Staging the Artist: Performance and the Self-Portrait from Realism to Expressionism, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Staging the Artist

Performance and the Self-Portrait from Realism to Expressionism, 1st Edition

By Claire Moran


192 pages | 8 Color Illus. | 50 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367199104
pub: 2019-05-23
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Restoring the role of theatrical performance as both subject and trope in the aesthetics of self-representation, Staging the Artist questions how nineteenth-century French and Belgian artists self-consciously fashioned their identities through their art and writings. This emphasis on performance allows for a new understanding of the processes of self-fashioning which underlie self-representation in word and image. Claire Moran offers new interpretations of works by major nineteenth-century figures such as Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas, and addresses the neglected topic of the function of theatre in the development of modern visual art. Incarnating Baudelaire's metaphor of the artist as an actor ever-conscious of his role, the artists discussed "Courbet, Ensor and Van Gogh, among others" employed theatre as both a thematic source and formal inspiration in their painting, writings and social behaviour. Moran argues that what renders this visual, literary and social performance modern is its self-consciousness, which in turn serves as a model with which to challenge pictorial convention. This book suggests that tracing modern performance and artistic identity to the nineteenth century provides a greater understanding not only of the significance of theatre in the development of modern art, but also highlights the self-conscious staging inherent to modern artistic identity.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Chapter One: The Pose and the Posture

Chapter Two: Role-Playing and Acting

Chapter Three: Aesthetic Performances


Selected Bibliography


About the Author

Claire Moran is Lecturer in French at Queen's University, Belfast, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / General
ART / History / General
ART / European
ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
ART / Subjects & Themes / Portraits
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Europe / France
HISTORY / Modern / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism