“Painting Province: A Statistical Analysis of Rural Imagery in Nineteenth-Century French Painting”
Diana Greenwald, Research Assistant, Institute of New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and D.Phil Candidate in Economic and Social History at Wadham College, University of Oxford
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Throughout the nineteenth century, urbanization and industrialization were modernizing France’s socio-economic landscape; meanwhile, both the subject matter and style of French art were rapidly changing. Featured among these artistic changes was the growing prominence of landscape and rural genre painting. Scholars have argued that the socio-economic changes caused the artistic ones—that as French populations became more urban, they demanded more images of nature. Using statistical methods and a previously untapped dataset (an unpublished subject index to the roughly 134,000 paintings displayed at the Paris Salon between 1791 and 1881) this talk examines whether or not the production of natural imagery in art can be systematically linked to urbanization and industrialization.
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