Paul Delaroche acquired unmatched celebrity as a painter in the first half of the nineteenth century. His major works, which include The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, The Princess in the Tower and other paintings based on historical events, achieved widespread recognition, leading an Italian critic to remark in 1853 that Delaroche was ‘at the summit of all living painters’. But Delaroche’s fame in his own lifetime has been followed by almost total neglect in the twentieth century.
In this handsomely illustrated book, Stephen Bann redresses the imbalance of scholarship on Delaroche. He examines the artist’s career from the earliest history paintings to the later, more experimental works that were influenced by photography. Bann also offers the first detailed analysis of Delaroche’s major works in the context of the visual culture of the early nineteenth century.
Paul Delaroche: History Painted is the first monograph devoted to Delaroche.
‘Stephen Bann’s Paul Delaroche makes impressive amends for long years of neglect.’ – The Times
‘Stephen Bann’s exhaustive monograph makes a case for a “new” Delaroche, and he argues it with detailed analysis of both images and documents, a tangible enthusiasm for his subject and considerable persuasiveness.’ – The Art Newspaper
‘richly illustrated and beautifully produced’ – Burlington Magazine
‘Bann’s very lucid narrative presents an important chapter in social history which has been inexplicably neglected; and, in presenting suggestive interpretations based upon political history, psychoanalysis narratology, it offers a rich array of materials other scholars are sure to borrow.’ – Nineteenth-Century French Studies
Stephen Bann is Professor in the Department of History of Art at the University of Bristol, and has published widely in the field of contemporary art. He is co-editor of Interpreting Contemporary Art (Reaktion, 1991), editor of Frankenstein, Creation and Monstrosity (Reaktion, 1994) and author of Romanticism and the Rise of History (1995) and Jannis Kounellis (Reaktion, 2003).