Imagery and Ideology: Fiction and Painting in Nineteenth-Century France

by William J. Berg

Hardback • 2007 • $84.00
ISBN: 978-1611493313

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Literature is ostensibly a sequential and thus temporal medium, and painting a static and spatial one; yet writers like George Sand and Emile Zola have attempted repeatedly to represent visual and spatial phenomena in literary texts, just as painters like Eugène Delacroix and Claude Monet have sought consistently to capture effects of time and movement on canvas. The incorporation of elements from one artistic medium into another creates a dynamic interplay of image and ideology, both between art forms and within individual texts and paintings, which constitutes the crux of this book. Each chapter involves the detailed analysis of a text and a painting, related through topic, theme, and technique. By juxtaposing the works of ten major writers and ten painters of comparable stature, the book explores the various modalities and layers of meaning in nineteenth-century French art, both verbal and visual, and proposes ways of reading the ambivalent artifacts of ‘modernity.’ Illustrated.

About the Author
William J. Berg is Professor of French at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.