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
- The Territorial Imaginary of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
- Beholder, Beheaded: Theatrics of the Guillotine and the Spectacle of Rupture
- Smuggled Silhouettes: Opacity and Transparency as Visual Strategies for Negotiating Royal Sovereignty During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
- Wargaming: Visualizing Conflict in French Printed Boardgames
- Battle Lines: Drawing, Lithography and the Casualties of War
- From the Nore: Turner at the Mouth of the Thames
- Ghosts and Heroes: Girodet and the Ossianic Mode in Post-Revolutionary French Art
- King Ferdinand’s Veto: Goya’s 2nd and 3rd May 1808 as Patriotic Failures
- "the most atrocious [acts] one may imagine": The So-called Series of the French Invasions and Anti-French Propaganda During the Peninsular War
- The Comic View of Johnny Newcome’s Military Adventures
- Reality Effects: War, Theatre and Re-enactment Around 1800
- Ephemeral Histories: Social Commemoration of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in the Paper Collections of Sarah Sophia Banks
- Exhibiting the Nation’s Navy: The Foundation of the "National Gallery of Naval Art," 1795- 1845
- Picturing the Battlefield of Victory: Document, Drama, Image
Part Two: War and the Image
Part Three: Cultures of Commemoration
Susan L. Siegfried
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)