Focusing specifically on portraiture as a genre, this volume challenges scholarly assumptions that regard interior spaces as uniquely feminine. Contributors analyze portraits of men in domestic and studio spaces in France during the long nineteenth century; the preponderance of such portraits alone supports the book's premise that the alignment of men with public life is oversimplified and more myth than reality. The volume offers analysis of works by a mix of artists, from familiar names such as David, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Rodin, and Matisse to less well-known image makers including Dominique Doncre, Constance Mayer, Anders Zorn and Lucien-Etienne Melingue. The essays cover a range of media from paintings and prints to photographs and sculpture that allows exploration of the relation between masculinity and interiority across the visual culture of the period. The home and other interior spaces emerge from these studies as rich and complex locations for both masculine self-expression and artistic creativity. Interior Portraiture and Masculine Identity in France, 1789-1914 provides a much-needed rethinking of modern masculinity in this period.
'The exploration of the theme of masculinity in relation to interiority is long overdue. This volume ameliorates some of the divisions that have haunted the scholarship of this period... a great addition to the roster of 19th century books.' Susan Sidlauskas, Rutgers University, USA
'Overall, the essays make case for the contingency of masculinity and the insufficiency of critical attention to that fact in modernism. While primarily of interest to historians of visual culture, the volume offers ways to understand articulations of masculinity beyond the public/private binary. The collection succeeds in giving shape to the case that understanding interiors, and the interiority expressed within them, has not just value but some urgency.' French History
'The twelve essays themselves cover a broad and exciting range of visual material across the period, from painting and sculpture to photography and fashion. Among fascinating discussions of topics such as family portraiture, the artist’s studio, and the cabinet de travail, the volume also offers engaging reflections on key nineteenth-century figures... All images are beautifully presented and meticulously set out, while an extensive bibliography provides an up-to-date resource for the fields discussed.' French Studies