Visual Culture and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars  book cover
1st Edition

Visual Culture and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

ISBN 9781472447111
Published September 12, 2016 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

Individually and collectively, the essays in this cross-disciplinary collection explore the impact of the revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars on European visual culture, from the outbreak of the pan-European conflict with France in 1792 to the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Through consideration of a range of media, from academic painting to prints, drawings and printed ephemera, this book offers fresh understanding of the rich variety of ways in which warfare was mediated in visual cultures in Britain and continental Europe.

The fourteen essays in the collection are grouped thematically into three sections, each focusing on a specific type of visual communication. Thus, Part One engages with historically specific ways of transmitting messages about war and conflict, including maps, prints, silhouette imagery and war games produced in France and Germany; Part Two considers popular and elite imagining of war between 1793 and 1815, encompassing readings of paintings by Turner, Girodet and Goya, Portuguese anti-French drawings and British satirical book illustrations; while Part Three concentrates on visual cultures of commemoration, addressing British theatrical reenactments and museum collections, and British and Dutch paintings of the Battle of Waterloo. As such, the volume uncovers fascinating new visual material and throws fresh light on some of the more canonical visual representations of conflict during the first ‘Total War’.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Contested Views: the Image in the First Total War

Satish Padiyar, Philip Shaw, Philippa Simpson

Part One: Cultures of Participation

  1. The Territorial Imaginary of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
  2. Katie Hornstein

  3. Beholder, Beheaded: Theatrics of the Guillotine and the Spectacle of Rupture
  4. Stephanie O’Rourke

  5. Smuggled Silhouettes: Opacity and Transparency as Visual Strategies for Negotiating Royal Sovereignty During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
  6. Allison Goudie

  7. Wargaming: Visualizing Conflict in French Printed Boardgames
  8. Richard Taws

  9. Battle Lines: Drawing, Lithography and the Casualties of War
  10. Sue Walker

    Part Two: War and the Image

  11. From the Nore: Turner at the Mouth of the Thames
  12. Richard Johns

  13. Ghosts and Heroes: Girodet and the Ossianic Mode in Post-Revolutionary French Art
  14. Emma Barker

  15. King Ferdinand’s Veto: Goya’s 2nd and 3rd May 1808 as Patriotic Failures
  16. Simon Lee

  17. "the most atrocious [acts] one may imagine": The So-called Series of the French Invasions and Anti-French Propaganda During the Peninsular War
  18. Foteini Vlachou

  19. The Comic View of Johnny Newcome’s Military Adventures
  20. Neil Ramsey

    Part Three: Cultures of Commemoration

  21. Reality Effects: War, Theatre and Re-enactment Around 1800
  22. Gillian Russell

  23. Ephemeral Histories:  Social Commemoration of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in the Paper Collections of Sarah Sophia Banks
  24. Arlene Leis

  25. Exhibiting the Nation’s Navy: The Foundation of the "National Gallery of Naval Art," 1795- 1845
  26. Cicely Robinson

  27. Picturing the Battlefield of Victory: Document, Drama, Image

Susan L. Siegfried

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Satish Padiyar is Senior Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century European Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art. He is author of Chains: David, Canova and the Fall of the Public Hero in Postrevolutionary France (2007) and editor of Modernist Games: Cézanne and His Card Players (2013). He is currently preparing a monograph on Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

Philip Shaw is Professor of Romantic Studies at the University of Leicester. He is author of Waterloo and the Romantic Imagination (2002), The Sublime (2006) and Suffering and Sentiment in Romantic Military Art (2013), and editor of Romantic Wars: Studies in Culture and Conflict, 1793-1822 (2000). He has written essays on military art in the Romantic period for Soldiering in Britain and Ireland, 1750-1850: Men of Arms (2013) and Tracing War in British Enlightenment and Romantic Culture (2015).

Philippa Simpson is Client Project Manager at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She was co-curator and catalogue author of Turner and the Masters (Tate Britain, Musée du Louvre, Museo del Prado) and Blake and British Visionary Art (Pushkin Museum) and has contributed essays to Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude (2012), Blake 2.0: William Blake in Twentieth-Century, Art, Music and Culture (2012) and Sexy Blake (2013).


"Importantly, the book is supported by a generous number of illustrations (including some fullpage), which will prove useful in the classroom. While it is often all too easy to rely on Google
to help us reconstruct the visual worlds of the past, Visual Culture and the Revolutionary and
Napoleonic Wars reminds us how much remarkable material is still sitting neglected in the
archives. Flaming cardboard globes, board games, and exhibition tickets are the types of sources
that, until recently, might have been relegated to the footnotes or overlooked altogether, but as
this volume proves, they are crucial for introducing us to the many, and often contested ways in
which those who lived through the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods imagined and
interpreted their changing worlds. " - Gemma Betros, The Australian National University (H-France Review)