Broken Tablets: The Cult of the Law in French Art from David to Delacroix

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9780520077492: Broken Tablets: The Cult of the Law in French Art from David to Delacroix
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In this first study of art, law, and the legislator, Jonathan Ribner provides a revealing look at French art from 1789 to 1848, the period in which constitutional law was established in France. Drawing on several disciplines, he discusses how each of the early constitutional regimes in France used imagery suggesting the divine origin and sacred character of its laws. Primarily a study of art and politics, Broken Tablets discusses painting, sculpture, prints, and medals (many reproduced here for the first time), as well as contemporary literature, including the poetry of Alfred de Vigny, Alphonse de Lamartine, and Victor Hugo. Ribner assesses the ways in which legislation imagery became an instrument of political propaganda, and he clearly illuminates the cult of the law as it became personalized under Napoleon, monarchist under the Restoration, and defensive under Louis-Phillipe.

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Synopsis:

Provides an examination of French art from 1789 to 1848, the period in which constitutional law was established in France. The author discusses how each of the early constitutional regimes used imagery suggesting the divine origin and sacred character of French laws.

About the Author:

Jonathan P. Ribner is Assistant Professor of Art History at Boston University.

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