This book elaborates on the social and cultural phenomenon of national schools during the nineteenth century, via the less studied field of sculpture and using Belgium as a case study. The role, importance of, and emphasis on certain aspects of national identity evolved throughout the century, while a diverse array of criteria were indicated by commissioners, art critics, or artists that supposedly constituted a "national sculpture." By confronting the role and impact of the four most crucial actors within the artistic field (politics, education, exhibitions, public commissions) with a linear timeframe, this book offers a chronological as well as a thematic approach. Artists covered include Guillaume Geefs, Eugène Simonis, Charles Van der Stappen, Julien Dillens, Paul Devigne, Constantin Meunier, and George Minne.
Table of Contents
List of Tables List of Figures List of Abbreviations Acknowledgments Introduction PART I 1830–1850: Belgium’s ‘Big Bang’ and the Emergence of Its Sculpture School 1 Politics 1.1 Sculpture for a New Country: Art as a Unifier 2 Education 2.1 Defying ‘Enemies of Our True Nationality’: The Academy of Antwerp 2.2 Enemies within the Borders of the Nation: Antwerp vs. Brussels 2.3 Out with the Old, in with the New: The Academy of Brussels 2.4 Outside the Classroom, into the Studio 3 Exhibitions 3.1 The Belgian Salons: An Exclusive Party 4 Public Commissions 4.1 Guillaume Geefs, ‘le seul sculpteur belge’ 4.1.1 General Augustin Belliard, ‘plus Belge que Français’? 4.1.2 Geefs’ Peter Paul Rubens: ‘King of the Flemish Painter School’ 4.1.3 A Battle of Heroes: Rubens vs. Belliard 4.2 Louis-Eugène Simonis, ‘père de la sculpture belge moderne’ 4.2.1 Simon Stevin, an Ambiguous Choice 4.2.2 Godfrey of Bouillon, a Belgian Hero Ahorse 4.3 A Battle of Sculptors: Geefs vs. Simonis PART II 1850–1880: A Foreign Prevalence Non-Belgian Sculpture 5 Politics 5.1 Sculpture Midway through the Century: Art as a Sign of Unity 6 Education 6.1 The Academies: Expansion and Consolidation 6.2 Beyond Academies and Borders: The Private Studio 7 Exhibitions 7.1 Sculpture at the Salons: The Road to National and International Fame and Claim 7.2 ‘National Schools’ at the International Exhibitions: Constructed (or) Reality? 7.2.1 Cultural Shards and Patches 7.2.2 The ‘boulangerie nationale’ 7.3 Jean Baptiste Carpeaux in Belgium: Visiting, Exhibiting, Inspiring 8 Public Commissions 8.1 ‘Une question d’art ou une question de nationalité?’ 8.2 French Sculptors in Belgium 8.2.1 A Clash at the Bourse of Brussels 8.2.2 ‘A Good-for-Nothing [Who] Will Soon Be Disposed Of’: Auguste Rodin in Belgium 8.2.3 Carrier-Belleuse in Belgium: The Sequel 8.2.4 Jules Bertin: ‘enfant adoptif de Tongres’, or a Frenchman? 8.3 Sculpture at the Palace of Justice: A Lesson Learned? 8.4 Une Question d’Art et une Question de Nationalité PART III 1880–1895: A Renaissance of Belgian Sculpture 9 Politics 9.1 Artistic Prosperity and Economic Distress 9.2 Building for King and Country 10 Education 10.1 Antwerp: The ‘Flemish’ Academy 10.2 Van der Stappen’s Reign at the Academy of Brussels 10.3 Finding Native Heritage Abroad 11 Exhibitions 11.1 The Old Ways: The Salons 11.2 Alternative Stages: L’Essor, Les XX, and La Libre Esthétique 11.3 National Success on an International Stage: The Paris Salons 11.4 Sculpture at the International Exhibitions: Yesterday’s ‘National Schools’? 12 Public Commissions 12.1 ‘Dans l’esprit des sculptures du grand Opéra de Paris’: Two Statues for the Royal Museums of Fine Arts 12.2 The Renaissance of Sculpture in Belgium 12.3 Sculpting a(n) (Inter)National and Local Identity PART IV 1895–1916: International Belgian Sculpture 13 Politics 13.1 King Leopold II, Belgian Chryselephantine Sculptures, and a French Garden 13.2 A New Political Movement, a New Sculpture 14 Education 14.1 Ever Looking Back: The Antwerp Academy 14.2 ‘La nature, c’est moi qui l’enseigne!’: Van der Stappen vs. Dillens in Brussels 14.3 A Need for Change: The Education Abroad 15 Exhibitions 15.1 Salons: The Old and the New 15.2 ‘La France aux Français!’: The Paris Salons 15.3 Contradicting Storylines: Belgians at the International Exhibitions 15.3.1 Paris—1900 15.3.2 Ghent—1913 15.4 Meunier and Minne Exhibiting Abroad 15.5 Sculpture in Exile: Later Exhibitions 16 Public Commissions 16.1 Public Identity: Locality vs. Nationality 16.1.1 Le Débardeur, a Local Hero 16.1.2 Art Criticism Revised: Walloon Sculpture? 16.2 ‘Qu’importe la nationalité de l’artiste?’: Meunier’s Zola 16.3 Multiple Identities Bibliography Index
Jana Wijnsouw holds a PhD from the Department of Art History, Music, and Theatre Studies at Ghent University.