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French Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I: Before Impressionism

Lorenz Eitner
Published 2000
430 pages

This volume, the first of three to catalog the collection of 19th-century French paintings at the National Gallery of Art, encompasses contemporaneous and sometimes conflicting movements of romanticism, classicism, and realism. Covering the Gallery’s holdings of French paintings from the first three quarters of the 19th century, the catalog also includes several German and Swiss works. Within the 81 paintings included, landscapes and portraits predominate, and the lack of grand subjects from the Paris Salons—religious and mythological scenes, episodes from history or literature—reflects the modern-minded American collectors’ disinterest in such topics. Some of the Gallery’s great masterpieces are published here: Jacques-Louis David’s The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at Tuileries; Eugène Delacroix’s Arabs Skirmishing in the Mountains; Gustave Courbet’s The Stream; and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s Madame Moitessier.

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