Conflicting Visions: War and Visual Culture in Britain and France, c. 1700-1830 offers the first systematic reappraisal of the cultural representation of war in Britain and France during the 'long' eighteenth century. This radical collection of essays explores the relation of visual imagery and aesthetics to conflict during this important period, drawing upon a wealth of materials including paintings and prints, maps and topographical drawings, commemorative sculpture and historical artefacts. The intriguing case studies reveal that military conflict was not a sphere of social activity separated from artistic culture but rather a determining factor in cultural production, and that war itself was largely comprehended, debated and experienced through those products. Key themes and preoccupations - how differing ideas of the public were predicated by the representation of war; how such notions were shaped by the imperial contexts of war; the relations between conflict, national identity and historical memory - are addressed to show that war served as a primary vehicle for the representation of numerous associated and contested issues, including patriotism and the idea of the nation, loyalty and opposition, heroism and masculinity, sympathy and sensibility.
Contents: Introduction, John Bonehill and Geoff Quilley; Gloire surrenders: Watteau's military paintings, Julie Ann Plax; Making national heroes? A survey of the social and political functions and meanings of major British funeral monuments to naval and military figures, 1730-70, Matthew Craske; Legitimating the British empire: the monuments to General Wolfe in Westminster Abbey, Joan Coutu; Our man in Havanna: representation and reputation in Lieutenant Philip Orsbridge's Britannia's Triumph (1765), Sarah Monks; Questions of loyalty: the representation of the British West Indian colonies during the American Revolutionary War, Geoff Quilley; Exhibiting war: John Singleton Copley's The Siege of Gibraltar and the staging of history, John Bonehill; The embodiment of strength: depicting a general as civil leader, Tony Halliday; 'Shocking sights of woe': Charles Bell and the Battle of Waterloo, Philip Shaw; The matérial of war: Waterloo and its culture, Susan Pearce; Index.