed account of the painting’s production and reproduction in Jacques-​Louis David, 282–85. T. J. Clark’s reading of the painting positions it, by virtue of its direct engagement with the messy politics of the summer of 1793, as the beginning of modernism; see Farewell to an Idea, 15–20. Lajer-​ Burcharth and Crow both consider the Marat in their investigations of David’s personal and artistic identity. Crow analyzes the painting in the context of David’s relationship to his pupil Anne-​Louis Girodet, tracing its formal qualities back to a 1790 Girodet Pietà (Emulation, 162–69). Lajer-​Burcharth reads the painting in terms of gender ambiguity (something Crow also discusses) and David’s own anxieties about the feminine (Necklines, 43–46). For a range of other interpretations, see Michel, David contre David. 21. The four copies, executed by David and members of his studio in 1793 and 1794, are reproduced together in Kahng, Repeating Image, 22–23. 22. Halliday, in “David’s Marat as Posthumous Portrait,” places the Marat within a tradition of private images of grief as well as the public display of memorial portraiture. 23. Ibid., 70. 24. Clark, Farewell to an Idea, 45–48.

Chapter 4 1. “Portrait de la citoyenne Tallien dans un cachot à la Force, ayant dans les mains ses cheveux qui viennent d’être coupés.” Explication des Ouvrages de Peinture, 49–50.

254  / Notes to Pages 120–133

2. Pastoret and her husband, Emmanuel Pastoret, were early supporters of the Revolution, and Emmanuel held several positions in the government between 1789 and 1792. Louise herself was described by a disdainful contemporary as a “maîtresse commère de la Révolution” (gossipmonger of the Revolution). Bassan, Politique et haute société, 24. 3. The sitter has traditionally been identified as Éléonore Duplay, a woman said to have been Robespierre’s fiancée. However, neither the identification of the sitter nor the claim of an engagement between Duplay and Robespierre is grounded in any documentary or pictorial evidence. 4. Hesse, Other Enlightenment, xii–xiv. 5. The myths that have grown up around Cabarrus’s life story—​ some of which originated with Cabarrus herself—​make it difficult to separate fact from fiction. The most credible studies of her life are Ferrus, Madame Tallien à Bordeaux, and Bourquin, Monsieur et Madame Tallien. Françoise Kermina’s biography, Madame Tallien, 1773–1835, although slightly novelized, draws heavily on primary sources. 6. Kermina, Madame Tallien, 23. 7. La Chronique Scandaleuse 14 (n.d. [1791]), 2. An earlier number of the same journal (6 [1791]) featured another dialogue between “Mademoiselle Gaba . . . femme Fonte” and a friend, in which Thérésia is accused of covering up an indiscretion by telling her husband that she was attending a session of the National Assembly. 8. Bourquin, Monsieur et Madame Tallien, 102–14. 9. For details of Tallien’s early years, see ibid., 17–35, 80–114. 10. For an account of the Terror in Bordeaux and Cabarrus’s and Tallien’s influence there, see Ferrus, Madame Tallien à Bordeaux, 225–74. 11. Ibid., 165–66. There is some evidence that Cabarrus was imprisoned because of this denunciation, but if that was the case, she was quickly liberated and continued her advocacy. 12. Le Gentil, Mémoires du comte de Paroy, 381–82. 13. Houssaye, in Notre-​Dame de Thermidor, 468, claims that Cabarrus studied with Isabey, and reproduces the miniature of her children. Cabarrus also lent her artistic skills and her influence with the government to Godefroy Engelmann, the pioneer of lithography in France. Cabarrus sent samples of Engelmann’s early efforts, including a print after her own work, to a high-​ranking official in a

successful effort to promote the new technology. See Lang, Godefroy Engelmann, 51. 14. Cabarrus-​Fontenay, Discours sur l’éducation. A letter by Cabarrus confirms the circumstances of its delivery in Bordeaux; see Ferrus, Madame Tallien à Bordeaux, 194. 15. Cabarrus-​Fontenay, Adresse à la Convention nationale, reprinted in Ferrus, Madame Tallien à Bordeaux, 363–370. See also the Gazette Nationale, ou Le Moniteur Universel, 7 floréal an II (April 26, 1794), reprinted in Réimpression de L’Ancien Moniteur, 20:306–7. 16. Quoted in Ferrus, Madame Tallien à Bordeaux, 368. 17. Ibid., 350–51. 18. Thérésia Cabarrus Papers, Archives départementales de la Gironde, Registre L. 2170, no. 629, 15 floréal an II. For this and other documentation on Cabarrus’s flight from Bordeaux, see Ferrus, Madame Tallien à Bordeaux, 374–76. 19. Constant’s letters were published in the Nouvelle Revue Rétrospective 1 (1895): 49–96, 145–91; the relevant passages are found on 81–87 and 175–76. 20. Cabarrus describes her post-​Thermidorian role in later letters, from 1824 and 1826, cited in Houssaye, Notre-​Dame de Thermidor, 8–11, 13. 21. For more on the public visibility of the merveilleuses and their influence on politics and aesthetics, see Grigsby, “Nudity à la grecque in 1799”; Lajer-​Burcharth, Necklines, particularly chap. 4; and the exhibition catalogue Au temps des merveilleuses. Ribeiro discusses the innovations in dress introduced by Cabarrus and her peers in Fashion in the French Revolution, 124–35. 22. L’Abréviateur Universel, 19 nivôse an III ( January 8, 1795), 434. 23. Among Cabarrus’s early attackers on the left was Gracchus Babeuf, who in 1794 referred to her and other women in her circle as new Pompadours, Dubarries, and Antoinettes who had become “législatrices.” Kermina, Madame Tallien, 1773–1835, 161–62. 24. Le Messager du Soir, September 5, 1794, 2–3, and September 6, 1794, 2–3. This is the first published account of Cabarrus’s captivity. 25. Gazette Nationale, ou Le Moniteur Universel, 13 nivôse an III ( January 2, 1795), reprinted in Réimpression de L’Ancien Moniteur, 23:101–2. 26. Vedette ou Gazette du Jour, 13 nivôse an III ( January 2, 1795), 2–3.

27. For a classic account of political culture after the Terror, see Baczko, Ending the Terror. 28. Catalogue de tableaux anciens et modernes, 34. 29. Laneuville’s Salon entry included a portrait of Louis Legendre, a deputy who participated in the Thermidorian coup (location unknown); according to the Salon livret, he was depicted in the act of presiding over the trial of Jean-​Baptiste Carrier, a notorious Jacobin who had organized a massacre of suspected counterrevolutionaries in Nantes that came to symbolize the horrors of the Terror. It also included portraits of Jules-​François Paré (Musée Carnavalet, Paris), a former minister of the Interior; and Jean Pelet, known as Pelet de la Lozère (location unknown), who, like Tallien, had participated in the Thermidorian coup. The location of the portrait of Tallien is also unknown. 30. On Tallien and David, see Lajer-​Burcharth, Necklines, 14. 31. Both portraits were last documented in private collections. The Filleul was published in the exhibition catalogue Exposition rétrospective de portraits de femme; a detail of the Bouliar can be found in Berl, 9 Thermidor, 107. 32. Joan Wallach Scott’s essay on Gouges, “ ‘A Woman Who Has Only Paradoxes to Offer,’ ” provides an incisive overview of Gouges’s argument and of the problem of female citizenship during the Revolution. A version of this essay was incorporated into a larger argument about feminism and “natural” difference in Scott’s Only Paradoxes to Offer. 33. Guyomar, Partisan de l’égalité politique, 10–12. 34. Mavidal and Laurent, Archives parlementaires, 78:50, quoted in Sewell, “Le citoyen/la citoyenne,” 118. 35. Both female political participation and its condemnation are reflected in visual representation. See Gutwirth, Twilight of the Goddesses; Hunt, Politics, Culture, and Class; and Landes, Visualizing the Nation. 36. The Suvée painting of Chénier is in a private collection. For a brief discussion and some examples of prison-​related works, see Révolution française et l’Europe, 2:616–18. 37. See Mazeau, Corday contre Marat. Images of Corday in prison are relatively scarce compared to images of her in the act of killing Marat. 38. Mazeau analyzes the various post-​Thermidorian textual representations of Corday in the context of the rebuilding of political culture; see his Bain de l’histoire, 243–45. For analysis of the visual

Notes to Pages 133–146  /  255

representations of Corday, see Gelbart, “Blonding of Charlotte Corday,” and Kindleberger, “Charlotte Corday in Text and Image.” 39. From “La jeune captive,” first published in the Décade Philosophique, 20 nivôse an III, reprinted in Chénier, Oeuvres complètes, 185–86. 40. David’s hastily sketched portrait of Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine (Louvre) records the humiliation that this practice visited on prisoners, particularly women. 41. Blanc, Dernière lettre, 156. 42. Sewell, “Le citoyen/la citoyenne,” 115. 43. [Villiers and Capell,] Critique du Salon, ou Les Tableaux en Vaudevilles, unpaginated, in Deloynes, Collection des pièces sur les beaux-​ arts, 18:488. Halliday attributes the poor reception of Cabarrus’s portrait to the reaction against her husband’s Jacobinism rather than to her own reputation or claims to political agency. Facing the Public, 80–82. 44. [Villiers and Capell,] Critique du Salon, ou Les Tableaux en Vaudevilles, in Deloynes, Collection des pièces sur les beaux-​arts, 18:488. 45. Étrivières de Juvenal, 11. 46. L’Ami des Arts: Journal de la Société Philotechnique, 26 brumaire an V (November 15, 1796), 443. 47. Any changes made by Laneuville after it was hung in the Salon are not apparent to the naked eye. I have found no contemporary accounts of the portrait outside the Salon criticism. The only other mention of the painting beyond the three cited occurs in the Feuille du Jour, 27 vendémiaire an V (October 18, 1796), 2–3, which merely mentions the beauty of the sitter and her “bienfaisance.” 48. Quoted in Bourquin, Monsieur et Madame Tallien, 310, which dates this issue of Rapsodies du Jour to July 24, 1796. 49. See the Catalogue de tableaux anciens et modernes for an inventory of Laneuville’s collection.

Chapter 5 1. Geneviève Lacambre dates the painting to summer 1797. For her argument, along with the only recent critical assessment of the painting, see the exhibition catalogue De David à Delacroix, 429–30. 2. There is no evidence that the portrait of Revelliere-​Lépeaux was ever displayed publicly, although it may have hung in the director’s lodgings in the Luxembourg palace between 1797 and 1799.

256  / Notes to Pages 149–167

3. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 1:313. 4. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s published memoirs form the basis for all later writing on the director. Two major biographies exist: Meynier, Représentant de la bourgeoisie angevine, and Robison, Revelliere-​ Lépeaux, Citizen Director. 5. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 1:49. 6. Ibid., 1:61. 7. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Doléances, voeux et pétitions; Lettre à un seigneur d’Anjou; Adresse à la noblesse; and Plaintes et désirs des communes. 8. Quoted in Robison, Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Citizen Director, 54. 9. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 1:65–66. 10. Lemay’s Dictionnaire des constituants, 2:528–29, describes Revelliere-​Lépeaux as speaking often in the assembly and as being particularly distrustful of executive power. He originally belonged to the Jacobin club but moved to the more moderate Feuillants in July 1791. 11. In February 1793, the month after the king’s execution and two months before the establishment of the Committee of Public Safety, Revelliere-​Lépeaux wrote an article in the Chronique de Paris titled “Le Cromwellisme” (reprinted in vol. 3 of the Mémoires) that compared an unnamed potential dictator (probably Robespierre) to Cromwell. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s mistrust of popular politics is evident in his account of the revolutionary journées of July 14 (the attack on the Bastille) and October 5–6 (the march on Versailles); Meynier and Robison both note his distaste for working-​class activism and his conviction that government should be left to the propertied classes. 12. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 1:73–74. 13. Reprinted in Robison, Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Citizen Director, 85. My translation. 14. The presidency of the Directory rotated every three months. Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s term lasted from August to November 1797. See Robison, Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Citizen Director, 150–51. 15. See, for example, Directoire exécutif aux Français; Grand jugement proposé par la commission de salut public; Proclamation de Directoire exécutif aux Français; and Détail de la conspiration. 16. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 1:316, 2:93–94, 2:412–13. In his memoirs, François-​Yves Besnard, a friend of the director, recalls these dinners at the Luxembourg Palace and specifically names François Gérard among the guests. See Besnard, Souvenirs d’un nonagénaire, 2:107–9.

17. A letter in the Revelliere-​Lépeaux dossier at the Musée des beaux-​arts in Angers, dated November 18, 1985, and signed by Georges Poisson, curator at the Musée de l’Île de France, confirms that Revelliere-​Lépeaux purchased the property at Andilly in 1798 and sold it in 1804. 18. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 2:414–15. 19. Two letters from Revelliere-​Lépeaux to Gérard are included in Gérard, Lettres adressées au baron François Gérard, 2:28–30. 20. The signboard (dated to 1794, 74 × 55 cm, location now unknown) is described in Gérard, Notice sur l’oeuvre du Baron François Gérard (unpaginated), under the heading “Esquisses peintes.” Gérard and Revelliere-​Lépeaux may also have met through their mutual friend Jean-​François Ducis, who, as Mark Ledbury has argued, was part of David’s social circle from as early as the late 1760s. See Ledbury, “Visions of Tragedy.” 21. Ducis to Népomucène Lemercier, June 12, 1805, in Ducis, Lettres de Jean-​François Ducis, 198–99. Ducis affectionately referred to Gérard as the modern Correggio, an epithet no doubt assigned to the artist after the success of his Cupid and Psyche at the Salon of 1798. 22. “Ce tableau peint à l’époque du Directoire (vers 1798) est sur toile et de 1 mètre 60 c de hauteur sur 1 mètre 30 c de longeur. Il est de François Gérard et de son meilleur tems [sic], celui où il a peint son Bélisaire. Larevellière est représenté assis sur une pierre et auprès d’une fontaine, au retour d’une herborisation dans le forêt de Montmorency. Le livre qu’il tient dans la main gauche est la Philosophie botanique de Linné; dans sa main droite sont deux plantes qu’il vient de cueillir, la Ficaire et le Myosotis. Ces fleurs sont du celèbre Van Spaendonck, qui, lié avec Larevellière aussi intimement que l’était Gérard, voulut s’associer à ce dernier dans une oeuvre consacré à leur ami. Le site et tous les accessoires sont reproduits fidelement d’après nature, ainsi que le fonds du paysage qui représente ces côteaux boisés d’Andilly.” Ossian Larevellière-​Lépeaux to the mayor of Angers, January 3, 1843, Revelliere-​Lépeaux dossier, Musée des beaux-​arts, Angers. 23. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 1:xxiv–xxv. 24. Mornet’s Sentiment de la nature remains the best work on the idea of nature in eighteenth-​century France. See also Charlton, New Images of the Natural, and Le Ménahèze, Invention du jardin romantique. 25. All of the scholarship on the concept of nature in the eighteenth century stresses the centrality of Rousseau’s work in general

and of Julie in particular. See Charlton, New Images of the Natural, 34–38; Le Ménahèze, Invention du jardin romantique, 66–75, 355–56; and Mornet, Sentiment de la nature, 120–21, 183–217. 26. I am indebted to Charly Coleman for my reading of Rousseau’s treatment of nature and subjectivity; see his “Illuminating the Self.” 27. Rousseau in fact wrote a textbook for amateur botanists, written in 1771–73 and published in Geneva in 1781, then in Parisian editions in 1800 and 1805 (the latter illustrated by Pierre-​Joseph Redouté, Van Spaendonck’s best-​known student). See Rousseau, Oeuvres complètes, 4:1151–1256. 28. Williams’s Botanophilia in Eighteenth-​Century France provides an overview of the scientific and popular discourses on botany. 29. See Spary, Utopia’s Garden, introduction, esp. 8–13, and chapter 3, in which she discusses the social implications of Buffon’s system. 30. Rousseau to Linnaeus, September 21, 1771, quoted in Duris, Linné et la France, 103. The letter was published in the Journal de Paris in May 1786. 31. On sensibility and literature, see Trahard, Maîtres de la sensibilité française, and Trahard, Sensibilité révolutionnaire. More recently, historians have addressed sensibility as a scientific concept; see Vila, Enlightenment and Pathology, and Risken, Science in the Age of Sensibility. Although he prefers the term “sentimentality” to “sensibility,” David Denby connects sensibility and the desire for social reform in Sentimental Narrative and the Social Order. 32. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 2:161. 33. The miniature is executed in watercolor and gouache on cardboard. A date of 1797–98 seems likely, since Ossian was born in the spring of 1797; the miniature would thus be contemporary with the Gérard/Van Spaendonck portrait. Sauvage was a student of Van Spaendonck and a specialist in trompe l’oeil bas-​relief painting. 34. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 2:44–45. 35. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, “Poésies Fugitives,” ms 1951, Bibliothèque municipale, Angers. 36. “Ne reste pas couple fidelle / Aussi loin du calme des bois! / L’aspect seduisant de la ville / Te cache un destin rigoureux / Fuis loin de ce perdide asile / Retourne aux champs pour etre heureux.” Ibid. 37. Girardin, De la composition des paysages, 104. 38. The landscape in the portrait of Madame Victoire is the terrace of Bellevue, where the princesses had recently replaced the

Notes to Pages 167–176  /  257

old-​fashioned symmetrical parterres with more casual plantings. See Passez, Adélaïde Labille-​Guiard, 210–12. 39. The sitter has traditionally been identified as Charles-​Louis Cadet de Gassicourt, but as Sylvain Laveissière notes, the evidence supporting this identification is shaky. See Laveissière, Pierre-​Paul Prud’hon, 96. 40. The portrait is attributed, without documentation, to Greuze. I am indebted to Jean-​Marc Vasseur, Kimberly Crisman Campbell, Heather MacDonald, and Olivier Meslay for their insights into this portrait. The painting’s evocation of sensibility and philosophical contemplation in the landscape calls to mind slightly earlier male portraits by non-​French artists, such as Joseph Wright of Derby’s painting of Brooke Boothby (1781), in which Rousseau also plays an important part, and Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein’s portrait of Goethe in the Roman countryside (1787). There is, however, no documented link between these experimental portraits and their French counterparts of the early 1790s. 41. The schematic treatment of the landscape can be explained in part by the fact that the painting was completed in haste, in time for the Salon of 1795. On the portraits’ origins, see Lajer-​Burcharth, Necklines, 64–67. 42. For the political implications of the tricolor cockade, see Wrigley, Politics of Appearances, 103–6, 116–18. The wearing of the cockade in public had been, at least in theory, mandatory for men since July 1792 and for women since September 1793. The cockade survived Thermidor and continued to be required for entrance to many public amusements. 43. My account of Gérard’s career is drawn from Crow’s Emulation and Latreille’s “François Gérard.” 44. See Crow, Emulation, 193–205. The other first prize went to a drawing by Vincent. 45. When the project was finally published, sixteen of the twenty-​ three engravings were after drawings by Gérard. See ibid., 319–20n46. 46. Girodet’s Belley was shown at the commercial Elysée exhibition in 1797 and then at the Salon of 1798. 47. Lajer-​Burcharth, Necklines, 2. Lajer-​Burcharth is one of many scholars to identify a social and aesthetic crisis of masculinity during the Revolution; for specifically art-​historical analyses, see also Grigsby, “Nudity à la grecque in 1799”; Crow, Emulation; and Solomon-​ Godeau, Male Trouble.

258  / Notes to Pages 177–191

48. Lajer-​Burcharth, Necklines, 2, 203. 49. Revelliere-​Lépeaux refers to “l’auteur du Contrat social, cet homme immortel que ses maximes politiques et ses principes de morale feront toujours regarder comme le véritable apôtre de la liberté et de la vertu, en dépit de tous ses détracteurs,” in Discours sur les relations éxterieures, 6–7, quoted in Robison, Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Citizen Director, 51. 50. Rousseau, Les rêveries du promeneur solitaire, in Oeuvres complètes, 1:1014. 51. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Rapport fait au Conseil Général, unpaginated. 52. See Spary, Utopia’s Garden, especially the introduction and 194. 53. Richefort, “Métaphores et représentations de la nature,” 4. 54. Quoted in Jaurès, Convention, 1641. 55. Saint-​Just, Oeuvres complètes, 2:230. 56. For a history of the idea of natural rights and its deployment during the Revolution, see Gauthier, Triomphe et mort du droit naturel. 57. Godechot, Constitutions de la France, 33. 58. Dan Edelstein, in Terror of Natural Right, argues more pointedly that Jacobin theorists’ conflation of republicanism and nature made any crime against the nation a crime against nature, thus authorizing the Terror. 59. Ozouf, Festivals and the French Revolution, 388–440. 60. For a description of the festival, probably written by David himself, see “Plan de la Fête à l’Etre Suprême.” 61. Robespierre, “Fin du rapport de Robespierre,” 243. 62. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 2:161. 63. See Mathiez, Théophilanthropie et le culte décadaire. Mathiez discusses earlier projects for natural religion in the first chapter. 64. Ibid., 96, 171–72. 65. Reprinted in Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Mémoires, 3:7–27. 66. Indeed, Revelliere-​Lépeaux claims in his memoirs that the creators of Theophilanthropy based their ideas on his report to the Institut (2:162), but as both Mathiez and Robison have pointed out, the Manuel des théophilanthropophiles appeared in print months before Revelliere-​Lépeaux’s address. 67. According to Robison, Revelliere-​Lépeaux “remained in sympathy” with the movement over the course of 1799, without offering any explicit support. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Citizen Director, 181.

68. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Du Panthéon, 7–8. 69. Le Ménahèze, Invention du jardin romantique, 445–46, 472–73. 70. Le Prieur, Description d’une partie, 7–8. 71. Trahard’s Sensibilité révolutionnaire considers the writings of numerous architects of the Revolution—​Mirabeau, Robespierre, Marat, Saint-Just—​who to a man declared themselves to be extraordinarily sensible. See his chapter “La formation sensible des révolutionnaires,” 26–45. See also Andress, “Living the Revolutionary Melodrama,” which argues that the Terror should be understood through the lens of Robespierre’s sensibility. 72. Robespierre quoted in Denby, Sentimental Narrative and the Social Order, 152. 73. Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Proclamation du Directoire exécutif, 4.

Chapter 6 1. The same infantile nudity appears in the miniature portrait of the Revelliere-​Lépeaux family (see fig. 69), but it seems less incongruous in the pastoral setting created by Sauvage and Van Spaendonck. 2. Boyer-​Fonfrède, A messieurs les présidents et juges, 47. 3. Gazette Nationale, ou Le Moniteur Universel, 6 thermidor an III ( July 24, 1795), quoted in Hunt, Family Romance, 164. 4. Jeffrey Merrick traces the uses of the familial metaphor for royal authority in “Fathers and Kings.” 5. Traer, Marriage and the Family, 16. 6. Louis Hautecoeur, who in 1945 published what remains the only serious treatment of the family portrait in France, argues that family portraits were produced in increasing numbers from 1750 to 1790. See Hautecoeur, Peintres de la vie familiale. Philippe Bordes discusses the adoption of sentimental family portraiture at court in “Portraiture in the Mode of Genre.” 7. Christine Kayser discusses this portrait briefly in Enfant chéri, 42. Quatremère was the cousin of the better-​known Antoine-​ Chrysostome Quatremère de Quincy, art theorist and politician. 8. See Desan, Family on Trial, and Daumas, Familles en Révolution. 9. Patrice Higonnet stresses the radical commitment to individualism during the early Revolution in Goodness Beyond Virtue, especially chapter 2, “The Limitless Claims of Individual Liberty.”

10. Hunt points to the success of the theme of the fatherless child in popular fiction of 1792–94 to support her argument (Family Romance, 86); there is no corresponding boom in child portraiture or the depiction of children in genre or history painting at the same moment, with the important exception of the short-​lived cult of the child martyrs Bara and Viala. 11. Traer, Marriage and the Family, 105, 120. 12. The statistics compiled by Roderick Phillips suggest that women usually initiated the divorce process. See Phillips, Family Breakdown, 44–60. 13. Ibid., 13. Traer reports that during the ancien régime the age of majority had been even higher: thirty for men and twenty-​five for women. Marriage and the Family, 91. 14. Phillips, Family Breakdown, 13; see also the chronology of laws relating to the family in Desan, Family on Trial, 326–27. 15. Desan discusses this brief movement in favor of women’s property rights in Family on Trial, 66. 16. Jean Bart argues in “Individu et ses droits” that revolutionary family and property law codified the rights of the individual. 17. See Julia, “Institution du citoyen.” 18. Buchez and Roux, Histoire parlementaire, 32:654, quoted in Garaud, Révolution française et la famille, 142. 19. Guyomar, Partisan de l’égalité politique, quoted in Godineau, “ ‘Qu’y a-t-​il de commun entre vous et nous,’ ” 79. 20. Desan, Family on Trial, 67, 80–81. Jennifer Ngaire Heuer, in Family and the Nation, also presents evidence that undermines Hunt’s thesis. 21. The evidence pointing to the identification of the sitters as the Desmoulins family is circumstantial but convincing. The figure of the man in particular conforms closely to known portraits of Camille Desmoulins. Camille and Lucile Desmoulins were a famously loving couple; both his correspondence and her diary attest to the intensity of their relationship. Although there is no mention in their writings of the commission of a family portrait, an inventory of their apartment made after their death includes a family portrait, as well as many other images of revolutionary notables (Desmoulins, as noted in chapter 2, was a collector of the Levachez deputy portraits). The inventory is discussed in Bertaud, Camille et Lucile Desmoulins, 138. 22. David used this convention only a few years before the Desmoulins portrait in his 1788 double portrait of Antoine-​Laurent

Notes to Pages 193–210  /  259

and Marie-Anne-​Pierrette Lavoisier (Metropolitan Museum of Art). Desmond Shawe-​Taylor discusses the iconography of muses in portraiture in Genial Company, 22–24. 23. Mavidal and Laurent, Archives parlementaires, 72:674. 24. A combined total of three family portraits appeared in the Salons of 1791 and 1793. The number climbs steadily from 1795 onward, reaching an average of eleven family portraits per Salon during the Consulate. As we will see, this increase is consonant with renewed emphasis on the family in political rhetoric after the Terror. I make an argument for the political ramifications of family portraiture during the early Revolution in “Revolution at Home.” 25. Camille and Lucile Desmoulins were in fact no more than comfortably middle-​class. Camille was trained as a lawyer; Lucile was the daughter of a Parisian bourgeois. When the portrait was painted, the couple inhabited a three-​room apartment near the Jardin de Luxembourg. For a description of the apartment, see Bertaud, Camille et Lucile Desmoulins, 136–40. 26. Desan, “Reconstituting the Social,” 85. 27. Article 4 of the “devoirs” section of the Déclaration des droits et des devoirs de l’homme et du citoyen, in Godechot, Constitutions de la France, 103. 28. Ibid., 112. 29. Traer, Marriage and the Family, 102, quoting a public notice in Angers from the minister of the Interior to local administrations, 21 germinal an VII (April 1799), Archives départementales, Nord, L1260. 30. Barret-​Kriegel argues in “Sphère privée, citoyenneté, démocratie” that the early Revolution valued abstract individual rights in the public sphere and a discarnate citizen, while the Civil Code tried to reinstate solidarity, hierarchy, family, and inequality. Desan’s work shows clearly how this reinstatement began under the Directory. 31. Kathryn Calley Galitz discusses the Boyer-​Fonfrède portrait in terms of Rousseauian and republican theories of breastfeeding in “Nourishing the Body Politic.” For the revolutionary symbolism of breastfeeding, see also Jacobus, “Incorruptible Milk.” 32. The most important secondary sources on the life and career of François-​Bernard Boyer-​Fonfrède are Causse, “Industriel Toulousain”; Hémardinquer, “Crédit industriel et spéculation”; and Hémardinquer, “Affaires et politiques.” 33. François-​Bernard’s mother was represented by her nephew at the local Assemblée de la noblesse in 1789, but her sons seem not to

260  / Notes to Pages 212–220

have advertised their nobility in any way. Hémardinquer, “Affaires et politiques,” 165 and n. 2. 34. Michaud, Biographie universelle, 5:382–83. 35. Hémardinquer, in “Crédit industriel et spéculation,” 48, cites Turquan, La citoyenne Tallien, 272, which mentions “les bals les plus renommés de l’époque, ceux de M. Boyer-​Fonfrède,” but provides no primary evidence for this statement. Causse describes Boyer-​Fonfrède’s business successes in detail; his presence in Paris during much of the Directory is confirmed by mentions in Adam and Arnould, Précis pour les sieurs Adam frères, 2–4. 36. Taillard discusses Louis’s practice and the Boyer-​Fonfrède commission. “Architecture et la commande,” 35–39. 37. L’Ami des Arts: Journal de la Société Philotechnique, 30 vendémiaire an V (October 21, 1796), 234. 38. The most recent and most critically acute study of Vincent’s career is Mansfield, Perfect Foil. 39. “Ces trois tableaux appartiennent au C. Boyer-​Fonfrède, de Toulouse. Ils sont destinés à orner une galerie, ainsi que les autres Muses dont la suite est demandée à l’auteur.” Guiffrey, Collection des livrets (Salon of 1798), 8:50. 40. Isabelle Mayer-​Michalon describes the commission, execution, and reception of the Meynier paintings in Charles Meynier, 30–38. I am indebted to Madame Mayer-​Michalon for several productive conversations about the Boyer-​Fonfrèdes’ patronage. The Musée du vieux Toulouse owns the drawing of the Boyer-​Fonfrède salon with the Meyniers in place; it is now on deposit at the Musée Paul-​Dupuy in Toulouse. Mayer-​Michalon attributes the drawing to Charles Norry and dates it to ca. 1795. Only five of the Meynier canvases survive; the series was probably never completed. Boyer-​ Fonfrède seems to have sold the Meynier canvases not long after their execution, no doubt owing to his ongoing financial problems. 41. Boyer-​Fonfrède, A messieurs les présidents et juges, 47. 42. A second version of this drawing in the Jeffrey E. Horvitz Collection differs slightly from the first version, and is inscribed “Ils nous doivent la vie. Nous leur devons le bonheur” (They owe us life. We owe them happiness). See Mansfield, Perfect Foil, 282n25. This explains the title assigned to the first version, which passed through the market in 1992. See the entry in the Gazette de l’Hôtel Drouot, no. 43, November 27, 1992. 43. I am indebted to Elizabeth Cropper for pointing out Vincent’s reference to Raphael.

44. Explication des Ouvrages de Peinture (an VI/1798), 68–69, reprinted in Guiffrey, Collection des livrets (Salon of 1798), 8:8. 45. Boyer-​Fonfrède himself does not seem to have considered Agriculture a portrait; when he tried to sell it to the Bordeaux museum in 1828, neither he nor Lacour described the painting as a portrait. 46. Vincent to Jean-​Pierre Saint-​Ours, August 11, 1800, Papiers de Saint-​Ours, Bibliothèque de la ville de Genève, quoted in Mansfield, Perfect Foil, 202. 47. Mansfield, in Perfect Foil, 194–95, notes the significance of Vincent’s recording of place (rare in his oeuvre) and argues that the series’ juxtaposition of scenes set in Paris and the provinces resonates with a surviving Girondin politics that sought to balance the influence of the capital with the contributions of the rest of the country. She suggests that Vincent and Boyer-​Fonfrède, whose brother was a Girondin deputy, may have shared this political view. 48. Marie-​Pascale Bault, in “ ‘ La Leçon de Labourage,’ ” discusses the painting’s relationship to eighteenth-​century political economy and the ideas about nature and education put forth by Rousseau in Émile (1762) and other works. 49. See Shovlin, “The Agrarian Law and the Republican Farmer,” in Political Economy of Virtue, 182–212. 50. Boissy d’Anglas, Discours préliminaire au projet de constitution, 25, quoted in ibid., 207. 51. Shovlin’s argument builds on work by James Livesey about the popularity of agriculture in economic and political theory during the Directory. Livesey, however, is more optimistic about the democratic potential of agrarianism under the Directory, arguing that the agrarian model allowed the Directory to reconcile the basic conflict between the communitarian and individualist strands of revolutionary thought. See Livesey, Making Democracy in the French Revolution. 52. Many thanks to John Shovlin for this reference. The dauphin’s plowing lesson was also an invocation of a similar gesture on the part of Joseph II, emperor of Austria and Marie Antoinette’s brother. See Mainz, Image du travail, 59–60. 53. “Exposition des peintres vivans commencé le 19 juillet 1798,” Mercure de France, in Deloynes, Collection des pièces sur les beaux-​arts, 20:538; “l’origine du travail, de la croyance à l’être suprême, de la reconnaissance . . . qui a conduit les hommes par la main et de degrés de la constitution agreste à la constitution politique,” “Observations sur les tableaux de cette exposition” (1798), ibid., 19:537. 54. Mansfield, Perfect Foil, 196.

55. See the Mercure de France review, “Exposition des peintres,” cited in note 53. 56. Boyer-​Fonfrède owned an estate outside Bordeaux, although there is no evidence that he was directly involved in its management. See Hémardinquer, “Crédit industriel et spéculation,” 45. 57. The depiction of wealth, and in particular commercial wealth, in revolutionary art is the subject of an essay by Helen Weston that discusses the Boyer-​Fonfrède commissions as well as works by Pierre-​ Paul Prud’hon. See Weston, “Working for a Bourgeois Republic.” 58. Causse, “Industriel Toulousain,” 125. 59. Ibid., 127–28. 60. Boyer-​Fonfrède, Au directoire exécutif. 61. Adam and Arnould, Précis pour les Sieurs Adam frères, 2–4. 62. Miegeville and Marion, Observations pour la dame Mariannita Barrère, 3. Boyer-​Fonfrède was said to be “notoirement au-​dessous de ses affaires.” 63. Hémardinquer, “Crédit industriel et spéculation,” 50. 64. La Ville de Mirmont, Histoire du Musée de Bordeaux, 1:494–503. 65. This separation was not merely financial (although it is clear that she intended to protect her dowry from her husband’s creditors); it was also physical, according to both parties’ legal documents. In Observations pour la dame Mariannita Barrère, 81, 134, Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède’s representatives claim that since the separation she had lived outside her husband’s house. 66. Boyer-​Fonfrède, A messieurs les présidents et juges, 20. The possibly entirely rhetorical allegation that Paul was the only child Madame Boyer-​Fonfrède breastfed confuses even further the issue of which children are represented in the 1801 portrait.

Conclusion 1. Taws, “Trompe-​l’Oeil and Trauma,” 370. 2. For a meticulously documented account of the financial aspect of the commission, see Schnapper and Sérullaz, Jacques-​Louis David, 359–73. 3. The coronation took place on December 2, 1804; David was named premier peintre on December 18. 4. Laveissière, Sacre de Napoléon, 67. 5. Chaussard, “Beaux-​Arts,” 535.

Notes to Pages 223–238  /  261

6. For more on Napoleon and the heritage of the Revolution, see Jones, Great Nation, 578–80. 7. Laveissière, Sacre de Napoléon, 81–83. 8. Porterfield, “David’s Sacre,” in Porterfield and Siegfried, Staging Empire, 157. 9. Ibid., 121, 132. 10. Porterfield presents the Boilly painting as complicit in the Coronation’s false offer of accessibility. Ibid., 124–25.

262  / Notes to Pages 238–241

11. Laveissière, Sacre de Napoléon, 123–24. 12. The formal qualities of the work seem to point to a student or imitator of David, but that qualification extends to a very large number of artists. The card tucked into the mirror frame is almost illegible; the first line seems to read “A Monsieur,” but the following two lines are impossible to decipher. The recent catalogue entry by Amar Arrada on the painting in Citizens and Kings, 386–87, provides no new information about the sitters or the artist.


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Page numbers in italics refer to illustrations. Académie de Saint-​Luc, 25, 253n. 7 Address of a National Guardsman, 90 Address to all the battalions of the Parisian National Guard, 97 aesthetics. See also formats; poses artists and, 5–6, 7–8, 28 citizenship and, 6–7, 138–39, 141–45 commerce and, 27–28 criticism and, 5–7 family and, 199–201, 210–12 gender and, 141–45 history painting and, 5–6, 7, 216, 226 in Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard), 161 National Guard and, 98, 107 portraiture and, generally, 5–8, 9–10 Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and, 5, 6 Salons and, 6–7, 26 selfhood and, 8, 138–39, 141–45 sitters and, 5–6, 7–8, 141–45 viewers and, 141–45 Agriculture (Vincent), 222–23, 225–26, 225, 228–30, 231 Alexandre, Charles-​Alexis in Portrait of a National Guard Officer Protecting a Sugar Cargo (Bizard), 93–99, 94 works compared with, 101, 103, 105, 108, 141 Alexis (Marais), 182, 183 Alix, Pierre-​Michel, 49, 51, 55, 64 An Allegory of the Revolution with a Portrait Medallion of Jean-​Jacques Rousseau ( Jeaurat de Bertry), 17, 18 Almanach de beaux-​arts, 29 Almanach national (Debucourt), 90, 91 Amar, André, 141, 146 American Revolution, 46, 89 L’Ami des Arts, 155 L’Ami du Peuple, 122 ancien régime. See monarchy Andrieux, Bertrant, 35, 36 Angers Sociéte des Botanophiles, 164 Angiviller, Charles-​Claude d’, 58, 59 Anglas, François-​Antoine Boissy d’, 229

Anne-Marie-​Louise Thélusson, comtesse de Sorcy (David), 126, 142–43, 143, 144 anonymous Charles-​François, comte de Marsanne de Fontjuliane, 48, 64, 65 Charles-​François Bouche, député d’Aix en Provence, 55–56, 56, 58, 68 Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats, 235–37, 236 The Citizen Hesmart with a Bust of Gluck, 34–35, 35 Deputy of the Nobility to the Estates-​General, 62, 63 Deputy of the Third Estate to the Estates-​General, 62, 63 Family Portrait, 241–43, 242 The Fashionable Mother, 232–33, 232 Festival of the Supreme Being, 208, 209 Honoré-​Riqueti Mirabeau, 49, 51, 55 Ma finte, Monsieur, je crois que vot habit d’Officier m’irois ben, 82, 83 Matière à reflection pour les jongleurs couronnées, 109, 110 Michel Gérard, 68, 69 Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate, 1–2, 2, 8 Pierre Hébrard de Fau, 64, 66 Portrait of a Woman, 129, 130, 141 Portrait of Camille Desmoulins, His Wife, Lucile, and Their Son, Horace, 210–13, 211, 214, 234 Apollo (Meynier), 216–18, 218 aristocracy. See nobility Arria and Paetus (Vincent), 146 artists, generally. See also individual artists aesthetics and, 5–6, 7–8, 28 citizenship and, 15, 16, 19–23, 235 commerce and, 8, 15–16, 25–33 criticism of, 46 fame of, 29–30, 31–32, 33–34 family and, 203–4, 206 marketing and, 25–33, 35, 37–38 National Guard and, 86, 107 negotiation by, 33–42 portraiture and, generally, 5–6, 7–8 prices and, 34, 38–42, 44 selfhood and, 4–5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 19–23, 25, 32, 235 sittings and, 42–44 the Terror and, 109–10 transparency and, 19–23 viewers and, 45–46

An Assembly of Artists in the Studio of Isabey (Boilly), 29–30, 30 Augustin, Jean-​Baptiste, 39, 40, 41, 44 Auvergne, Henri-​Oswald, Cardinal de La Tour d’, 118–20, 120 Babeuf, Gracchus, 138, 167, 255n. 23 Baecque, Antoine de, 73 Bailly, Jean Sylvain, 54, 71, 72, 73 La Barque (Isabey), 247n. 51 Barras, Paul, 138, 156 Basset, 249n. 11 Bastille, 86–93 Beauharnais, Josephine, 136, 138, 140, 158, 237 Belisarius (Gérard), 161, 168, 169, 182–83, 184 Belley, Jean-​Baptiste, 183–84 Bellier, Jean-François-​Marie The Citizen Nau-​Deville in the Uniform of the National Guard, v, 86–93, 87 works compared with, 96, 97, 99, 101, 103, 105, 108 Belot, Michel, 2–4, 3, 45 Benoist, Marie-​Guillemine, 32 Berger, Harry, Jr., 76 Bergny, Marguerite, 249n. 11 Berthélemy, Jean-​Simon, 206 Bertin, Rose, 29 Bertrand Andrieux Ice-​Skating (Delafontaine), 35, 36 Besnard, François-​Yves, 256n. 16 Bizard Portrait of a National Guard Officer Protecting a Sugar Cargo, 93–99, 94 works compared with, 101, 103, 105, 108, 141 Blanc, Olivier, 148 Blauw, Jacobus, 19–21, 20, 33–34, 44, 61, 107 Blin, Pierre, 59, 60 bodies, 16–17, 19–21, 22, 75–76, 82, 241. See also poses Boilly, Louis-​Léopold An Assembly of Artists in the Studio of Isabey, 29–30, 30 family portraiture and, 203–4 Madame Arnault de Gorse, 42, 42 prices and, 40 The Public Viewing David’s “Coronation” at the Louvre, 239–41, 240

276 / index

sittings and, 42, 43 Boizot, François-Marie-​Antoine, 229 Bonaparte, Lucien, 38 Bonneville, François, 249n. 11 Boothby, Brooke, 258n. 40 The Borghese Gladiator, 229 Bouche, Charles-​François, 53, 55–56, 56, 57, 58, 61, 68 Bouliar, Marie-​Geneviève, 140 Bourcet, Pierre-​Jean de, 21–22, 21 Boyer-​Fonfrède, François-​Bernard. See also Boyer-​Fonfrède family art commissioned by, 199, 216–30, 233–34 in The Boyer-​Fonfrède Family (Vincent), 200, 201 business activity of, 214–16, 230–31 marriage of, 215, 231–33 in Vincent family series, 221, 223, 227 Boyer-​Fonfrède, François-​Bernard (Paul), 224, 232, 233 Boyer-​Fonfrède, Jean-​Baptiste, 215 Boyer-​Fonfrède, Jean-François-​Bernard, 221, 224, 231–32 Boyer-​Fonfrède, Marianne Barrière. See also Boyer-​Fonfrède family in The Boyer-​Fonfrède Family (Vincent), 199–201, 200 marriage of, 215, 231–33 Portrait of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède and Her Son (Vincent), 199, 218–19, 218, 226 in Vincent family series, 226–27 Boyer-​Fonfrède family Agriculture (Vincent), 222–23, 225–26, 225, 228–30, 231 The Boyer-​Fonfrède Family (Vincent), 11–12, 199–203, 200, 205, 214, 219–30, 232–34, 235, 243 Comfort the Unfortunate (Vincent), 219–30, 220 Duty and Happiness (Vincent), 219–30, 219 Merchants at the Port of Marseille (Vincent), 219–30, 223 The Plowing Lesson (Vincent, 1795), 219–30, 221 The Plowing Lesson (Vincent, circa 1796-97), 219–30, 222 The Boyer-​Fonfrède Family (Vincent) analysis of, 11–12, 199–203, 200, 205, 214, 219–30, 232–34 works compared with, 235, 243 Boze, Joseph, 40 Bry, Jean-Antoine-​Joseph de, 138–39, 139 Bust of a National Guard Officer (Mérard), 83–84, 84 bust portraiture, 36–37, 40

Cabarrus, François, 132 Cabarrus, Thérésia The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (Laneuville), ii, 10, 11, 127–29, 128, 130–31, 138–59, 186–87, 195–96, 235 Madame Tallien (Gérard), 156–58, 157 political activity by, 127–29, 132–38, 140–41, 145, 148–49, 153–54, 156, 226 Portrait of Three of Thérésia Cabarrus’s Children (Engelmann), 133, 134 Tallien and, 127, 133, 135, 136, 146, 150, 151–52, 153, 154, 156, 158 Cambon, Joseph, 136 Carrier, Jean-​Baptiste, 255n. 29 Carriera, Rosalba, 33 Chalvet-​Souville, Marie de Broutin, baronne de, 150, 151 Champs de Mars massacre, 75, 93, 95 Chandoiseau, Jeanne-Marie-Mélanie-​Victoire Boyleau de The Family Meal (van Spaendonck and Sauvage), 173, 174 garden of, 172 Gérard and, 168 marriage of, 164, 165, 166, 169 Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-​Siméon, 33 Charles-​Antoine Chasset (Coqueret), 65–67, 67 Charles-​François, comte de Marsanne de Fontjuliane (anonymous), 48, 64, 65 Charles-​François Bouche (Lambert), 55–56, 57 Charles-​François Bouche, député d’Aix en Provence (anonymous), 55–56, 56, 58, 68 Charles-Louis-​François Letourneur (Desoria), 163, 164, 165, 186, 195 Charlotte-​Louise de Rohan-​Guéménée, princesse de Masseran (Nattier), 113, 114 Charmois, Martin de, 249n. 1 Chasset, Charles Antoine, 65–67, 67 Chaudet, Antoine-​Denis, 32 Chaudet, Elisabeth, 32 Chaussard, Pierre-Jean-​Baptiste, 6–7, 238, 249n. 105 Chénier, André, 6, 146, 147, 149 Cherubini, Luigi, 14, 247n. 52 Chimay, François-​Joseph de Caraman, prince de, 156, 158 Choizeau, Pierre-​Louis, 41

Chrétien, Gilles-​Louis, 29, 249n. 11 La Chronique Scandaleuse, 132 Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats (anonymous), 235–37, 236 The Citizen Hesmart with a Bust of Gluck (anonymous), 34–35, 35 The Citizen Nau-​Deville in the Uniform of the National Guard (Bellier) analysis of, v, 86–93, 87 works compared with, 96, 97, 99, 101, 103, 105, 108 citizenship. See also representative government aesthetics and, 6–7, 138–39, 141–45 artists and, 15, 16, 19–23, 235 class and, 1–2, 96–97, 103–8, 129, 141, 212, 228–30 commerce and, 10, 32, 39, 96–97, 228–30, 235–37 in constitution, 213, 238 Directory and, 213–14 education and, 207–8 family and, 11–12, 103–8, 127, 129, 134–35, 141, 202–3, 206–13, 213–14, 226–30, 233–34, 241–43 fashion and, 145–46, 149–50, 188, 195–96, 212, 258n. 42 formats and, 34–35, 38, 130–31, 153, 243 gender and, 127–31, 134–35, 140–59, 186–88, 202–3, 207, 210–12, 212–13, 214, 226–28, 233 landscape portraiture and, 176–82, 186–88, 193–96 marketing and, 32, 235–37 in Michel Belot (Drolling), 2–4 military and, 103–8 National Assembly and, 49–50, 51, 127, 212 National Guard and, 11, 85, 90–93, 96–97, 103–8, 127, 129, 145, 202 nature and, 176–82, 186–90, 191–96 portraiture and, generally, 4–5, 6–7 property and, 96–97 regeneration and, 17, 23, 25, 158, 214, 237 representative government and, 49–50, 51 Salons and, 153 selfhood and, 2–5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 19–23, 25, 32, 34–35, 38, 46, 109–10, 123–24, 127–31, 140–59, 176–82, 186–88, 193–96, 202–3, 206–10, 226–30, 233–34, 235–37, 239–43 sitters and, 15, 16, 19–23, 141–45, 235 the Terror and, 109–10, 123–24, 127, 186–87 transparency and, 16–23, 135, 142–45, 187, 237, 243

index / 277

citizenship (cont’d) viewers and, 19–23, 141–45 virtue and, 228–29, 241–43 The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (Laneuville) analysis of, ii, 11, 127–29, 128, 130–31, 138–59 works compared with, 10, 186–87, 195–96, 235 Clark, T. J., 9, 124 class. See also clergy; nobility; property; Third Estate bodies and, 82 citizenship and, 1–2, 96–97, 103–8, 129, 141, 212, 228–30 commerce and, 93–103 family and, 103–8, 202–3, 204–6, 212, 228–30, 243 fashion and, 62–64, 64–68, 73–74, 82, 165 gender and, 95–96, 101 military and, 81, 82, 84–90, 92–93, 99–108 National Assembly and, 52, 53, 54, 62–64, 64–68, 71, 73–74, 77–78, 81, 234, 243 National Guard and, 81, 82, 84–86, 88–90, 92–108 property and, 93–99 Revelliere-​Lépeaux on, 165 selfhood and, 202–3, 228–30 vocabulary of, 81–82 clergy. See also class family and, 203 fashion and, 82 in Jean-​François de La Marche, Bishop of Saint-Pol-de-​Léon (Danloux), 110–11, 118–21, 119 in Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate (anonymous), 1–2 National Assembly and, 52, 53, 54, 62, 73 National Guard and, 81, 90 the Terror and, 110–11, 115, 118–21 clothing. See fashion Cochin, Charles-​Nicolas, 250n. 23 cockades, 24. See also fashion collaboration aesthetics and, 7–8 commerce and, 27 family and, 206

278 / index

negotiation and, 33–42 portraiture and, generally, 4–5, 7–8, 25, 27 sittings and, 43–44 Colson, Jean-​François Gilles, 110–18, 111, 121, 124 Comédie-​Française, 112, 114–16 Comfort the Unfortunate (Vincent), 219–30, 220 commerce. See also goods; marketing aesthetics and, 27–28 artists and, 8, 15–16, 25–33 bust portraiture and, 36–37 citizenship and, 10, 32, 39, 96–97, 228–30, 235–37 class and, 93–103 consumer culture, 23–25, 28–29, 32, 41–42, 50 criticism and, 27–28 fame and, 27, 29–30, 31–32, 33 family and, 222–23, 228–30 goods and, 27, 28–29, 32 history painting and, 27 market for, 25–27, 54–55 military and, 99–103 National Assembly and, 50, 120 National Guard and, 93–103 Paris and, 15–16, 28–29, 32 portraiture and, generally, 8–9, 9–10 Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and, 8, 32 Salons and, 8–9, 27–28, 29, 30, 31 selfhood and, 10, 16, 32, 228–30 self-​portraits and, 30 sexuality and, 28 sitters and, 8, 25, 27, 29–30, 32–33 studios and, 28, 29–30, 31–32, 32–33 the Terror and, 120, 121, 122, 123 viewers and, 8–9, 25 commissioners, 4–5, 7–8, 27, 33–42, 54, 206. See also individual commissioners Committee of Public Safety, 116, 134, 208 commoners. See Third Estate Concours de l’An II, 182 Condorcet, marquis de, 46 Conseil des Anciens, 213

Constant, Charles de, 136 constitution in Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats (anonymous), 236, 237 citizenship in, 213, 238 National Assembly and, 50, 53, 70, 71, 72 National Guard and, 90, 96, 97 property in, 97 Revelliere-​Lépeaux and, 163, 166, 195 Consulate, 203, 232–33 consumer culture, 23–25, 28–29, 32, 41–42, 50. See also commerce; goods Conti, prince de, 84 Coqueret, Pierre-​Charles, 65–67, 67 Corday, Marie Anne Charlotte, 122, 146–47, 148, 154 Coronation (David), 237–41, 238, 243 Correggio, 257n. 21 costume. See fashion Cosway, Maria, 32 The Count Pierre-​Jean de Bourcet and His Family (Landon), 21–22, 21 Courbe, Wilbrode-Magloire-​Nicolas, 76–77, 77, 153 criticism aesthetics and, 5–7 of Agriculture (Vincent), 229 of The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (Laneuville), 154–56 commerce and, 27–28 portraiture and, generally, 5–7, 238 of Salons, 6–7, 27–28, 46, 92–93, 216 Critique du Salon, 154–55 Crow, Thomas, 5, 7 Cupid and Psyche (Gérard), 161, 183, 185, 257n. 21 Danloux, Henri-​Pierre family portraiture and, 203–4 Jean-​François de La Marche, Bishop of Saint-Pol-de-​Léon, 110–11, 118–21, 119, 121–22, 124 marketing by, 31, 33 on payment, 44 Danton, 132

David, Jacques-​Louis Anne-Marie-​Louise Thélusson, comtesse de Sorcy, 126, 142–43, 143, 144 Blauw and, 33–34 Coronation, 237–41, 238, 243 The Death of Marat, 110–11, 121–24, 121, 196 Death of Socrates, 146 Emilie Sériziat and Child, 160, 180–82, 180, 186 fame of, 10, 32, 38 Festival of Unity and Indivisibility and, 116 imprisonment of, 76–77, 140 Intervention of the Sabine Women, 45 Jacobus Blauw, 19–21, 20, 61, 107 Lavoisier portrait by, 259n. 22 Louise Pastoret and Her Son, 114, 115, 129, 131, 141 Marie Antoinette and, 256n. 40 Napoleon Bonaparte, portraits of, 41, 43, 43 Oath of the Horatii, 206 Pierre Sériziat, 180–82, 181, 184–86, 187 prices and, 39–40, 41, 44 selfhood and, 9, 144, 145 sittings and, 42, 43 as teacher, 34, 35, 138, 139, 182, 252n. 30, 262n. 12 The Tennis Court Oath, 71–74, 72, 77 Thirius de Pautrizel, 76–77, 76, 153 viewers and, 45–46 Vincent and, 199, 216, 218, 226 The Death of Marat (David), 110–11, 121–24, 121, 196 Death of Socrates (David), 146 Debucourt, Philibert-​Louis, 90, 91 Décade Philosophique, 149 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, 97, 140–41, 189 Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen, 127, 140–41 Déjabin, 76–77, 77, 153, 249n. 11, 251n. 41 Delafontaine, Pierre-​Maximilien, 35, 36 Demachy, Pierre-​Antoine, 189–90, 190 Denon, Dominique-​Vivant, 251n. 39 Deputy of the Nobility to the Estates-​General (anonymous), 62, 63 Deputy of the Third Estate to the Estates-​General (anonymous), 62, 63 Derby, Joseph Wright of, 258n. 40

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Desan, Suzanne, 208, 213 Descarsin, Rémy-​Furcy, 105–8, 106, 129, 139, 202 Desmoulins, Camille Levachez portraits and, 55 newspaper of, 245n. 1 Portrait of Camille Desmoulins, His Wife, Lucile, and Their Son, Horace (anonymous), 45, 210–13, 211, 214, 234 Desmoulins, Lucile, 45, 210–13, 211, 214, 234 Desoria, Jean-​Baptiste François, 163, 164, 165, 186, 195 Devin, Théodore, 132 Dibutades, 150, 152 Directory family and, 203, 213–14, 230, 232–33, 234 nature and, 189 Revelliere-​Lépeaux in, 161–63, 164, 166–68, 173, 195–96 Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences (Rousseau), 188 display. See viewers Dogereau, René, 105–8, 106, 129 Doyen, 252n. 16 Drevet, Claude, 118–20, 120 Drolling, Martin, 2–4, 3, 45 Drouais, Jean-​Germain, 247n. 68 Ducis, Jean-​François, 168–69, 170, 257n. 20 Ducreux, Joseph, 140, 245n. 9 Duhem, Pierre-​Joseph, 136 Dumont, François, 14, 31, 31, 35, 40, 41 Duplay, Éléonore, 254n. 3 Duplessis, Joseph Siffred, 49, 50, 88, 89, 99 Dupont, Henry, 146, 147, 149 Duport, Adrien, 18 du Tillet, Évrard Titon, 58 Duty and Happiness (Vincent), 219–30, 219 Duval, Amaury, 249n. 105 Dying Gaul, 90 Ecole gratuite d’industrie, 230–31 economics. See commerce education, 133–35, 202, 207–8, 219–30, 230–31 Elysée national, 191–93 Émile (Rousseau), 168, 172

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Emilie Sériziat and Child (David), 160, 180–82, 180, 186 Encyclopédie, 173, 194 Engelmann, Godefroy, 133, 134 engravers, 54, 55, 122 the Enlightenment, 17, 171–75, 176 equality. See citizenship Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Locke), 172–73 Estates-​General, 49, 52–53, 70, 81, 164, 193. See also National Assembly Estellé, 99–103, 100, 108 État actuel de Paris, ou le provincial à Paris, 29 Les étrivières de Juvenal, 155 Evreux, Henri Louis de La Tour d’Auvernge, comte de, 86–88, 88, 99 Exposition de la Jeunesse, 25, 26, 83–84, 138 Fabre, François-​Xavier, 248n. 69 Facing the Public (Halliday), 7 fame marketing and, 27, 29–30, 31–32, 33 National Assembly and, 54, 61 negotiation and, 33–34, 38–39 selfhood and, 45 of sitters, 27, 31–32, 35 family aesthetics and, 199–201, 210–12 Agriculture (Vincent), 222–23, 225–26, 225, 228–30, 231 The Boyer-​Fonfrède Family (Vincent), 11–12, 199–203, 200, 214, 219–30, 232–34, 235, 243 citizenship and, 11–12, 103–8, 127, 129, 134–35, 141, 144, 202–3, 206–13, 213–14, 226–30, 233–34, 241–43 class and, 103–8, 202–3, 204–6, 212, 228–30, 243 Comfort the Unfortunate (Vincent), 219–30, 220 commerce and, 228–30 Consulate and, 203, 232–33 Directory and, 203, 213–14, 230, 232–33, 234 Duty and Happiness (Vincent), 219–30, 219 education and, 202, 207–8, 219–30, 230–31 The Family Meal (van Spaendonck and Sauvage), 173, 174 Family Portrait (anonymous), 241–43, 242 Family Portrait with National Guard Officers (Hauer), 103–5, 104, 108, 202, 212, 214

The Fashionable Mother (anonymous), 232–33, 232 fashion and, 199–201, 212, 221–22, 229–30, 241, 243 Festival of the Supreme Being (anonymous), 208, 209 formats and, 203–4, 243 French Revolution and, 202–3, 206–10 gender and, 127, 129, 134–35, 141, 144, 186, 201, 202–3, 207, 208, 209–10, 210–12, 212–13, 214, 226–28 goods and, 199, 201 history painting and, 206, 220–26, 229–30, 233–34 Holy Family (Raphael), 220–21, 224 Jacobins and, 207–8, 210–13 Marc-​Étienne Quatremère and Family (Lépicié), 204–6, 205, 210 marketing and, 203–4 marriage in, 203, 207, 212 Merchants at the Port of Marseille (Vincent), 219–30 military and, 103–8 monarchy and, 202, 203, 207 Napoleon Bonaparte and, 32, 156, 238–39 National Guard and, 86, 103–8 nature and, 173, 213, 227 nobility and, 203–6 The Plowing Lesson (Vincent, 1795), 219–30, 221 The Plowing Lesson (Vincent, circa 1796-97), 219–30, 222 Portrait of a Family in an Interior (Levrac-​Tournières), 203–4, 204 Portrait of Camille Desmoulins, His Wife, Lucile, and Their Son, Horace (anonymous), 210–13, 211, 214, 234 Portrait of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède and Her Son (Vincent), 199, 218–19, 218, 226 poses and, 199–201, 202, 210, 220, 241 property and, 207, 212 regeneration and, 105, 208–9, 213, 214 Salons and, 206, 212, 222–23, 227, 228, 234 selfhood and, 127, 129, 144, 202–3, 204–10, 218–19, 226–30, 233–34, 238–39, 241–43 sensibility and, 203–4, 208–9 the Terror and, 208, 212–13 transparency and, 243 virtue and, 214, 231–33 The Family Meal (van Spaendonck and Sauvage), 173, 174 Family Portrait (anonymous), 241–43, 242

Family Portrait with National Guard Officers (Hauer), 103–5, 104, 108, 202, 212, 214 fashion citizenship and, 145–46, 149–50, 188, 195–96, 212, 258n. 42 class and, 62–64, 64–68, 73–74, 82, 165 Directory and, 161, 165, 195–96 family and, 199–201, 212, 221–22, 229–30, 241, 243 gender and, 145–46, 149–50, 188, 258n. 42 hair in, 145, 149–50, 151, 152, 155, 161, 188, 243 landscape portraiture and, 184–86, 188, 195–96 monarchy and, 62, 66–67 National Assembly and, 24, 50, 62–70, 71, 73–74, 75–76, 76–77 representative government and, 50, 62–70, 76 selfhood and, 24, 145–46, 149–50, 184–86, 188, 195–96 transparency and, 68 The Fashionable Mother (anonymous), 232–33, 232 The Father’s Curse (Greuze), 206 Fau, Pierre Hébrard de, 64, 66 Félibien, André, 5 Ferrières, marquis de, 250n. 28 Festival of the Supreme Being (anonymous), 208, 209 Festival of the Supreme Being (Demachy), 189–90, 190 Festival of Unity and Indivisibility, 116, 188–89 Fête de la Fédération, 90 Fiesinger, J. Gabriel, 249n. 11 Filleul, Rosalie, 140 First Estate. See clergy Fontaine, Pierre-François-​Léonard, 30 Fontenay, Jean-​Jacques Devin, marquis de, 132 formats. See also aesthetics; poses citizenship and, 34–35, 38, 130–31, 153, 243 family and, 203–4, 243 gender and, 130–31, 153 marketing and, 37–38 National Assembly and, 49, 50, 55, 61–62, 68–70, 71–72, 74, 76–77 National Guard and, 84–85, 107–8 in portraiture, generally, 34–38, 40–41 prices and, 40–41 representative government and, 49, 50, 76–77 Salons and, 37

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formats (cont’d) selfhood and, 34–38, 130–31, 153, 243 the Terror and, 118–20, 123, 153 Franklin, Benjamin, 45 Fraternity, 214, 215 French Revolution. See also individual people and events family and, 202–3, 206–10 gender and, 132–38, 140–41 nature and, 188–96 portraiture and, generally, 1–5, 6–10, 12 selfhood and, 9, 46, 235–37 Funeral of Militades (Peyron), 146, 206 Gainsborough, Thomas, 254n. 18 Galerie françoise, 61 Gassincourt, Charles-​Louis Cadet de, 177, 178, 184–86, 187, 258n. 39 Gauffier, Louis, 37–38, 39 Gazette de France, 54, 75 gender aesthetics and, 141–45 citizenship and, 127–31, 134–35, 140–59, 186–88, 202–3, 207, 210–12, 212–13, 214, 226–28, 233 class and, 95–96, 101 family and, 127, 129, 134–35, 141, 144, 186, 201, 202–3, 207, 208, 209–10, 210–12, 212–13, 214, 226–28 fashion and, 145–46, 149–50, 188, 258n. 42 formats and, 130–31, 153 French Revolution and, 132–38, 140–41 goods and, 145 landscape portraiture and, 176–82, 186–88 love and, 147–52 marketing and, 26 National Assembly and, 127, 212 National Guard and, 127, 129, 202 poses and, 141–45, 145–46, 184–86, 187 Salons and, 26, 140 selfhood and, 11, 112–18, 127–31, 140–59, 176–82, 186–88, 202–3, 226–28, 233 sexuality and, 112–18, 132, 136, 140, 141, 144, 145, 154, 156 sitters and, 10, 127, 141–45

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sittings and, 43 the Terror and, 11, 112–18, 127, 186–87 viewers and, 45–46, 127, 141–45 virtue and, 132, 134, 135, 137, 140, 141, 145, 147, 148–49, 214 Gérard, François Alexis (Marais) after, 182, 183 Belisarius, 161, 168, 169, 182–83, 184 Cabarrus and, 140 career of, 182–83 Cupid and Psyche, 161, 183, 185, 257n. 21 fame of, 32, 38 Isabey and, 30 Jean-​Baptiste Isabey and His Daughter, 37, 38 Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux, 11, 161–63, 162, 165, 167, 168–71, 172, 183–88, 189, 193–96, 202, 228, 243, 259n. 1 Madame Tallien, 156–58, 157 Ossian Summoning the Spirits, 168 prices and, 41 replicas by, 37–38 The 10th of August, 1792, 182 Gérard, Michel, 68, 69 Gillray, James, 191, 192 Girardin, René-​Louis de, 175, 177–80, 179, 184–86, 193 Girodet, Anne-​Louis, 111–12, 182, 183–84 Girondins, 109, 122, 216, 261n. 47 Glomy, Jean-​Baptiste, 248n. 85 Goethe, 258n. 40 Goldstein, Jan, 9 Gonord, 29 goods. See also commerce consumer culture, 23–25, 28–29, 32, 41–42, 50 family and, 199, 201 gender and, 145 marketing and, 27, 28–29, 32 prices for, 41 representative government and, 50, 235–37 transparency and, 19–22 Gorse, Madame Arnault de, 42, 42 Gouges, Olympe de, 127, 140–41 Grassin, Simon Claude, Chevallier de, 88, 89, 99

Greatheed, Bertie, 32, 248n. 82 great man cult The Death of Marat (David) and, 123 National Assembly and, 58–62, 72, 76, 77, 92 National Guard and, 92 Revelliere-​Lépeaux and, 191–93, 195 Gros, Jean-​Antoine, 117, 117, 141 Greuze, Jean-​Baptiste, 177–80, 179, 184–86, 206 Guyomar, Pierre, 140–41 hair in The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (Laneuville), 145, 149–50, 151, 152, 155 in Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard), 161, 188, 243 Hall, Pierre Adolphe, 40 Halliday, Tony, 7, 123 Hauer, Jean-​Jacques Family Portrait with National Guard Officers, 103–5, 104, 108, 202, 212, 214 prison portraiture and, 146 Hennequin, Philippe-​Auguste, 34, 40, 44 Henri IV, 62 Henri Louis de La Tour d’Auvergne, comte d’Evreux, Maréchal de France (Rigaud), 86–88, 88, 99 Henri-​Oswald, Cardinal de La Tour d’Auvergne (Drevet), 118–20, 120 Hérault de Séchelles, Marie-​Jean, 188–89 Herbois, Jean-​Marie Collot d’, 251n. 34 Hesmart, 34–35, 35 Hesse, Carla, 22, 97 history painting aesthetics and, 5–6, 7, 216, 226 Boyer-​Fonfrède and, 216–18 The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (Laneuville) as, 151–52, 153 family and, 206, 220–26, 229–30, 233–34 marketing and, 27 Napoleon Bonaparte and, 239 National Guard and, 86, 91–93, 99, 108 portraiture compared with, 4, 5–6, 7, 11–12, 27, 183 selfhood and, 216–18, 233–34, 239

The Tennis Court Oath (David) as, 71, 72–73, 74 Holy Family (Raphael), 220–21, 224 Honoré Gabriel de Riquetti, comte de Mirabeau (Courbe), 76–77, 77, 153 Honoré-​Riqueti Mirabeau (Alix), 49, 51, 55, 64 Hooghstoel, Jean-​Marie, 99–103, 100, 108 Houdon, Jean-​Antoine, 15–16, 27, 30, 236 Hunt, Lynn, 207, 208 hunting, 170–71, 176, 177–82, 186, 187 identity. See selfhood L’île déserte, 253n. 3 Ingouf, François Robert, 58–59, 59 Intervention of the Sabine Women (David), 45 Intervention of the Sabine Women (Vincent), 206 The Invention of Drawing (Suvée), 150, 152 Isabey, Jean-​Baptiste An Assembly of Artists in the Studio of Isabey (Boilly), 29–30, 30 Cabarrus and, 133 fame of, 15–16, 32 Gérard paints, 161 Jean-​Baptiste Isabey and His Daughter (Gérard), 37, 38 self-​portraits by, 30 Jacobins. See also Société des amis de la constitution Boyer-​Fonfrède and, 215 Cabarrus and, 127, 155 citizenship and, 23, 186 Corday and, 147 family and, 207–8, 210–13 Revelliere-​Lépeaux and, 165–66, 167, 168, 189–93, 195 Schickler and, 84 the Tennis Court Oath and, 71 the Terror and, 76, 109, 110, 116, 118, 122, 131, 136, 138, 146 Vincent and, 216 Jacobus Blauw (David), 19–21, 20, 61, 107 Jardin des Plantes, 166, 167 Jean-​Baptiste Isabey and His Daughter (Gérard), 37, 38 Jean-​Ernest Schickler (Wertmüller), 80, 84, 85 Jean-​François de La Marche, Bishop of Saint-Pol-de-​Léon (Danloux), 110–11, 118–21, 119, 121–22, 124

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Jeaurat de Bertry, Nicolas Henri, 17, 18, 23 “La jeune captive” (Chénier), 149 Jones, Colin, 24 Joseph II, 261n. 52 Journal de la garde nationale, 97 Journal de Paris, 27 Julie (Rousseau), 168, 171–72, 193 Karpff, Jean-​Jacques, 141, 142 Kéralio, Chevalier de, 102 Kwass, Michael, 24 Labille-​Guiard, Adélaïde, 26, 175–76, 177, 186, 216, 251n. 37 Lacour, Pierre, 15, 43, 44 Lafayette, marquis de, 89–90, 101, 102 La Font de Saint-​Yenne, Étienne, 6, 27 Lairesse, Gérard de, 245n. 5 Lajer-​Burcharth, Ewa, 43, 76–77, 186–87 La Marche, Jean-​François de, 110–11, 118–21, 119, 121–22, 124 Lamballe, princesse de, 155 Lambert, Jean Baptiste Ponce, 55–56, 57, 67 Lameth, Charles, 132 Landon, Charles Paul, 21–22, 21, 142–43, 144, 144 landscape portraiture. See also nature citizenship and, 176–82, 186–88, 193–96 conventions of, 170–71 the Enlightenment and, 171, 176 fashion and, 184–86, 188, 195–96 gender and, 176–82, 186–88 in Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard), 11, 161, 163, 169–70, 183–88, 189, 193–96 poses and, 177, 184–86, 187, 193 selfhood and, 175–88, 193–96 sitters and, 184–86 Laneuville, Jean-​Louis The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut, 10, 11, 127–29, 128, 130–31, 138–59, 186–87, 195–96, 235, ii Gérard compared with, 182, 186–87 Portrait of Jean-Antoine-​Joseph de Bry, 138–39, 139

284 / index

Vincent compared with, 233 Lange, Élise, 110–18, 111, 121, 124 La Pagerie, Rose de, 136, 138, 140, 158, 237 La Tour, Maurice Quentin de, 19 Lavoisier, Antoine-​Laurent and Marie-Anne-​Pierrette, 259n. 22 Le Barbier, 60 Lefèvre, Robert, 35–36, 37, 140 Legendre, Louis, 255n. 29 Le Gentil, Jean-Philippe-​Guy, comte de Paroy, 133 Lenoir, Simon-​Bernard, 112–13, 113 Le Peletier de Saint-​Fargeau, Félix, 132, 207–8 Le Peletier de Saint-​Fargeau, Louis-​Michel, 17, 122 Lépicié, Nicolas-​Bernard, 203–6, 205, 210 Letourneur, Charles-Louis-​François, 163, 164, 165, 186, 195 Levachez, Charles-François-​Gabriel, 250n. 11 Levachez, Nicolas-​François Charles-​François, comte de Marsanne de Fontjuliane (anonymous), 48, 64, 65 Charles-​François Bouche (Lambert), 55–56, 57 Charles-​François Bouche, député d’Aix en Provence (anonymous), 55–56, 56, 58, 68 Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats (anonymous) compared with, 236 The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (Laneuville) compared with, 153 class and, 54, 62–64, 64–68, 71, 77–78, 81, 234, 243 The Death of Marat (David) compared with, 122 fashion and, 50, 62–70, 71, 74, 75–76 gender and, 127, 212 great man cult and, 58–62, 72 Honoré-​Riqueti Mirabeau (Alix), 49, 51, 55, 64 Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard) compared with, 163, 186, 195–96 Michel Gérard (anonymous), 68, 69 Pierre Hébrard de Fau (anonymous), 64, 66 production by, 54–57, 71–72, 74–75 representative government and, 49–51, 70–71, 74, 77–78 selfhood and, 75–76 The Tennis Court Oath (David) compared with, 71–74 Levrac-​Tournières, Robert, 203–4, 204

liberty. See citizenship liberty trees, 189 Linnaeus, Carl, 169, 172, 187–88, 194 Locke, John, 134, 172–73, 189 Louis, Louis-Nicolas-​Victoire, 216 Louise Pastoret and Her Son (David), 114, 115, 129, 131, 141 Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard), 162 fashion in, 165, 243 nature in, 189, 193–96, 228 origins of, 168–71, 172, 259n. 1 overviews of, 11, 161–63 selfhood and, 167, 183–88, 202 Louis XIV, 49, 58 Louis XV, 175 Louis XVI in Almanach national (Debucourt), 90, 91 Boizot print of, 229 in Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats (anonymous), 236, 236 in The Count Pierre-​Jean de Bourcet and His Family (Landon), 21, 22 execution of, 109, 110, 207 Gérard and, 251n. 34 Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard) compared with, 186 Louis XVI, King of France (Duplessis), 49, 50 in Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate (anonymous), 1, 2 National Assembly and, 49, 52–53, 75 National Guard and, 89, 90, 93 trial of, 194 Louis XVI, King of France (Duplessis), 49, 50 Louvre, 28, 32, 239–41, 240 love, 147–52, 203 Lowendal, Ulric Frédéric Woldemar, comte de, 59, 60 Lucas, Colin, 18–19 Luigi Cherubini (Dumont), 14, 31, 31 Madame Arnault de Gorse (Boilly), 42, 42 Madame Tallien (Gérard), 156–58, 157 Madame Vestris as Electra (Lenoir), 112–13, 113 Mademoiselle Lange (Colson), 110–18, 111, 121, 124

Mademoiselle Prévost as a Bacchante (Raoux), 113, 114 Ma finte, Monsieur, je crois que vot habit d’Officier m’irois ben (anonymous), 82, 83 Mandini, Paolo, 247n. 52 Manlius Torquatas Condemning His Son to Death (Berthélemy), 206 Mansfield, Elizabeth, 229 Manufacture de Niederviller, 214, 215 Marais, Henri, 182, 183 Marat, Jean-​Paul in An Allegory of the Revolution with a Portrait Medallion of Jean-​ Jacques Rousseau ( Jeaurat de Bertry), 17 assassination of, 116, 146–47, 148, 154 Boyer-​Fonfrède and, 215 The Death of Marat (David), 110–11, 121–24, 121, 196 display of, 45 in posthumous portraiture, generally, 4 Revelliere-​Lépeaux and, 193 Marc-​Étienne Quatremère and Family (Lépicié), 204–6, 205, 210 Marie Anne Charlotte Corday, 146–47, 148 Marie Antoinette Bellier and, 86 Cabarrus compared with, 132, 136, 145, 154, 156 in The Count Pierre-​Jean de Bourcet and His Family (Landon), 21, 22 execution of, 256n. 40 Marie-​Antoinette and Her Children (Wertmüller), 175–76, 176 marketing and, 29 National Assembly and, 54 National Guard and, 93 Marie-​Antoinette and Her Children (Wertmüller), 175–76, 176 Marie de Broutin, baronne de Chalvet-​Souville (Vincent), 150, 151 Marillier, Clément-​Pierre, 59 Marivaux, Pierre de, 58–59, 59 marketing. See also commerce by artists, generally, 27–28, 35, 37–38 citizenship and, 32, 235–37 commerce and, 27–33 fame and, 27, 29–30, 31–32, 33 family and, 203–4 gender and, 26 Gérard and, 182–84

index / 285

marketing (cont’d) goods and, 27, 28–29, 32 miniatures and, 26–27 National Assembly and, 54–55, 120 Paris and, 28–29, 32 of portraiture, generally, 25–33 replicas and, 37–38 Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and, 32 Salons and, 27–28, 29, 30, 31 selfhood and, 32, 35 self-​portraits and, 30 sitters and, 27, 29–30, 32–33 studios and, 28, 29–30, 31–32, 32–33 the Terror and, 120, 121, 122, 123 The Marquis de Girardin (Greuze), 177–80, 179, 184–86 marriage, 203, 207, 212. See also family Marsanne de Fontjuliane, Jean-Louis-Charles-​François, comte de, 48, 64, 65 Massol, A. B., 146–47, 148 Matière à reflection pour les jongleurs couronnées (anonymous), 109, 110 Medici, Marie de’, 238 Mérard, Pierre, 83–84, 84 Merchants at the Port of Marseille (Vincent), 219–30, 223 Mercure de France, 229, 230 M. Estellé, Insignia Merchant, rue Saint-​Honoré, in the Uniform of Captain of the National Guard in 1790 (Hooghstoel), 99–103, 100, 108 Meynier, Charles, 216–18, 218 Michel Belot (Drolling), 2–4, 3, 45 Michel Gérard (anonymous), 68, 69 military, 81, 82, 84–93, 99–108. See also National Guard miniatures, 10, 26–27 Mirabeau, Honoré-​Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Cabarrus and, 132 fashion and, 64–65 Honoré Gabriel de Riquetti, comte de Mirabeau (Courbe), 76–77, 77, 153 Honoré-​Riqueti Mirabeau (Alix), 49, 51, 55, 64 Michel Belot (Drolling) evokes, 2, 45 in National Assembly, 54, 55 Mirabeau, Victor Riqueti, comte de, 45

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monarchy family and, 202, 203, 207 fashion and, 62, 66–67 great man cult and, 58 military and, 88 representative government and, 49, 50, 52–53, 58, 69 selfhood and, 237–41 Montesquieu, 52 morality. See virtue Moreau, 32 Morichelli, Anna, 247n. 52 Morret, Jean-​Baptiste, 59, 60 Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate (anonymous), 1–2, 2, 8 Murat, 32 the muses, 216–18 Napoleon Bonaparte Cabarrus and, 158 Coronation (David), 237–41, 238, 243 David’s equestrian portrait of, 41 family and, 32, 156, 238–39 history painting and, 239 Laneuville and, 158 Napoleon Bonaparte (David), 43, 43 portraiture and, generally, 4, 12 The Public Viewing David’s “Coronation” at the Louvre (Boilly), 239–41, 240 rise of, 138 selfhood and, 237–39 Napoleon Bonaparte (David), 43, 43 National Assembly Boyer-​Fonfrède in, 215 Charles-​François, comte de Marsanne de Fontjuliane (anonymous), 48, 64, 65 Charles-​François Bouche (Lambert), 55–56, 57 Charles-​François Bouche, député d’Aix en Provence (anonymous), 55–56, 56, 58, 68 Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats (anonymous) compared with, 236

citizenship and, 49–50, 51, 127, 212 The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (Laneuville) compared with, 153 class and, 52, 53, 54, 62–64, 64–68, 71, 73–74, 77–78, 81, 234, 243 commerce and, 50, 54–55, 120 commissioners and, 54 The Death of Marat (David) compared with, 122 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, 97, 140–41, 189 Duport and, 18 engravers for, 54, 55 fame and, 54, 61 fashion and, 24, 50, 62–70, 71, 73–74, 75–76, 76–77 formation of, 49, 52–53 formats and, 49, 50, 55, 61–62, 68–70, 71–72, 74, 76–77 gender and, 127, 212 great man cult and, 58–62, 72, 76, 77, 92 history painting and, 71, 72–73, 74 Honoré Gabriel de Riquetti, comte de Mirabeau (Courbe), 76–77, 77 Honoré-​Riqueti Mirabeau (Alix), 49, 51, 55, 64 Levachez series, generally, 49–51, 54–71 Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard) compared with, 163, 186, 195–96 Michel Gérard (anonymous), 68, 69 National Guard and, 89–90, 93 Pierre Hébrard de Fau (anonymous), 64, 66 poses and, 55–56, 64, 68, 74, 75–76, 76–77 prices and, 55, 57 representative government and, 49–53, 70–71, 74, 75, 77–78, 89–90, 93 Revelliere-​Lépeaux in, 164, 165 Salons and, 251n. 37 selfhood and, 11, 50, 75–76, 127 sitters and, 54–57, 59–61, 68–70, 76–77 sketches for, 54, 55–57, 71, 72 Tennis Court Oath, 53, 71–74, 72, 77 transparency and, 50, 68, 71, 74 viewers and, 55, 59–61, 68–70, 71–72, 74, 76–77 National Convention gender and, 134–35, 140–41 Marat and, 122 representatives in, 67, 164, 165, 215

National Elysium, 191–93 National Guard Address of a National Guardsman, 90 Address to all the battalions of the Parisian National Guard, 97 aesthetics and, 98, 107 Almanach national (Debucourt), 90, 91 artists and, 86, 107 Bust of a National Guard Officer (Mérard), 83–84, 84 Champs de Mars massacre, 75, 93, 95 The Citizen Nau-​Deville in the Uniform of the National Guard (Bellier), v, 86–93, 87, 96, 97, 99, 101, 103, 105, 108 citizenship and, 11, 85, 90–93, 96–97, 103–8, 127, 129, 145, 202 class and, 81, 82, 84–86, 88–90, 92–108 commerce and, 93–103 The Count Pierre-​Jean de Bourcet and His Family (Landon), 22 The Death of Marat (David) compared with, 122 family and, 86, 103–8 Family Portrait with National Guard Officers (Hauer), 103–5, 104, 108, 202, 212, 214 formation of, 81, 89, 93, 101 formats and, 84–85, 107–8 gender and, 127, 129, 202 Gérard compared with, 182 great man cult and, 92 history painting and, 86, 91–93, 99, 108 Jean-​Ernest Schickler (Wertmüller), 80, 84, 85 Journal de la garde nationale, 97 M. Estellé, Insignia Merchant, rue Saint-​Honoré, in the Uniform of Captain of the National Guard in 1790 (Hooghstoel), 99–103, 100, 108 military and, 81, 82, 84–93, 99–108 National Assembly and, 89–90, 93 Portrait of a National Guard Officer and His Wife (Descarsin), 105–8, 106 Portrait of a National Guard Officer Protecting a Sugar Cargo (Bizard), 93–99, 94, 101, 103, 105, 108, 141 poses and, 86, 99–101 prices and, 84 property and, 93–99 representative government and, 88, 89–90, 93 Salons and, 83–84, 92–93

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National Guard (cont’d) selfhood and, 11, 82–86, 98, 127, 129, 145, 202 sitters and, 82–96, 103, 107 viewers and, 98–99, 103 Vincent compared with, 233 Nattier, Jean-​Marc, 113, 114, 170–71, 170, 171, 175 nature. See also landscape portraiture citizenship and, 176–82, 186–90, 191–96 the Enlightenment and, 171–75, 176 family and, 173, 213, 227 French Revolution and, 188–96 in Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard), 161, 163, 169–70, 183–88, 189, 193–96 poses and, 177, 184–86, 187, 193 regeneration and, 189 selfhood and, 175–88, 193–96 virtue and, 11, 163, 169–70, 171–72, 175, 179–80, 188, 189, 191–93, 194–95, 228 Nau-​Deville The Citizen Nau-​Deville in the Uniform of the National Guard (Bellier), v, 86–93, 87 works compared with, 96, 97, 99, 101, 103, 105, 108 Neergaard, T. C. Bruun, 38–39 negotiation, 33–42 New Morality (Gillray), 191, 192 The Night Watch (Rembrandt), 99 nobility. See also class family and, 203–6 fashion and, 62–64, 73, 82 landscape portraiture and, 179, 186 military and, 86–88 in Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate (anonymous), 1–2 National Assembly and, 52, 53, 54, 62–64, 73 National Guard and, 81, 90, 101, 102 the Terror and, 115 Norry, Charles, 217 Oath of the Horatii (David), 206 “Observations sur les tableaux de cette exposition,” 229 On the Composition of Landscapes (Girardin), 175

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Orléans, duc d’, 54 Ossian Summoning the Spirits (Gérard), 168 Oudry, Jean-​Baptiste, 248n. 70 Ouvrard, Gabriel-​Julien, 156 Ozouf, Mona, 189 Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-​Century Paris (Crow), 5, 7 Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (Richardson), 116 Paré, Jules-​François, 255n. 29 Paris, 10, 15–16, 28–29, 32, 191–93 Pastoret, Emmanuel, 254n. 2 Pastoret, Louise, 114, 115, 129, 131, 141 patrons. See commissioners pattern books, 37–38 Pautrizel, Thirius de, 76–77, 76, 153 payment, 34, 44. See also prices Pelet, Jean, 255n. 29 Penrose, Cooper, 39–40 Percier, Charles, 30 Périn-​Salbreux, Lié Louis, 15–16, 27, 30, 236 Peyron, Jean-François-​Pierre, 146, 206 Philosophia botanica (Linnaeus), 169, 172, 187–88, 194 Picot, Anne-​Marie, 132 Pierre de Marivaux (Ingouf ), 58–59, 59 Pierre Hébrard de Fau (anonymous), 64, 66 Pierre Sériziat (David), 180–82, 181, 184–86, 187 Pilot, 29 The Plowing Lesson (Vincent, 1795), 219–30, 221 The Plowing Lesson (Vincent, circa 1796-97), 219–30, 222 Poisson, Georges, 257n. 17 porcelain plate with black hat motif, 24, 24 Porterfield, Todd, 239 Portrait of a Family in an Interior (Levrac-​Tournières), 203–4, 204 Portrait of a Gentleman as a Hunter (Nattier), 170–71, 170 Portrait of a Man (Prud’hon), 177, 178, 184–86, 187 Portrait of a Man in the Landscape (Lefèvre), 35–36, 37 Portrait of a National Guard Officer and His Wife (Descarsin), 105–8, 106, 129, 202 Portrait of a National Guard Officer Protecting a Sugar Cargo (Bizard) analysis of, 93–99, 94 works compared with, 101, 103, 105, 108, 141

Portrait of André Chénier (Dupont), 146, 147, 149 Portrait of a Woman (anonymous), 129, 130, 141 Portrait of a Woman (Landon), 142–43, 144, 144 Portrait of a Woman as Diana (Nattier), 170–71, 171 Portrait of Camille Desmoulins, His Wife, Lucile, and Their Son, Horace (anonymous), 210–13, 211, 214, 234 Portrait of Jean-Antoine-​Joseph de Bry (Laneuville), 138–39, 139 Portrait of Madame Victoire with a Statue of Friendship (Labille-​ Guiard), 175–76, 177, 186 Portrait of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède and Her Son (Vincent), 199, 218–19, 218, 226 Portrait of the Family of a Diplomat in Italy (Gauffier), 37, 39 Portrait of Three of Thérésia Cabarrus’s Children (Engelmann), 133, 134 Portrait of Ulric Frédéric Woldemar, comte de Lowendal (Roger), 59, 60 Portraits des grands hommes, femmes illustres, et sujets mémorables de France (Blin), 59, 60 portraiture, generally aesthetics and, 5–8, 9–10 artists and, 5–6, 7–8 bust, 36–37, 40 case studies selected from, 10–12 citizenship and, 4–5, 6–7 collaboration and, 4–5, 7–8, 25, 27, 206 commerce and, 8–9, 9–10 commissioners and, 7–8 criticism and, 5–7, 238 formats in, 34–38, 40–41 French Revolution and, 1–5, 6–10, 12 history painting compared with, 4, 5–6, 7, 11–12, 27, 183 landscape, 11, 161, 163, 169–71, 175–88 marketing of, 25–33 negotiation for, 33–42 posthumous, 123 prison, 76–77, 146–49 selfhood and, 4–5, 7, 8, 9–10 sitters and, 5–6, 7–8 viewers and, 8–9 poses. See also aesthetics; bodies; formats Directory and, 161, 184–86, 193 family and, 199–201, 202, 210, 220, 241 gender and, 141–45, 145–46, 184–86, 187

landscape portraiture and, 177, 184–86, 187, 193 military and, 86–88 National Assembly and, 55–56, 64, 68, 74, 75–76, 76–77 National Guard and, 86, 99–101 nature and, 177, 184–86, 187, 193 selfhood and, 35, 130–31, 138–39, 141–45, 145–46, 177, 184–86, 187 posthumous portraiture, 123 Prévost, Françoise, 113, 114 prices Boyer-​Fonfrède family and, 218–19 of Coronation (David), 237 of National Assembly prints, 55, 57 of National Guard prints, 84 for portraiture, generally, 34, 38–42, 44 printmaking, 10 Prise de Berg-Op-​Zoom (Morret), 59, 60 prison portraiture, 76–77, 146–49. See also The Citoyenne Tallien in a Prison Cell at La Force, Holding Her Hair Which Has Just Been Cut (Laneuville) Prix de Rome, 182, 216, 247n. 68 property, 93–99, 207, 212. See also class Provence, comte de, 105 Prud’hon, Pierre-​Paul, 177, 178, 184–86, 187 The Public Viewing David’s “Coronation” at the Louvre (Boilly), 239–41, 240 The Punished Son (Greuze), 206 Quatremère, Marc-​Étienne, 204–6, 205, 210 Quatremère, Suzanne-​Sophie, 204–6, 205 Queneday, Edme, 29, 249n. 11 Qu’est-​ce que le Tiers État? (Sieyès), 53, 81–82 Quéverdo, François Marie Isidore, 146–47, 148 race, 98 Raeburn, Henry, 247n. 64 Raoux, Jean, 113, 114 Raphael, 220–21, 224 Rapsodies du Jour, 156 Récamier, Juliette, 32, 45–46 regeneration citizenship and, 17, 23, 25, 158, 214, 237

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regeneration (cont’d) education and, 134 family and, 105, 208–9, 213, 214 nature and, 189 selfhood and, 17, 23, 25 Regnault, Jean-​Baptiste, 21 Reichardt, Johann Friedrich, 31–32 religion, 189–91. See also clergy Rembrandt, 33, 99 replicas, 37–38 representative government. See also citizenship citizenship and, 49–50, 51 fashion and, 50, 62–70, 76 formats and, 49, 50, 76–77 goods and, 50, 235–37 great man cult and, 58–62, 76, 77 military and, 88, 89–90 monarchy and, 49, 50, 52–53, 58, 69 National Assembly and, 49–53, 70–71, 74, 75, 77–78, 89–90, 93 National Guard and, 88, 89–90, 93 prison portraiture and, 76–77 Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and, 50 selfhood and, 50, 163–64 sensibility and, 241 transparency and, 50, 237, 241 virtue and, 167 The Republic (Gros), 117, 117, 141 reputation. See fame Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Clementine, 173, 174 Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Louis-​Marie The Family Meal (van Spaendonck and Sauvage), 173, 174 Louis-​Marie Revelliere-​Lépeaux (Gérard), 11, 161–63, 162, 165, 167, 168–71, 172, 183–88, 189, 193–96, 202, 243, 259n. 1 nature and, 163, 164, 167–68, 169–70, 172, 173–75, 187–88, 190, 191–96, 228 New Morality (Gillray), 191, 192 political activity by, 161–63, 163–68, 173, 195, 202 Revelliere-​Lépeaux, Ossian, 168, 169–70, 173, 174 Reverend Robert Walker Skating (Raeburn), 247n. 64 Reveries of the Solitary Walker (Rousseau), 172

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Revolutionary Scene: Civic Oath (Karpff ), 141, 142 Révolutions de France et de Brabant, 245n. 1 Reynolds, Joshua, 33, 254n. 18 Richardson, Samuel, 116, 173 Richelieu, Cardinal de, 250n. 19 Rigaud, Hyacinthe, 86–88, 88, 99, 118–20, 120, 248n. 70 Robert, Hubert, 33, 146 Robespierre, Maximilien Cabarrus and, 132, 140, 148–49, 150, 153 in Circular Print with Revolutionary Portraits and Assignats (anonymous), 236, 236 citizenship and, 17, 23, 195–96 fall of, 76, 109, 122, 127, 136, 146, 149, 153, 155, 166, 213 fashion and, 63 Festival of the Supreme Being and, 208 fiancée of, 254n. 3 Labille-​Guiard and, 251n. 37 nature and, 189–90, 194 Revelliere-​Lépeaux and, 256n. 11 in The Tennis Court Oath (David), 73 the Terror and, 146 Roger, 59, 60 Rohan, Cardinal de, 54 Rohan-​Guéménée, Charlotte-​Louise de, 113, 114 Romany, François-​Antoine, 36–37, 44 Rosenthal, Angela, 43 Roslin, Alexandre, 33 Rousseau, Jean-​Jacques in An Allegory of the Revolution with a Portrait Medallion of Jean-​ Jacques Rousseau ( Jeaurat de Bertry), 17, 18 in The Marquis de Girardin (Greuze, attr.), 177–79, 179 National Assembly and, 52, 68 National Guard and, 102 nature and, 168, 171–72, 175, 187–88, 189, 193, 194 in New Morality (Gillray), 191, 192 Thouïn and, 166 Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. See also Salons aesthetics and, 5, 6 commerce and, 8, 32 Nau-​Deville at, 92

representative government and, 50 Salons governed by, 25 the Terror and, 116 Vincent and, 216, 220 Rubens, Peter Paul, 238 Sablet, Jacques, 32 Saint-​Aubin, Claude Pougin de, 58 Saint-​Just, Louis-​Antoine, 189, 213 Salons aesthetics and, 6–7, 26 The Citizen Nau-​Deville in the Uniform of the National Guard (Bellier) at, 86 citizenship and, 153 commerce and, 8–9, 27–28, 29, 30, 31 criticism of, 6–7, 27–28, 46, 92–93, 216 David at, 74, 180–82 Ducreux and, 140 family and, 206, 212, 222–23, 227, 228, 234 formats and, 37 gender and, 26, 140 Gérard at, 161, 182–83 Girodet fiasco and, 112 Hooghstoel at, 99 The Invention of Drawing (Suvée) in, 150, 152 Laneuville at, 127, 138, 139–40, 151, 154–56, 158 Mademoiselle Lange (Colson) at, 110–11, 112, 114, 116 marketing and, 25–26, 27–28, 29, 30, 31 Meynier at, 216–17 miniatures and, 26–27 National Assembly and, 251n. 37 National Guard and, 83–84, 92–93 prison portraiture and, 146 statistics on, 246n. 28 the Terror and, 109, 110–11, 112, 114, 116, 154–56 viewers and, 45–46 Sambat, Jean-​Baptiste, 40 Sauvage, Piat-​Joseph, 173, 174 Schickler, Jean-​Ernest, 80, 84, 85 sculpture, 10

Second Estate. See nobility selfhood aesthetics and, 8, 138–39, 141–45 artists and, 4–5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 19–23, 25, 32, 235 bodies and, 75–76 citizenship and, 2–5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 19–23, 25, 32, 34–35, 38, 46, 109–10, 123–24, 127–31, 140–59, 176–82, 186–88, 193–96, 202–3, 206–10, 226–30, 233–34, 235–37, 239–43 class and, 202–3, 228–30 commerce and, 10, 16, 32, 228–30 commissioners and, 4–5 consumer culture and, 23–25 education and, 228 fame and, 45 family and, 127, 129, 202–3, 204–10, 218–19, 226–30, 233–34, 238–39, 241–43 fashion and, 24, 145–46, 149–50, 184–86, 188, 195–96 formats and, 34–38, 130–31, 153, 243 French Revolution and, generally, 9, 46, 235–37 gender and, 11, 112–18, 127–31, 140–59, 176–82, 186–88, 202–3, 226–28, 233 history painting and, 216–18, 233–34, 239 landscape portraiture and, 175–88, 193–96 love and, 147–52 marketing and, 32, 35 in Michel Belot (Drolling), 2–4 monarchy and, 237–41 Napoleon Bonaparte and, 237–39 National Assembly and, 11, 50, 75–76, 127 National Guard and, 11, 82–86, 98, 127, 129, 145, 202 nature and, 175–88, 193–96 negotiation and, 33–38 portraiture and, generally, 4–5, 7, 8, 9–10 poses and, 35, 130–31, 138–39, 141–45, 145–46, 177, 184–86, 187 regeneration and, 17, 23, 25 representative government and, 50, 163–64 sexuality and, 112–18, 144 sitters and, 4–5, 8, 15, 16, 19–23, 25, 32, 33–38, 141–45, 235 the Terror and, 11, 109–24, 186–87 theater and, 112–18

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selfhood (cont’d) transparency and, 19–23, 139, 142–45, 186, 243 viewers and, 19–23, 25, 45, 141–45, 239 virtue and, 112–14, 116–18, 179–80 self-​portraits, 30 sensibility family and, 203–4, 208–9 nature and, 172–75, 176–80, 186, 187–88, 193–96 representative government and, 241 Sergent, Antoine Louis François, 60 Sériziat, Emilie, 160, 180–82, 180, 186 Sériziat, Pierre, 180–82, 181, 184–86, 187 Sewell, William, 24, 153 sexuality commerce and, 28 gender and, 112–18, 132, 136, 140, 141, 144, 145, 154, 156 in Moyen expéditif du peuple français pour démeubler un aristocrate (anonymous), 1 sittings and, 43 Shovlin, John, 228, 229 Siegfried, Susan, 239 Sieyès, Emmanuel, 53, 54, 81–82 Simon-​Claude, Chevalier de Grassin (Duplessis), 88, 89, 99 Sir Charles Grandison (Richardson), 173 sitters. See also individual sitters aesthetics and, 5–6, 7–8, 141–45 citizenship and, 15, 16, 19–23, 141–45, 235 commerce and, 8, 25, 27, 29–30, 32–33 criticism of, 46 fame of, 27, 31–32, 35 gender and, 10, 127, 141–45 landscape portraiture and, 184–86 National Assembly and, 54–57, 59–61, 68–70, 76–77 National Guard and, 82–86, 103, 107 negotiation by, 33–42, 44 portraiture and, generally, 5–6, 7–8 selfhood and, 4–5, 8, 15, 16, 19–23, 25, 32, 33–38, 141–45, 235 sittings and, 42–44 the Terror and, 109–10 transparency and, 19–23, 34, 142–45

292 / index

viewers and, 44–46 sittings, 42–44. See also sitters sizes. See formats sketches, 42, 54, 55–57, 71, 72 sociability, 29–33, 43–44 social class. See class Société des amis de la constitution, 84, 105, 107. See also Jacobins Sorcy, Anne-Marie-​Louise Thélusson, comtesse de, 126, 142–43, 143, 144 Spary, E. C., 172, 188 studios, 28, 29–33, 43–44 subjects. See sitters Suvée, Joseph-​Benoît, 146, 147, 149, 150, 152 Tackett, Timothy, 53 Tallien, Jean-​Lambert Cabarrus and, 127, 133, 135, 136, 146, 150, 151–52, 153, 154, 156, 158 Laneuville and, 139–40 political activity by, 127, 133, 135, 136, 155, 156 Tallien, Madame. See Cabarrus, Thérésia Tallien, Thermidor-​Rose, 136 Talma, François-​Joseph, 114 Taraval, Hugues, 247n. 68 Target, Guy-Jean-​Baptiste, 54 Taws, Richard, 235–36 Tennis Court Oath, 53, 71–74, 72, 77 The Tennis Court Oath (David), 71–74, 72, 77 The 10th of August, 1792 (Gérard), 182 the Terror Cabarrus and, ii, 11, 127, 128, 131, 133, 135, 136–38, 140, 145, 148–49, 153, 154–56, 158–59 citizenship and, 109–10, 123–24, 127, 186–87, 195–96 commerce and, 120, 121, 122, 123 The Death of Marat (David), 110–11, 121–24, 121 family and, 208, 212–13 formats and, 118–20, 123, 153 gender and, 11, 112–18, 127, 186–87 Jean-​François de La Marche, Bishop of Saint-Pol-de-​Léon (Danloux), 110–11, 118–21, 119, 121–22, 124 Mademoiselle Lange (Colson), 110–18, 111, 121, 124 Matière à reflection pour les jongleurs couronnées (anonymous), 109, 110

nature and, 170, 189 onset of, 109 prison portraiture and, 146–49 Revelliere-​Lépeaux in, 165–66 Salons and, 109, 110–11, 112, 114, 116, 154–56 selfhood and, 11, 109–24, 186–87 sexuality and, 112–18 transparency and, 112, 122 viewers and, 122, 123–24 virtue and, 112–14, 116–18, 122 theater, 112–18 Théâtre de la Nation, 112, 114–16 Theophilanthropy, 190–91 Third Estate. See also class composition of, 81–82 fashion and, 62–64, 64–68, 73, 82, 165 military and, 82, 86–88 National Assembly and, 52, 53, 54, 62–64, 64–68, 73 National Guard and, 81, 93, 101, 102, 107 Revelliere-​Lépeaux on, 165 Thirius de Pautrizel (David), 76–77, 76, 153 Thouïn, André, 166, 167 Tischbein, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm, 258n. 40 Titian, 33 transparency artists and, 19–23 bodies and, 16–17, 19–21, 22 Cabarrus and, 135 citizenship and, 16–23, 135, 142–45, 187, 237, 243 family and, 243 fashion and, 68 goods and, 19–22 National Assembly and, 50, 68, 71, 74 negotiation and, 34 representative government and, 50, 237, 241 selfhood and, 19–23, 139, 142–45, 186, 243 sitters and, 19–23, 34, 142–45 the Terror and, 112, 122 viewers and, 19–23, 142–45 Trouillard, Perrine, 105–8, 106, 129

Vallayer-​Coster, Anne, 33 Van Dyck, Anthony, 33, 245n. 5 van Gorp, Henri-​Nicolas, 42 van Spaendonck, Gérard, 161, 166, 169, 173, 174 Verité, Jean-​Baptiste, 249n. 11 Verninac, Henriette de, 45–46 Vestier, Antoine, 39 Vestris, Françoise-Marie-​Rosette Gourgaud, 112–13, 113, 114 Victoire, Madame, 175–76, 177, 186 Vien, Joseph-​Marie, 216 Le Vieux Cordelier, 212 viewers aesthetics and, 141–45 artists and, 45–46 citizenship and, 19–23, 141–45 commerce and, 8–9, 25 fame and, 45 gender and, 45–46, 127, 141–45 National Assembly and, 55, 59–61, 68–70, 71–72, 74, 76–77 National Guard and, 98–99, 103 portraiture and, generally, 8–9 private v. public, 44–46 Salons and, 45–46 selfhood and, 19–23, 25, 45, 141–45, 239 sitters and, 44–46 the Terror and, 122, 123–24 transparency and, 19–23, 142–45 Vigée-​Lebrun, Elisabeth, 19, 26, 32, 43, 140 The Village Bride (Greuze), 206 Villers, Nisa, 32 Vincent, François-​André Agriculture, 222–23, 225–26, 225, 228–30, 231 Arria and Paetus, 146 The Boyer-​Fonfrède Family, 11–12, 199–203, 200, 205, 214, 219–30, 232–34, 235, 243 Comfort the Unfortunate, 219–30, 220 Concours de l’An II and, 258n. 44 Duty and Happiness, 219–30, 219 Hooghstoel and, 99 Intervention of the Sabine Women, 206

index / 293

Vincent, François-​André (cont’d) Landon and, 21 Marie de Broutin, baronne de Chalvet-​Souville, 150, 151 Merchants at the Port of Marseille, 219–30, 223 The Plowing Lesson (1795), 219–30, 221 The Plowing Lesson (circa 1796-97), 219–30, 222 Portrait of Marianne Boyer-​Fonfrède and Her Son, 199, 218–19, 218, 226 prices and, 40 as student, 216 as teacher, 252n. 16 William Tell, 216 Virgil, 182 virtue citizenship and, 228–29, 241–43 education and, 134 family and, 214, 231–33

294 / index

gender and, 132, 134, 135, 137, 140, 141, 145, 147, 148–49, 214 nature and, 11, 163, 169–70, 171–72, 175, 179–80, 188, 189, 191–93, 194–95, 228 representative government and, 167 selfhood and, 112–14, 116–18, 179–80 the Terror and, 112–14, 116–18, 122 theater and, 112–14, 116–18 Walker, Robert, 247n. 64 Wertmüller, Adolf Ulrik Jean-​Ernest Schickler, 80, 84, 85 Marie-​Antoinette and Her Children, 175–76, 176 National Guard and, 84 prices and, 40 Romany and, 36–37, 44 Wille, Johann Georg, 26 William Tell (Vincent), 216