THE LOVE OF ART
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Jacques-Louis David, Bélisaire Begging for Alms, 1781,
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Oil on canvas, 288 x 312 cm, Palace of Fine Arts, Lille.
Is the Love of Art a Form of the Passion for Equality?
The Art Worlds Tested by the French Revolution
Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Staff: Carole Gautier and Cécile Pichon-Bonin
Translator: David Ames Curtis
Among the things the French Revolution changed were also the mores of the art world as it had been organized around the Académie royale de peinture (French Royal Academy of Painting). With the emergence of sociétés d’amis des arts (societies of friends of the arts), new forms of public exhibitions, and the development of subscription as a method of financing for cultural works, the game being played out among the various agents involved became increasingly open, and this began to take place even before 1789.
The amateur, or lover of art, stood at the center of this process of transformation. After having devoted a key work to the subject in 2008, Les amateurs d’art à Paris au XVIIIe siècle, Charlotte Guichard here shows us how.