HIST 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: The Death Of Marat, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Mensch

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The French Revolution: An Actor’s Perspective 13:43
Quiz Wednesday- structure: in the syllabus-
Map and things to localize- essential thing- what is the enlightenment capital
example- situate it on the map/ situate major capitals of enlightenment
Guiding questions: know essential things- identify major turning points
-study guiding questions: indicate what we should get out of reading-every
week at the end of the week, the TA gives a sample answer to one of the
guiding questions.
One or two questions from weeks 2,3,4
-document from slides of courses and do a short presentation and conditions
of production and who made it and the importance to historians
-conditions of production and what is contained inside
-check syllabus
-document from slides
-
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The French Revolution: An actor’s perspective 13:43
-Important question of continuity and change:
there is always both, depending on the stand point and what you are
studying.
Point of view of france becoming a centralized state: continuity between
monarchical and revolutionary period.
Notion of a French national mentality developing: contuinity
Doing politics- like political socialibility: how you talk about politics- major
change, people didn’t discuss politics before 1789. After this time, this
change- it is understood that everyone has to participate and discuss
politics.
What happened with the revolution is a horizon of expectation of people that
changes, by changing their field of experience, everyday lives which
influences their horizon of expectation-Cocosilic(important historian of
conceptual history)
Conceptual history(cocosilic): moving towards the horizon, like for us it is
graduation. Your horizon of expectation influences how you act everyday,
your field of experience. At the same time, what you do everyday influences
your horizon. Once we approach the horizon of expectation, it excelerates.
Revolutions do this as well- peoples horizon of expectation, if you are a
peasent it was very routine but from 1789 onwards: the horizon becomes
dynamic and changes all the time. People don’t know the future because
itchanges.
Field of experience was routinized, but there is an acceleration of
time(1789).
Introduction:
Agency and world-historical events
i/ the French revolution through the eyes of an artist: somebody from
france. Allows us to see the visual culture of the period.To understand what
did people really see, when they were seeing something. We tend to forget
that the way we see it today, is different from that social political historical
context, it was specific to their society and context.
ii/ the French revolution through the eyes of others
I/ Revolutionary france through the eyes of an artist:
Jacques-louis david, autoportrait:
Lived before/during/after revolution
In prison
A. An artist and his time:
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The French Revolution: An actor’s perspective 13:43
-The lictors bring to brutus the bodies of his songs , oil on canvas, 1789,
louvre
Accordance with their time
David: born into a petty bourgeoise family, father was a merchant, held a
government state position that allowed him to place his son into the religious
school system.
Jacques went to school in a religious pension school and then moved to paris
Friendship of family-typical of period, networks of social mobility, he meets
the paintor of the royal curt Boucher and appreciates david and sends him to
the royal academy to study
Typical of enlightenment absolutist monarchy, move through education and
you find a patron and they move you to the royal academy, kings are eager
to be surrounded by artists and scientist, think their kingdom is based on
that
Moving towards a new type of society- progressively becoming metochratic:
what is important is how you fare
He wins prizes while being in the academy and participating in competitions,
building his resume.
1774- wins competition- the prize to go to the academys school in rome:
meant he could get 4 years in the villa medichi in rome: up the Spanish
steps, there is a villa.
Antiquity is important in enlightenment- looking at the arts, and travelling to
rome and Greece to see in situ what it looks like to be there- what antiquity
looked like/remained- “the grand tour”- phenomena of sociability
Gave us the word tourism-continuing tradition of 18th c. grand tour
Studies the medichi and becomes influenced by the antiquity and
progressively, he revolutionaizes the painting of the period
Jacques-Masters the school of painting- the neoclassical style: appeals to
classical antiquity, but also because it is a return to the classical style of 17th
C.
Neoclassical: historians of art care about stylistic aspect, but as historians
we care more about what the painting says
1789- just before the revolution takes place
before the revolution, people would see arrival of neoclassicalism as
something new and appealing but after 1789, the context changed. People
studied it in a different manner
-ARTISTIC ELEMENTS OF NEOCLASSICALISM
style: in terms of form, composed: although it is very geometrically
organized(typical of enlightenment idea), certain number of lines.
Painting divided in different scenes- division from front and back too
Geometrical division- helped by the use of images from antiquity like the
collums of ancient Greece and rome.
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