JEAN LEON GER&ME (1824-1904): A STUDY OF A MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY FRENCH ACADEMIC ARTIST by DONALD SCOTT WATSON B.A., University of British Columbia, 1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (The Department of Fine Arts) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1977 © Donald Scott Watson, 1977 In presenting th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree ly ava i lab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or publication of th is thesis fo r f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 i i ABSTRACT This thesis is not a monograph on Gerome. Rather i t is an analysis of selected paintings and the themes that occur in them. My approach has been icono1ogica1 , as subject-matter was, for Gerome, the most important aspect of painting. But I have also endeavoured to t i e a formal analysis of Gerome's art to i t s content. Chapter I contains a brief biographical sketch, as most of this information is readily available elsewhere this chapter is quite b r i e f . Chapter II deals with Ge'rome's neo- gre c painting, both for i t s own sake and to introduce my thesis--that Gerome's painting is an extension of his role as c o l l e c t o r and that the world he creates is an extension of the nineteenth-century French i n t e r i e u r. Chapter III continues and expands on this argument and deals with Ge'rome's ethnographic work and attempts to explain his use of a photographic style. Chapter IV deals with Ge'rome's serious history paintings and relates them to historiographic discourse in nineteenth-century France. Chapter V, the conclusion, summarizes my arguments. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Chapter I. GENOME'S CAREER 1 II. THE NEO-GREC PAINTINGS 8 Neo-grec Painting and Its Relationship to "High" Art ' 8 Genre Painting During the July Monarchy . . . 13 Gerome's Teachers I: Paul Delaroche . . . . . . 14 Gerome's .Teachers II: Charles Gleyre - -19 L'Ecole de bon sens '20 The^Cock Fight 25 Ge'rome ' s Other Ne'o-grec Paintings: The Female Nude As an Icon,of High Art ',28 Goupil et Compagnie - 37 The Neo-Grec "Fashion" and the " i n t e r i e u r " . . < 40 King Candaules and Antiochus and Stratonice: The Decline of Neo-cl.assi ci sm 46 III. THE ETHNOGRAPHIC PAINTINGS .".'5 7 The Content of Ge'rome's Ethnographic Paintings I: Physiognomic Types 60 The Ethnographic Paintings and Photography. . 67 The Contenjt of Gerome's Ethnographic Painting's II: The Inte'rieur 75 IV. THE HISTORY PAINTINGS 88 Historiographic Thought in Mid-Nineteenth Century France. . . .; 89 The Influence of Positivism on the Arts . . ., 102 Ge'r6me's H i s tory Pa i n t i n gs 106 V. CONCLUSION 1 38 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 145 i v ILLUSTRATIONS Page Figure 1 The Cock Fight. 1846. Oil on canvas. ( 143 x 204 cm. ). Musee de Louvre, Paris 2. Paul Delaroche. The A r t i s t s of A l l Ages. 1841 Hemicycle, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. (Fig. 114 in Robert Rosenblum, Ingres 'New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1 967) . . . . .' .- . . . . 3. Paul Delaroche. The Children of Edward IV.1830. Oil on canvas. (181 x 215 cm.) Muse'e du-Louvre. (Page 301 in French Painting 1774-1830: The Age of Revolution, i;New York: 1974) . '. '. 7 . 4. Phryne Before the Areopagus. 1861. Hamburger Kunsthalle. (Page 10 in Jean-Leon Gerome, Dayton, Ohio: 1972) 5. King Candaules. 1 859. Oil on can vas . (67. 3 x 99 cm.) Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico. (Page 43 in Jean-Leon Gerome, Ibid.) 6. Cleopatra and Caesar. 1864. (Page 43 in Nancy B e l l , Representative Painters of the Nineteenth Century, (London, 1 899). ~ '. '. '. '. '. '. '. '. 7~. 7. Roman Slave Market. 1884. Oil on canvas. (64.1 x 56.9 cm. ) The Wal ter£ t Art Gallery, Baltimore. (Page 89 in Jean-Leon G'leVdme, op.cit.) 8. Jean-Louis Hamon. Ma soecfr n'y est pas i c i . Whereabouts un known. (Page 108 i n C h a r l e s Gl eyre , ( La us an ne : 19 74}) > • • 9. Gustave Boulanger. The Lute PIayer. 1861 Musee National 4, Versai 11 e~s7 (Page 146 in Ingres , -o_p. c j t . ) 10. Infelrieur grec. 1851. Hamburger Kunsthalle . . . . 11. Socrates Seeking Alcibiades in the House of Aspasia.1861. Robert Isaacson Collection: New York. ("Page 36 in Isaacson, "Ge'r6me," Art and Arti sts, Vol. 2 [August, 1 967]) '44 12. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Antiochus and Stratoni ce. 1 840. Oil on canvas. (44.9 x 78.8 cm.) Musee Conde, Chantilly. (Plate 39 in In gres , op . ci t. ) 47 13. Nadar. Photograph of Musette. 1856. (Fig. 228 in Helmut Gernsh-eim, The History of Photography _ London: Oxford"'Uni vers i ty Press, 1 9 55)) . . 7 . . 55 14. Recreation in a Russian Camp. 1854. Whereabouts un known. (Page 11 in Jean- Leon GeVome, op.cit.).. 61 15. Photograph of Ger6me at 70(?) (Page 1.34 in Victor Guillemin, "Etude sur le pe_intre et s^ulpteur, J.L. Gerome," Academie des Sciences B e l l e s - l e t t r e s & Arts de Besfrncon. 1904) ! '. 7 . 65 9 ,1 7 1 7 '31; 3,2 .32 .36 40 40 44 V Figure Page 16. Arnaut Smoking. 1865? Oil on canvas. (59.6 x 72.4 cm.) The Sordoni Family Co l l e c t i o n , Wi1kes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (Page 59 in J . - L . Gerome , op.cit.) 6 5 17. The Prisoner. 1 86 3. (46 x 7 8.1 cm.) Private Collection, New York. An e a r l i e r version (1861) in the Musee Nantes (Page 51 in J.-L. Ge'rome, op.cit.) 68 18. Conducteur de Chameaux. Whereabouts unknown. (Page 15 in Fre'de'ric Mas son, " J .-L. Ge'rome : peintre de 1'orient," Figaro II lustre'', Vol . 12, [July, 1901] 74 19. Dance of the Almeh. 1863. (520.2 x 81.3 cm.) Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio. , (Page 5 3 in J.-L. Ge'rome,, opci t.) 74 20. Emile Bayard, Cover for "Le Nu Esthetique", Paris, 1900. (Page 304 in Michel Braive, The Social History of Photography. New Y o r k , 1 9 6 6 ) . . . . . . . . . . . 85 21. Ave Caesar, Morituri Te Salutant. 1859. Oil on Canvas. (92.2 x 14.4 cm.) Yale University Art Gallery. (Page 45 i n J . L . Ge'rome , op.cit.) 107 22. Poll ice Verso. 1 874. Oil on canvas. (96.5 x 145.2 cm.) Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. (Page 68 in J.-L Gerome, o p . c i t . ) . 107 23. The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer. 1863-1 883. Oil on Canvas. ( 87.9 x 1 50.1 cm.) The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. (Page 86 in J.-L. Ge'rome) 108 24. Pol 1i ce Verso c. 1 876. Large bronze scuptural group. Muse'e Besancon(?) (Page 27 in Fre'de'ric Masson, "x\'. L . Ge'rome : Notes et fragments inedites," Les Arts, 1904) . . . . . 109 25. La Mcyty re. Bronze mounted on black marble. (36 x 48.5 cm.) (Page 37 in Galerie Tanagra, Paris. Jean-Leon Ge'rome, 1 9 7 4 ) . . . . . . . . 110 26. La REntree des felines dans le cirque, c. 1902. Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore (Page 8 in Galerie Tanagra, op.ci t.) 112 27. The Death of Marshal Ney. 1868. Oil on canvas. (64.1 x 103.5 cm.) Sheffield City Art G a l l e r i e s , S h e f f i e l d , England. (Page 64 ,-, 7; J.L. Gerome,.gp,git.) 28: The Death of Cflesdr'. 1 867. Oil on canvas. (85.5 x 145.2 cm.) The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. (Page 6 3 in J.-L. Ge'rome, o p . c i t . ) . 117 vi Page Fi gure 29. L'0 e d i p e . c. 1 886. Whereabouts unknown. (Page 482 in Fanny Hering, "J.-L. Ge>6me," The Century Magazine, vol. 37, 1 889) 1 19 30. Sketch for 1 1Oedipe c. 1886 (Page 484, Ibid.). . 120 31. The Poet Touched.By His Muse, c. 1881. Whereabouts unknown. (Page 18 in Henri Houssaye, Le Salon de 1881. Paris, 1881.) 1 2 4 32. The Reception of the Due de-Conde. 1 878. Oi1 on canvas. (96.5 x 139.7 cm.) Mr. and Mrs. Armand du Vannes, Los Angeles, C a l i f o r n i a . (Page 75 of J.-L. Gerome, op. c i t. ) 128 33. L'Eminence Gri se. 1 874. Oil on canvas. (65.5 'x 98.5 cm.) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (Page 71 in J.-L. Gerome, op. c i t.) . . ' 2 ° 34. Be11ona. 1 893. Large chryselephantine sculpture. (Page 205 in M. H. Speilmann, "J.-L. Gerome," The Magazine of Art. Vol. 2 , 1 904) 1 4 2 1 CHAPTER I: GEROME'S CAREER Gerome's career was a charmed one* whatever d i f f i c u l t i e s he may have had in his personal l i f e , whatever e c c e n t r i c i t i e s have been withheld from us by his biographers, or rather by Gerome himself who furnished them with his l i f e story.^ There is no real reason to doubt the account which Gerome has given us, f u l l of lacunae as i t i s , nor is there any reason to doubt the embellishments upon this tale given to us by those who knew the painter. But i t a l l reads rather oddly; nineteenth century biography was perhaps the nadir of that l i t e r a r y form. For the Victorians, French and English, biography meant an account of a man's achievements in the public arena with only the merest hints of what motivated him. Therefore the image of Gerome that emerges from the l i t e r a t u r e about him is of a man reading a s c r i p t . However, we can infer certain things about Gerome from these books and a r t i c l e s which are not stated d i r e c t l y . After a l l , we have the works of art. Ge'rome was born on the 11th df May, 1824, in Vesoul , a small town in North-eastern France, about halfway between Basel and Dijon. He was the son of a moderately well-to-do silversmith, who being a maker of objets d'art himself, en-couraged his son's ambition to become an a r t i s t . It was this childhood that gave Gerome his l i f e l o n g devotion to an 2 arduous work schedule and an attitude towards his art that was very much a craftsman's more than an " a r t i s t ' s " . In 1839 he went to Paris to enroll in the a t e l i e r of Paul Delaroche. This was a prestigious studio, i f not the most prestigious at the time. It had been handed down from David to Gros and then to Delaroche (and subsequently to Charles Gleyre). Delaroche himself was only r i v a l l e d by the towering figures of Delacroix and Ingres, and he was a per-sonal friend of Louis-Philippe. In other words, a favored student of Delaroche's had privileged access to the Salon, to the coveted Prix-de-Rome and to state and private com-missions. In 1843, after a student died as a result of the often rowdy i n i t i a t i o n practises, Delaroche closed his studio, handing i t over to Charles Gleyre and encouraging his students to go to either Gleyre or Martin Drolling. Gerdme, however, was utterly devoted to Delaroche and went with him to Italy for a year. In 1845 Ge'rome returned to Paris and enrolled in Charles Gleyre's studio so that he might compete for the Prix-de-Rome. He was unsuccessful, but in the following year he sent his f i r s t painting to the Salon, The Cock/Fight. This painting received a Third Class medal, rather unusual for a f i r s t Salon, and made Ge'rome a recognized painter. At twenty-two . he was famous. One would l i k e to know a great deal more about the group that then gathered around Gerome. These young painters, 3 a l l students of Gleyre, l i v e d together in a studio on the Rue de Fleurus (later made famous by Gertrude Stein's r e s i -dency there). Le Chalet, as the group called themselves, included Toulmouche (Claude Monet's cousin), Hamon, Picou and the sculptor Jobbe-Duval. Theophile Gautier was a wel-come and frequent guest at what he called "a l i t t l e Athens". Perhaps following the example of Gleyre, Le Chalet also housed a large numer of animals, and Gerome's chimpanzee, Jacques, would often accompany him to restaurants. They were a l l rather poor and very i d e a l i s t i c , and they seem to have participated in the s p i r i t of 1 848. Ge'rome headed a petition to abolish marriage in that year as well as entering the contest for an a l l e g o r i c a l figure of the 2 Republi c. The image we get of Ge'rome as a young man is of some-one who was driven to succeed. His devotion to his work in-spired those around him. He had a great deal of personal charm which he could turn on or off at will which made him 3 the central figure of the group, "le chef des neo-grecs". In the 1850s he received several important commissions 4 and exhibited regularly at the Salon. In 1854, while re-searching for a large commission he made what was to be the 5 f i r s t of many voyages east. In 1862 he married Marie Goupil, daughter of the art-dealer. They had four children, three daughters and a son who died at the age of 27 in 1891. By this time Ge'rome was 4 l i v i n g in a house on the Rue de Clichy. In 1 863, Ge'rSme along with Cabanel and P i l s was appointed to a professorship at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, a post he held until his death in 1904. In 1865, at the f a i r l y young age of forty-one, he was elected to the Institute. His long ten-ure at the Ecole and his violent opposition to realism and impressionism have contributed to his image as the ultimate Academician; i t was an image he seemed to have enjoyed. His students included Henri Rousseau and Thomas Eakins, both g of whom admired him. Among his last students was Fernand Le'ger. The honours heaped upon Gerome during his lifetime were too numerous to l i s t here. He was the only painter to be awarded the Grand Medal of Honour three times. He travelled in many social c i r c l e s , among his friends were the Goncourts, Prince Napoleon, the Peireires, and the Rothschilds. As a man Ger6me is consistently described as trim, energetic and very elegant in his manners. A l l the photo-graphs and paintings of him give him a very arch appearance, the eyebrows raised in a permanent mask of disdain. Gerome liv e d by a s t r i c t regimen--when not travel l i n g - -he would ride almost every day in the Bois de Boulogne, often with James Rothschild. He painted almost every day of his adult l i f e , making him a very p r o l i f i c a r t i s t , especi-a l l y considering the amount of time that goes into work of this type. 5 He practised a l l sorts of genres throughout his l i f e , often exhibiting a neo-grec or h i s t o r i c a l work at the same Salon as an ethnographic work. This thesis deals with his neo-grec, ethnographic and h i s t o r i c a l paintings. But be-sides these there are religious paintings, a few p o r t r a i t s , among them one of the actress Rachel, a few landscapes, often with animals, especially l i o n s , which Albert Boime suggests, he may have thought of.as sort of a personal totem.^ He was among the most popular painters of his time. The Salon made painting a subject of public attention to a de-gree almost unimaginable today; perhaps the cinema would be a reasonable comparison. One can, I think, understand why Gerome's meticulous renderings of exotic subjects were popu-l a r . F i r s t of a l l , they were legible as stories and a great many people expected that of art; they were also esca-p i s t . The sexuality of many of the paintings, hardly notice-able by today's standards, allowed sexual fantasy within the protective confines of art. As a man, he was a paragon of bourgeois virtue. He himself had said that "perspicacity and good sense" were the foundations of the French character, g and he made himself the embodiment of these q u a l i t i e s . He gave France an image of an a r t i s t who was not a wild Romantic, contemptous of middle-class values, nor a r e a l i s t who might be a s o c i a l i s t as well, nor was he given to "high-brow" discussions of his art. Rather he treated art as though i t was a profession, which was to be approached in a business-6 like manner. Words lik e "imagination" and "poetry" have no meaning when Gerome uses them. Gerome had the misfortune of seeing his career begin to disintegrate. From the 1880s on he saw his prices begin to f a l l . He s t i l l won awards at the Salon, but by this time the Salon had begun to be replaced by the private art gal-lery. When he died in 1904 no retrospective was shown. Although there was small Gerome exhibitions at Vassar Col-lege in 1967, i t was not until Gerald Ackerman and Bruce Evans organized a Gerome show for the Dayton Art Institute in 1972 that the painter has been given a major retrospective. Due to the new f i e l d that Academic painting offers to art historians and the r i s i n g taste for photo-realism, Gerome's reputation has taken a turn for the better after seventy years of complete neglect. The a r t i s t who emerges was of modest accomplishment but interesting and worthy of a place in the history of nineteenth century art. Notes - Chapter I .7 Fanny Fi e l d Hering, Gerome, Case] Publishers, New York, 1893. Victor Guillemin, "Jean-Leon Gerome" in Memoi res de I'acaddmie de Besancon, 1904, pp.1 34-1 84. Fre'de'ric Mas son, "J.L. Ge'rdme, Notes-1 et fragments ine'dits." Les Arts, 1 904. Charles Moreau-Vauthier, Ge'r6me, p£i ntre et sculpteur , Paris, 1906. See Albert Boime, "The Second Replublic's Contest for The Figure of the Republic," Art Bui 1etin, vol.53. 1971 , pp.345ff. 3 Charles Timbal , "Ge'rome: Etude bi ographi que ," in Gazette des Beaux Arts, vol. 14, 2e series, 1876, pp.218ff, pp.334ff. p.219. 4 In 1851 he received a commission for several panels in the refectory of old St. Martins, Paris which was being restored as a l i b r a r y . In 1852 he did two murals in the Chapel of St. Jerome, St. Severin, Paris, by a l l accounts he was considerably outshone by Hippolyte Flandrin who also did murals in St. Severin at this time. JHe received a commission (20,000 francs) for a large allegory on a passage from Bousset. This commission is dis-cussed in Chapter III. ^See Albert Boime, "Jean Leon Ge'rome, Henri Rousseau's Sleeping Gypsy and the Academic Legacy," Art Quarterly, vol.34, 1971, and Gerald Ackerman, "Thomas Eakins and his Parisian Master, Ge'rQme and Bonnat," Gazette des Beaux Arts, vol. 72, 1969, pp.235-256. 7 A l b e r t Boime, Art Quarterly, 1971, op.cit. , p . l l f . Q Hering, 1 892 , op.cit. , p.vi. 8 CHAPTER II: THE NEO-GREC PAINTINGS At the urging of his teacher, Paul Delaroche, Ger&me sent his f i r s t major work, The Cock Fight ( f i g . 1), to the Salon of 1847. Even though the painting was hung rather far above the l i n e , i t attracted attention and praise. Theophile Gautier wrote e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y in La Presse: "Un peintre nous est ne, i l s'appelle Gerome. Aujourd'hui je vous dis son nom, et je vous pre'dis que demain i l sera celebre."^ The painting even charmed the vituperative Gustave Planche into writing a favorable notice. The Salon jury awarded The Cock Fight a 3 third class medal. Thus, at the age of twenty-two, Gerome had become a famous painter; he had a Salon medal, and perhaps more importantly, he had the support of Gautier, who was one of the most i n f l u e n t i a l c r i t i c s of the time. The Cock Fight was the f i r s t of a number of paintings Gerome produced in a style known as neo-grec or pompei s te. This style was one of a number of short lived "styles" that emerged in the July Monarchy which were neither Classical nor Romantic but attempted something in between. Neo-Grec Painting and Its Relationship to "High" Art Ne'o-grec painting was characterized by i t s placing of everyday, even t r i v i a l , subject-matter in an antique setting. The neo-grecs abandoned the mythic and heroic image of anitquity practised by David and espoused by Ingres for an Figure 1 10 image that was softer, less demanding, and showed the ancients in their day-to-day pursuits. Neo-grec art is anecdotal rather than narrative, l y r i c rather than epic, and for t h i s , reason i t can only be called history painting with q u a l i f i c a -t i o n , although i t everywhere refers to the standards of history painting. History painting, what the Academy deemed high a r t , as conceived by David or Ingres, was concerned with the depiction of events that embodied elevated moral c o n f l i c t and purpose; events which celebrated the heroic and were meant to en-noble the viewer. David's Oath of the Horatii and Ingres' Apotheosis of Homer have didactic energy, they are icons in every sense of the word. Academic history painting, in theory, emphasized those aspects of painting that could be calculated and learned, i t was an art of the i n t e l l e c t rather than of the heart. Colour was kept d u l l , as i t was associated with f e e l i n g , whereas precise drawing was thought to engage the mind. The surface was highly polished. Evidence of the a r t i s t ' s hand, which might indicate the spontaneous gesture of the inspired--and therefore temporal--moment was abjured and hidden. And because the surface was highly polished the details assumed importance. In the styles of David and Ingres, unlike that of Delacroix, the finer points of the architecture and accessories could not be merely suggested but had to be cl e a r l y defined. The Beaux-Arts' student 11 was required to have a grasp of c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , not just as a source for. elevating subject-matter, but also as a repository of information about the visual environment of the ancients. He was also taught archae1ogica1 methods of extracting meaningful information from coins, b a s - r e l i e f s , vase drawings etc., so that he could create an h i s t o r i c a l l y accurate mis-en-scene for the c l a s s i c a l subjects of high art.' In matters of composition and proportion Academic paint-ing used the proportions and geometric values that were found in c l a s s i c a l art. Symmetry was the guiding p r i n c i p l e of composition and the figures not only used c l a s s i c a l pro-portions they often were quotations of ancient statuary. The figures are often l i f e - s i z e , as in the Oath and the Apotheosi s; this factor, as well as the use of Renaissance perspective, postulates a homogeniety between the space of the painting and the space that the viewer occupies in the real world. But the space of these paintings, unlike " r e a l " space, is very limited and gives an image of figures frozen in action forever, relieved of the burden of time. The shallow space and f r o n t a l i t y of the figures under-line the h e i r a t i c , authoritative nature of high art. Accord-ing to the French poet Yves Bonnefoy: "Dans le langage de toutes esthetiques, la f r o n t a l i t e s i g n i f i e I'eternel, par opposition a la profondeur, par ou se reintroduit la temporalite, et le plan exprime l'etre ou I'essenee, bref, 1 1intemporel." The shallow space denotes the eternal values 12 which the subject-matter i l l u s t r a t e s w i t h i n . i t , I t at once refers us to the bas-relief and reminds us of the more dur-able medium of stone. We are thus distanced in time from the world of high art. In the Apotheosi s, Ingres adds to the authority of the painting by asking us to look up as i f our eye level corresponded to the bottom edge of the canvas where the figures are cut off at the waist. Neo-grec art.' remains high art in several c r i t i c a l ways. It displays the results of research and erudition on a highly polished surface. Line dominates the colour, the brush work is i n v i s i b l e . The human figure is idealized and the space is often quite f l a t in the background, i f i t is not actually shallow. In The Cock Fight, the figures are l i f e - s i z e . And neo-grec art can point to H e l l e n i s t i c art for a c l a s s i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n of i t s everyday subject-matter. It is high art in every way except the most important. The subject-matter is not especially morally edifying, s e l f - s a c r i f i c e and patriotism and the celebration of the heroic or the authoritative are everywhere abandoned for epicurianism. F i n i , the i d e a l i z a t i o n of the figure, etc., have an aesthetic value rather than an ethical one. High art proper refers us to a c u l t of the state, of the gods and of t r a d i t i o n ; neo-grec art refers to a cult of the Beautiful. As Gautier said of the neogrecs at Le Chalet, "...1iving 1ike Sybarites, painting from palettes of irvory, crowning their heads with roses." In fact, ne"o-grec painting has a l l the character*.; 1 3 i s t i c s of genre painting in a high art disguise, or vice versa. Genre Painting During the July Monarchy Although the Academy certainly valued history painting above a l l other kinds of art; the notion that i t completely shunned genre painting in the nineteenth century is something of a myth. Painting from c l a s s i c a l or b i b l i c a l sources was the sort of painting that one had to enter for the Prix-de-Rome contest, a prize which constituted " a r r i v a l " and a competition which most Beaux-Arts' students entered. But Granet and Drolling, among others, both practised genre painting which was executed in a highly r e a l i s t i c style that owed a great deal to seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish realism and both became members of the Institute in the 1830s. A quick look at the auction rooms of Paris, a r e l i a b l e indicator of fashionable taste, shows that genre paintings, mainly French, Dutch and Flemish fetched respectable prices 8 >. in f a i r l y large numbers in mid-century. Arsene Houssaye, who knew Gerome, wrote a book about Dutch painting in 1846.^ So i f Gerome's ne'o-grec painting is recasting genre painting into a c l a s s i c a l mold, he is not reviving genre painting, which was f a i r l y healthy at the time. Instead he must be seen--although we must be careful not to exaggerate the young Gerome's conscious intention here--to be "reviving" high art, or rather salvaging what was l e f t of i t at the end 14 of the July Monarchy. The situation of Academic art at this time is best examined — for the purposes of this thesis — by a discussion of the two teachers who taught Gerome his t r a d i t i o n , Paul Delaroche and Charles Gleyre. Ge'rome's Teachers I: Paul Delaroche Ge'rome's most important teacher was Delaroche. Delaroche's painting was characterized by a highly polished, and there-fore Academic, handling of t r a d i t i o n a l l y romantic subject-matter. This style was known as j uste-milieu, an appelation^ that comes from p o l i t i c a l terminology. Delaroche was Louis-Philippe's favorite painter and friend; and he came to rep-resent in the world of art what Louis-Philippe stood for in p o l i t i c s . The reign of Louis-Phi1ippe was, in the words of Alfred-Cobban ; "...so lacking in principle that i t could only be known by the month of i t ' s founding, as the July Monarchy.^ Lou i s-Ph i 1 i p" pe ' s policy was an attempt to please both the right and the l e f t by fe n c e - s i t t i n g . It- i s , perhaps, unfortunate that Delaroche's attempt to temper romanticism with a l i t t l e precise drawing w i l l be forever associated with i t . But, as Nancy Bell pointed out, Delaroche's compromises had a measure of success, whereas the king's did not: Delaroche was a painter after the heart of Louis-Philippe, that monarch who vainly stro/e to bridge over the gap between aristocracy and demo-cracy, and to rule on the so-called j uste-frii1ieu system. What the king f a i l e d to do in p o l T t i c s , his favorite painter succeeded in accomplishing in 1 5 art...De1aroche be came the idol of the middle-class . 1 ' One rather doubts whether Delaroche's style was meant to correspond to the p o l i c i e s of Louis-Philippe, at least not consciously. But most of the popular a r t i s t s of this period, Delaroche, Ary Scheffer and Horace Vernet, were a l l seen as having solved the CI assic-Romantic c o n f l i c t . This c o n f l i c t may often seem obscure to us--as those terms have since had to carry the burden of German phi 1osophy--but at the time i t was quite clear where certain people stood. Ingres stood for classicism, p o l i t i c a l conservatism and t r a d i t i o n a l values; Delacroix and Hugo for a romanticism associated with re-publican and democratic ideals. The revolutions of 1830 and 1848 were seen as v i c t o r i e s of one style over the other. So the j uste-mi1ieu art of Delaroche was seen as metaphorical of and appropriate to Louis-Philippe's policy of depolariza-tion—which i s , or course, i t s e l f a t a c t i c of the right. But there is a s p l i t in Delaroche's a r t i s t personality. His large hemicycle for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, The A r t i s t s of A l l Ages ( f i g . 2) is c l e a r l y modelled on the Ingreiste formula of the Apotheos i s, and considering where . this painting is placed, how could i t be otherwise. Most of Delaroche's art differed dramatically from this public display of support for high art. In The Children of Edward IV ( f i g . 3) the strong, even l i g h t of high art is eschewed for a dramatic chiaroscuro which probably was meant 16 to suggest the dark depths of Richard I l l ' s murderous heart. The theme i t s e l f is Shakespearian and therefore (by the standards of the July Monarchy) romantic. The handling i s , however, highly finished. The details are picked up, brought into sharp focus and dwelt upon. Delaroche, as Nancy Bell writes, "was ever on the lookout for effe c t i v e incident, and spared no pains to make sure of accuracy of 1 2 detail in costume and in furniture." This attitude to-wards detail is a variation on the academic insistance on erudition, although one certainly feels that Delaroche's detail work lavishes attention on objects for their own sake and not to make an archaeological point. Delaroche's manner here must be derived from Dutch rea1ism--varnishes and furs. And The Children of Edward IV came in for some rough c r i t i c i s m from Gustave Planche on this account: "...everything is discouragingly new: furniture,'clothing , 1 3 the faces themselves are new and have never l i v e d . . . " A r e a l i s t i c handling of detail invades even the work of Ingres. As Robert Rosenblum has noted, Ingres had a wide variety of styles and subjects as his command. Rosen-blum has advanced the thesis that Ingres would change his manner to suit his subject, Raphaelesque for his Virgin with a Crown, Northern late Gothic for The Duke of Alba at St. Gudule, or the model of c l a s s i c a l statuary for Vergil Reciting from the Aeneid. Rosenblum writes: . "Like a nine-Figure 2 Figure 3 1 8 teenth century architect, he [Ingres] was acutely aware of choosing a style that suited his s u b j e c t . " 1 4 I n 9 r e s w a s most r e a l i s t i c in his p o r t r a i t s . During the July monarchy, both the government and the a r t i s t s had to deal with a powerful bourgeois constituency who were weary of the endless debate: Republic, Empire, Monarchy^ and who chose as a compromise, Louise-Philippe, Orleanist claimant to the throne and a man who reportedly had republic ideas. This choice seemed rational an.d non-r h e t o r i c a l - - i t was motivated by an urgent desire for a society that would allow the a f f a i r s of business to be the a f f a i r s of the world. This r i s i n g bourgeois class began to buy and c o l l e c t art, and i t was probably they and the tone they set that was responsible for the rise of a kind of painting that celebrated things, and possessions, the v i s i b l e si gn s of wealth. So the kind of eclecticism we see the ne'o-grecs practising nig:lr art and genre painting--is far from innovating rather such "experiments characterized most of the art of the July 1 5 Monarchy as well as the second Empire." Ge'rome always recognized his debt to Delaroche. Late in l i f e he wrote that he himself belonged to the school which Delaroche had "founded by the side of these two opposing schools (Classicism and Romanticism). This, Gerome, assured his reader,was the "School of Good Sense" But Delaroche did not found I'ecole de bon sens, although he was not unrelated 19 to i t . 1 7 Ge'rome' s Teachers II: Charles Gleyre Ge'rome's contact with the ecole de bon sens was through his second teacher, Gleyre. Gleyre had been a student of Delaroche's and i t was he who took over the l a t t e r ' s studio in 1 844. Ge'rome's actual relationship with Gleyre remains ambiguous. While Ge'rome's notes on his early years are f u l l of praise for his beloved Delaroche, Gleyre is mentioned only once. Ge'rome was only registered in Gleyre's studio for three months in 1845. His reason for doing t h i s , was, by his own account, only in order that the might be e l i g i b l e to compete for the Prix-de-Rome, which required that con-1 o testants be registered in a recognized Parisian a t e l i e r . He did not win the Prix that year and never t r i e d again. The jury apparently told him that he f a i l e d because of the de-fic i e n c y of his figures. So he embarked on a year's study of the nude--the end result of which was The Cock Fight. It is important to note that he did not continue his studies under Gleyre at this time but returned to Delaroche as a 1 9 private student. Gerome's reasons for erasing the influence of Gleyre from his accounts of his formative years are beyond the scope of this thesis. That Gleyre was, in fact, important to Gerome seems beyond question. The members of Le Chalet, Toulmouche, Hamon, Picou, Aubert and Jobe-Duyal were, along with Gerome, a l l Gleyre 20 students. In fact, i t has been put forward that neo-greci sm 21 actually originated in Gleyre's studio. Thumbing through Charles Clement's catalogue of Gleyre's o i l painting one can find--at least two paintings which--by description at least--seem to be neo-grec in s e n s i b i l i t y which were executed 22 before 1846, and thus before The Cock Fight. One of these paintings is called Lucrece and was the result of a series of planned i l l u s t r a t i o n s for Francois Ponsard's play of the 23 same name. Just as Gerome's painting earned him the t i t l e "le chef des neo-grecs", Ponsard's 1843 stage success earned him the t i t l e "le chef de 1'ecole de bon sens". As Gleyre was close to Ponsard, although we don't know i f he went as far as to label himself of the ecole de bon sens, we might reasonably expect that Ponsard w i l l illuminate one of the brief traditions that informed the neo-grec movement. L'eco1e de bon sens One hundred and f i f t y years after the fact the d i f -ference between a j uste-mi1ieu and an ecole de bon sens s e n s i b i l i t y may seem a l i t t l e r a f f i n e . Both occupy l i t t l e outposts on the vast wasteland of art history between the polar extremes of classicism and romanticism. Bon sens r e a l l y has to do with the stage, which li k e painting in the early nineteenth century was a b a t t e l f i e l d between romantic-ism and classicism. The difference between Delaroche's art 21 and Gleyre's, considered in these terms, was that Delaroche leaned towards the romantic while Gleyre leaned towards the c l a s s i c . ' The ecole de bon sens attempted to reform classicism in order to crush romanticism. In this aspect i t was an agent of the Academy and in 1845 Ponsard won the Institute's prix de trage'die, which had been founded in 1831 (note the date): "pour opposer une digue aux envahissements du 24 ^ romantisme." In order to rescue classicism Ponsard and his fellow playwright, Emile Augier (with whom Gerome travelled to Egypt in 1856) t r i e d what seems in retrospect to perform an impossible task. They wished, l i k e the neo-grecs, to aestheticise the c l a s s i c a l ideal. But they went further than epicurianism, they wished to tinge the c l a s s i c a l e s p r i t with scientism and.republican p o l i t i c s . As Ponsard's biographer, Daniel Stern, wrote: "La sagesse de Ponsard, i l f a i t .'bien I'avouer, n'etait pas d' un sto'icien, mais plutot d'un e'picurien, au sens vrai du mot, qui f a i t consister le bonheur dans la volupte', mais la volupte lie'e a la raison et 2 5 a la moderation." (Stern here quotes L i t t r e ' s dictionary--L i t t r e was a friend of Ponsard's and supported him iin the Second Empire when his Charlotte Corday was banned). L ucrece, for example, argued for "les droits i mpe'r i s sa bl e s de la science et de la raison contre la superstition et la fana t i sme."2^ Ponsard, Gleyre, and the young Gerome were a l l associated 22 with Sai nt-Simoni an ideas. Ge'rSme went as far as to lead a 2 7 petition demanding the abolition of marriage in 1848. If this association with Saint-Simonian c i r c l e s does not d i r e c t l y affect Gleyre's or Gerome's painting style be-yond, perhaps, i n h i b i t i n g the mythological imagination that is necessary to pull off a high art history painting, i t introduced them to groups of men who would later be buyers of their paintings. Many of the entrepreneurs whose fi n a n c i a l a c t i v i t y was responsible for the rapid i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of France during the Second Empire were Saint-Simonians. Saint-Simon, usually referred to as a "utopian s o c i a l i s t " , believed strongly in credit and i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n (a word he coined), and has the unique honor of being both a formative figure of s o c i a l i s t thought and a direct inspiration to the develop-ment of high capitalism in France. The taste of men l i k e the Pereire brothers who b u i l t railways and founded the Cre'dit Mobiler, tended toward not only the kind of painting that Delaroche, Gleyre and Gerome practised, but also to-wards the kinds of painting in the past that inspired these painters. According to Albert Boime: "Among the various schools represented in the ..col 1 ections of entrepreneurs around mid-century, two stand out s i g n i f i c a n t l y from the rest; seventeenth century Dutch and eighteenth century French 2 7 painting." Although we have to wait until the impressionists to see a revival of something of the s p i r i t of eighteenth century 23 French painting, neo-!grec painting, 1 i ke rococco painting, celebrated l e i s u r e , elegance and refinement. These kinds of paintings would appeal to this r i s i n g bourgeois for several reasons. An important: factor is simply that this kind of painting was constantly appearing on the market as old a r i s t o c r a t i c c o l l e c t i o n s s p l i t up. These styles reminded the new bourgeois of an old splendour which they wished to recreate for themselves. And as I have noted, the Dutch realism celebrated objects and was thus suited to the tastes of men devoted to the acquisition of wealth. This class of men, entrepreneurial Saint-Simonian in-d u s t r i a l i s t s , were interested in the arts. Delaroche painted a p o r t r a i t of his friend Emile Pe'reire and i t was Pe>eire who organized the Delaroche retrospective at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1857. 2 8 Ne'o-grecisme, when i t arrived on the scene, had a ready-made and immediate audience in these sorts of men. The climate in the arts at the Salon of 1847 was one of boredom and impatience. Salon v i s i t o r s hadn't seen a good history painting for several years and eagerly awaited Couture's long promised Romans of the Decadence, which was the la s t major history painting to excite the public. And when Alex-andre Dumas saw The Cock Fight he exclaiimed: "One breathes 29 free 1y again before such works as t h i s . " Both Gautier and Planche used words 1ike , "fraiche" , "calme", " s i m p l i c i t e " , to describe Gerome's f i r s t painting. Indeed, Gerome himself 24 prided his work on those points: At this epoch--I speak from a general point of view—there was a complete absense of simpl city-Effect (1e ch i c) was i n great favour when accompa-: nied by s k i l l , which was not infrequent. And my picture had the s l i g h t merit of being painted by an honest young fellow, who, knowing nothing had found nothing better to do than lay hold on Nature, and follow her, step by step, without strength perhaps, without grandeur, and cer t a i n l y with tim-i d i t y , but with sincerity.30 Le chic is d i f f i c u l t to define, but given what The Cock Fight looks l i k e , and given that Gautier and Planche both hated Delaroche's paintings, J_e_ chic probably meant an excessive amount of melodrama on an altogether too s l i c k surface. One might note that Ponsard's Lucrece was greeted with the same words of praise as Ge'rome's neo-grec painting, "fresh", "calm" and "simple". And Gerome's frie n d , Frederic Masson, would later write: "On a salue' dans l ' a r t de M. Ge'rome, 1'equiva-lent en peinture de la re'action l i t t e r a i r e , Ponsard-Augier." 3 1 It was the Salon situation i t s e l f which created a climate eager for novel styles. It was an annual public spectacle and the public demanded the novel but not the r a d i c a l . Ge'rome's neo-grecisme was an ingenious move in this situation i f i t was not the radical move that Courbet was shortly to ma ke. Thus far I have discussed in f a i r l y general terms the place of neo-grec painting in t r a d i t i o n and sketched out the kind of audience that received i t . But one must also examine i t for i t s own sake and decipher the meanings of the images Gerome presented in the neo-grec works. 25 The Cock Fight It is far from clear that Ge'rome actually had a programe in mind when he painted The Cock Fight (see above quote, p.14). Rather, one might just as eas i l y suppose that i t was the success of this particular painting which led him to produce more of the same. There was also the encouragement of Gautier, whom Ge>6me met while the later was gazing, rapt with admira-tion, at his f i r s t painting. That The Cock Fight was an attempt to merge two or more manners of painting is a l l the more evident by i t s f a i l u r e to achieve a blend between them. Gerome apparently wished to strike a note between Ingreist classicism and the Dutch inspired realism of Delaroche. The painting emphasizes this divided concern rather than hides i t . Champfleury noticed this and chided his friend, Gautier, for overlooking what he considered to be a serious flaw in the painting: ...vous, Gautier, vous admirez beaucoup les coqs, mais i l s ne sont vus par le mdme oeil, qui a vu les enfants....Les jeunes Grecs sont en marbre, les coqs s./oimt en chair et en os? les personnages sont peints -d'apres le proce'de' Gleyre, les animaux d'apres nature.32 However, the personnages do not quite inhabit the same world, despite what Champfleury might think, and this is of sl i g h t but s i g n i f i c a n t interest. The boy has an almost palpable sensuousness, and although he is perhaps a l i t t l e too beautiful for this world, he is not disturbingly less apres nature than the cocks. The g i r l , on the other hand, 26 with her hair set in glue and her limbs of white stone, ap-pears to have f a l l e n , somewhat the worse for wear, from the angelic world of Ingres. Poised next to the birds, which could have popped out of a seventeenth century Dutch paint-ing, she exhausts our c r e d i b i l i t y . In many ways, this paint-ing sets the tone for Gerome's entire output. The vast majority of his white women are over-idealized compared to their environments, whereas men and women of other races are more n a t u r a l i s t i c . And his depictions of animals are per-haps the most n a t u r a l i s t i c passages in his paintings. In some way, this heirarchy of r e a l i s t i c treatment according to sex, race and species is a result of his attempt to make r e a l i s t i c c l a s s i c a l genre painting. The female nude was more rigorously guarded by the canons of high art than were men or animals. Ingres paints her as La Source and she occupies the highest place on the altar of the worshipper of Beauty. She is the very mediatrix between the Ideal and the r e a l , she is the angel who informs high art. Upon her body, la 1i gne draws the curves and proportions that also direct the course of the stars. In The Cock Fight, Gerfime has placed his ideal nude in an anecdotal rather than a divine circumstance, involved in a conceit rather than a theme with some grandeur. This conceit has something to do with "la vanite' de toute gloirre." Behi ndi tJhe.'f i gures stands what is either a tomb or a dried up fountain which functions as a symbol of death or s t e r i l i t y . 27 This is meant to contrast with the bloom of the youths and the l i v e l y battle of the birds. In other words, one is constrained, although i t might t i r e one to do so, to con-template the transient and ephemeral nature of youth, beauty and love. Again, the theme is l y r i c and sentimental rather than epic and heroic. However, there is real c h i l l i n e s s beneath the calm lyr i c i s m of this Mediterranean afternoon. It may be hard for us to detect t h i s , but in 1847 paintings were read much l i k e stories and a l l possible implications of an image were brought under discussion. One receives a s l i g h t j o l t when reading Sarah Tytier's commentary on The Cock Fight, but her view was far from being a t y p i c a l : "The subject was this early in his history c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Ge'rSme, who has shown a decided preference for incidents in themselves horrible or 3 3 morally repulsive" Mrs. Tytier's sense of delicacy must have been very f i n e l y honed indeed. But one can see what she was getting at. The subject, obviously a steal from seventeenth and eighteenth century 34 A depictions of l o w - l i f e , is f a i r l y bloody. And Gerome's dreamy presentation, which in effect thrusts low-life into high a r t , tends to accentuate the moral horror. After a l l , these youths are not peasants who don't know what they are doing, they are icons of ideal beauty and ought to be more responsible. The d i a l e c t i c of desire that The Cock Fight portrays becomes an unintentional hommage to sadism. Although the 28 g i r l seems to draw back from the cock fight--that is i f her gesture can be read as anything other than a tribute to Ingres' Comtesse d'Haussonvi11e--her face exhibits neither alarm nor squeamishness, none of that "feminine" hysteria one might have expected from such a subject. Rather she is cool, calm and de1iberate--in f u l l possession of herself. If she smiles i t is a coy grimace of sexual wistfulness. On the boy's face we find open delight and wonder. The passion which animates his face is s c i e n t i f i c (a passion which ani-mates Ponsard's characters on the stage). The Cock Fight r combines sexual coyness with a l i f e and death struggle of the birds. In fact, the interaction between the boy and the g i r l is mediated by the cock fi g h t . Imagine for a moment the young man's expression is directed at the g i r l and not the birds--that i t is his bold ardour she teasingly backs away from and not the birds. The actual cock f i g h t , so placed, becomes a commentary on the nature of desire. Indeed, most of Ge'rome's neo-grec paintings have some-thing to do with desire, although they are surprisingly rich in other meaningful ways as well. Gerome's Other Neo-grec Paintings: The Female Nude as an Icon of High Art Throughout his neo-grec works Gerome developes the theme of desire, and in certain paintings he uses this theme to make a point about the nature of his art. 29 Among the more successful of these paintings is his Phryne Before the Areopagus of 1861 ( f i g . 4). The s t y l i s t i c d i f f i c u l t i e s which marred The Cock Fi ght had by now been overcome. But the tension between two worlds of art remains. The figure of Phryne is an idealized , c l a s s i c a l nude. The magistrates are treated more r e a l i s t i c a l l y , but Gerome has mitigated the di scomfor t.that thi s might have caused by the use of broad exaggeration in their gestures and grimaces. In doing this he steers the painting perilously close to outright caricature. Of course, this treatment is most ap-propriate to the story of the painting, and in turn the nar-rative of the painting is a commentary about the painting styles used to unfold i t . Gerome has depicted the Greek courtesan, Phryne, at that moment in her t r i a l for impiety--which was then a capital charge — when her advocate, Hyperides, rips off her peplos in a l a s t - d i t c h attempt to secure her an a c q u i t t a l . And, so Athenaeus t e l l s us, the judges were so moved by the spectacle of her physical beauty they could impute no pos-35 sible crime to her. The story's clear moral message is that physical beauty has a power and purity and that rather than offending the gods i t is their g i f t and sign. But in his n a t u r a l i s t i c treatment of this moment Ge'rome has chosen the astonishment of lust and not expressions which might indicate that these magistrates are witnessing some theophanic occasion. For 30 this reason many contemporary c r i t i c s found the work a l i t t l e disturbing. As an English c r i t i c wrote, not a l i t t l e chauvin-i s t i c l y : "Only a Frenchman would venture to depict the 3 6 carnal desire which kindles the faces of the old judges." Theodore Thore, and this is odd coming from the man who defended Courbet, wrote in a similar vien: "M. G'erome offers to the young! ladies of Paris a doll undressed before dis-orderly, licentious old satyrs, who smirk as though they had 37 a real woman before their eyes for the f i r s t time." Like two similar neo-grec works, King Candaules of 1859 (fig.5) and Cleopatra of 1864 ( f i g . 6 ) , Phryne Before the Areopagus depicts a moment of dramatic devoi1ement. Again, this presentation of the female nude was considered by some to be too much; Ferdinand de Lasteyrie wrote of Cleopatra: "Soon modest women w i l l not stop before M. Ger-38 ome's pictures." In this c r i t i c a l atmosphere one admires Gerome's courage, but Manet's simply takes one's breath away. In these three paintings, a woman, drawn in Gerome's version of the Ingrei ste.1igne, is placed by a sudden gesture into a condition of nakedness. In each case the drama of the painting centres on this .unveiling. One might suppose that Gerome has deliberately picked these anecdotes to display Academic bravado. For he must convince us that, indeed, these beauties are splendid enough to cause the commotions that they do. This factor might have been uppermost in Ge'rome's mind, but the historian must see Figure 4 Figure 6 33 that by picking such stories Ge'rome has involved himself, i n -tentionally or not, in a discourse about the Academic nude. Ingres had made the female nude, the location par excellence of a demonstration of s k i l l e d draughtmanship. The nude might awaken sexual feelings, but in an Academic rendition the 1i g n e ought to transform these feelings into a relationship with abstract Beauty. The central place of the nude in the Academic view of art is demonstrated by the naming of nude studies as acade'mi es. Unlike Ingres, Ge>6me (as far as I know) never painted a s o l i t a r y nude figure. In the three examples we are discussing the context is dramatic and a great deal of our attention., as viewers, is forced upon the spectators in the painting. And i t is very l i k e l y that Gerome means these painted spectators to be unconfortable mirror images of the viewer of the painting. His gawking r areopagi'sts do remind one of Daumier's leering Salon v i s i t o r s . The situations that the paintings portray are analogous to the situation of high art exhibited in the Salon. Phryne's gesture of humiliation becomes a metaphor for the work of 39 art in conditions which tend to erode i t s authority. Since the Salon was opened to the public in 1793, i t assumed the nature and scale of a public spectacle. And for perhaps the f i r s t time in modern history one finds masses of people look-ing at images in a context that had nothing to do with r e l i g i o n or the apparatus of the state. Before t h i s , art objects were usually seen by a few individuals at a time who, speaking 34 f i g u r a t i v e l y , contemplated the object and engaged themselves in a mode of perception very much like a r i t u a l . Public a r t , in churches or public' buildings, whatever else one may say about i t , was at the service of an authority and protected from secular scrutiny or use by the h e i r a t i c distance of that authority. The salon was the beginning of the erosion of the author-it y of the work of art as a unique object in the nineteenth century. How could any viewer achieve the required d i g n i f i e d elevation of mind that a painting like The Apotheosis of Homer requests of him in the c i r c u s - l i k e hub-hub of the Salon. In Phryne Before the Areopagists not a single judge manages the appropriate response, although displayed before their eyes in the actual model for Praxi te.l es 1 Aphrodite of Knidos and of Apelles 1 Aphrodite Rising from the Waves. A l l they can muster, and largely because there is a group of them in a secular context, is the astonishment of lust. A large number of people looking at paintings in the Salon is the in-verse of what happens when a work is widely reproduced by photography or lithography, but the e f f e c t is similar. In both cases the "I-thou" relationship between the object and the viewer is severely disrupted and the authority of high art is shaken by circumstances which are inimical to i t s function as sort of a r i t u a l object in a secular, even i f extremely profane, cult of the beautiful. Phyrne Before the Areopagists depicts this situation 35 metaphorically. GerSme places the icon of high art before a public who react inappropriately. This interpretation is supported by the evidence of a much later painting, Roman Slave Market ( f i g . 7 ) . This painting, one of a number of similar works, is s i g n i f i c a n t because of the pose GerSme has used for his slave, i t is Phryne seen from the rear. Here the gesture is c l e a r l y meant to be read as one of acute embar-rassment and humiliation. Certainly a prime motivation for the occasion of the work was to display Gerome's f a c i l i t y at drawing the nude figure, or academie. But this merely begs the question. Again, the female nude, the icon of high a r t , is found in disconcerting circumstances. In this painting she has become a commodity with a highly charged f e t i s h value, in which the relationship between the owner, or buyer and the art object is transparently sexual. One would not expect Gerome to think of these paintings in the terms in which l a m discussing them. I am reading them as cultural documents because I expect the attack launched on Academic art in the nineteenth century to have had an ef-fect on that art. The Salon was not the only factor in the erosion of the,-authority o:f'the high art image. Much more drastic was the advent of mechanical reproductions of works of art. Gerome' s- relationship with this new phenomena had a 40 major ef f e c t on the way he painted. Figure 7 37 Goupil et Compagnie Mass:, reproductions of paintings began just before the July Monarchy. One-of the e a r l i e s t companies that dealt in this commodity was Goupil et Compagnie which was founded in 1827. There was a large and lucrative market for reproduc-tions. For example, in the 1840s Charles Landelle signed a contract with Goupil for the f i r s t offer on the rights to reproduce his work. In 1871 alone, Landelle received 39,000 francs in royalties from the Goupil firm, this was consider-4 1 A ably more than a Landelle original would fetch. Gerome's relationship with the company is well known, almost a l l of Ger8me's major paintings were reproduced by Goupil,. In 1862 he married Marie Goupi1--Marie's brother, Alfred, not only ran the company but lived next door to the Geromes on the Rue de Clichy. The Goupils seemed to have been a mercenary lot whose business practices were a l i t t l e questionable--but not, per-haps, by the standards of the Second Empire. For example, in the 1870s the heirs of Vernet, Scheffer and Delaroche sued Goupil for royalties from, the sale of reproductions of works by those a r t i s t s which were in public c o l l e c t i o n s . Albert Boime has unearthed a l e t t e r which reveals the some-what sordid side of this episode. Goupil won the s u i t , but seems to have engaged in bribery to do so. The l e t t e r , from the superintendent of the Beaux-Arts to the firm, requests 42 that the company pay the government's expenses in the case. 38 The theory being that i f one pays for a t r i a l one ought to. win. The naked commercial aspect of a l l this .especially, when i t involved his own family against his beloved Delaroche, must have disturbed Ge'rome. It brought home what was in-volved in the mechanical reproduction of works of art. The reproductions were commodities, pure and simple. The unique work of art, although bought and sold, always could count on being somewhat aloof from the fate of the com-modity. Eventually the work of art would participate the tradition of ownership which l i f t e d i t out of the market-place of mass produced items. And in the case of a painting by an old master, say Leonardo or Raphael, these objects were hors de commerce, and even in the nineteenth century i t was impossible to imagine a f f i x i n g a price to such r a r i t i e s . The reproduction divested the work of art of this t r a d i t i o n and i t s aura of being a unique object in the world. The reproduc-tion is not unique in time or place, the viewer or user does not meet i t on i t s own t e r r i t o r y , rather the work of art enters the viewer's time and.place, where i t can c l e a r l y have no r i t u a l authority--no "rareness". This s i t u a t i o n , along with changing factors in taste, which were discussed above, changed the way a painting looked. As Walter Benjamin observed: "To an even greater degree the work of art becomes the work of art designed for reproduc-4 3 i b i l i t y . " The unique work takes on the function more or less l i k e a mold in a factory, or, more t e l l i n g l y , l i k e the 39 negative of a photograph. This factor l i e s behind the j us te-rn i 1 ieu and ne'o-grec styles. They were ostensibly w i l l i n g compromises in the battle between c l a s s i c and romantic and between idealism and realism,.but they were actually forced into being what they were. The real ism.of .Vernet and Delaroche was predicated partly by a desire to temper romantic painting using a highly finished surface, and was thus also an abandonment of t r a d i t i o n a l high art subject-matter and presentation. It is no accident that the high art format seems untenable at that moment when the authority of the unique work of art becomes questionable in terms of the public reception of images. Nor is i t a coincidence that a r e a l i s t i c handling of romantic subject-matter comes at the same time as mechanical reproduction. One can easily see that the re-production process demanded that the image be clear and leg-i b l e . At this stage in i t s history this process was unable to reproduce the ef f e c t of colour or brushwork and they were thus redundant for the purposes of r e p r o d u c i b i l i t y . Ge'rSme was then caught in a double bind. He was the arch defender of Academic art and his painting style was meant to curb the decline of high art by reinvigorating i t . He could hardly be expected to have known that the Salon and Goupil and Company were the forces behind this decline and not realism and impressionism, two styles which, for a time, did rescue the authority of the unique object. 40 The Ne'o-Grec "Fashion" and the "inte'rieur" The School that Gerome founded in 1847 ( i f we do not give Gleyre and Ponsard previous credit) was limited to a f a i r l y small group of painters. Their works is rare today, and thus far the whereabouts of the most famous ne"o-grec work by a painter other than Ge'rome, Hamon's Ma soeur n'yest pas i c i (fig.8) remains unknown. The'ophile Gautier wrote "ne'o-grec" poems and his version of the King Candaules 1 story probably inspired the Gerome painting of the same sub-j e c t . The high point of the fashion was i t s appearance in architecture. Prince Jerome Napoleon began work on a Pom.^ " peian house in 1856. Gerome and Cabanel were commissioned to do some wall panels, and the former's Inten'eun' grec (fig.9) hung in the completed house as not only an image of the pompeian inteVieur but as an image of l i f e within the in-terieur. A painting by Ge'rome's frie n d , Gustave Boulanger, depicts the atrium of the Prince's mansion during a rehersal of Emile Augier's bon sens or ne'o-grec play, The Lute Player (fig.10). Among those represented are Gautier, Augier him-s e l f and the Prince's mistress, the actress Rachel (who was the subject of one of Gerome's few portraits in which she appears dressed h 1 a ne'o-grec) . The neo-grec fashion--if i t ever r e a l l y reached the stage of a fashion--seems to have died out shortly thereafter and the bored Prince sold his house in 1865, after a scant seven years of somewhat scandalous use. Figure 9 42 The Pompeian house must r e a l l y be seen in the context of several other concurrent fashions. While the Prince b u i l t his house others b u i l t similar, period fantasies. The vogue for extravagant inter ieurs: should be a seen as a social phenomena which the neo-grec sty!e was a part of. In the nineteenth century parvenu boougeois lavished their wealth on the creation of interieurs ,stuffed with exotica and art, and ofteni,: as in case of. Prince Jerome, the entire decor was a fantasy world. Walter Benjamin has these astute remarks about the fun-ction of the inte'rieur in the nineteenth century: With the July Revolution the bourgeois had realized the aims of 1789 (Marx).... For the private c i t i z e n , for the f i r s t time the livingspace became distinguished from the place of work. The former constituted i t s e l f as the i n t e r i o r . The o f f i c e was i t s complement. The private c i t i z e n who in the o f f i c e took . r e a l i t y into account, required of the i n t e r i o r that i t should support him in his i l l u s i o n s . . . . From this sprang the phantasmagorias of the In-t e r i o r . This represented the universe for the private c i t i z e n . In i t he assembled the distant in space and in time.... The i n t e r i o r was the place of refuge of art. The collector was the true inhabitant of the i n t e r i o r . He made the g l o r i f i c a t i o n of. things his concern. To him f e l l the task of Sisyphus which consisted of stripping things of their commodity character by means of his possession of them. But he conferred upon them only a fancier's value, rather than a use value. The c o l l e c t o r dreamed that he was in a world which, was not only far off in distance and time, but which was also a better one, in which to be sure people were just as poorly provided with what they needed as in the world of everyday, but in which things were free of the bondage of be i ng useful. Several of Gerome's neo-grec paintings celebrate the exotic 43 inte'rieur, notably the Inte'rieur grec, King Canduales, and Socrates Seeking Alcibiades at the House of Aspasia ( f i g . 11 ) which is sort of a hommage to the eternal salon. Neo-grec paintings depict domestic scenes and domestic events in the never-never land of the leisured class of ancient times just as Ponsard's plays emphasized the importance of the inteVieur by "1'abondance et 1 'importance des scenes domestiques, la A c maison, le foyer, la fami l i e . . . " The opulent homes and art collections of Albert Goupil, the Pereire brothers, Portales and others r e f l e c t this new cultural event as did the Prince's neo-grec house, Emile de Giradin's Roman palace, the Marquis de Quisonas' Gothic ^ castle, Jules de Lesseps.' Tunisian chateau, and Mme. Paiva's 46 Renaissance hotel. The homes of a r t i s t s and writers tended to immitate this world of e c l e c t i c co 11 ecting .and fantasy. The amount of bric-a-brac from the four corners of the globe that Zola had stuffed into his house at Medan shocked the ascetic Ce'zanne, who immediately i d e n t i f i e d Zola's crammed / . 47 inter i e u r with parvenusim and bourgeois P h i l i s t i n i s m . The contents of Albert Goupil's house merited two lengthy 48 • a r t i c l e s in Gazette des Beaux-Arts. Gerome's house was s i m i l a r l y rich in collected objects. M.H. Speilmann v i s i t e d Ge'rome in 1 884 and has described the painter's Clichy studio: The antechamber forming the hall was f i l l e d a la C h i n o i s e and f i l l e d with bronzes, ornaments, china, bric-a-brac of every kind, with b r i l l i a n t stuffs and shaggy frowning masks--and every object 44 Figure 10 Fi gure 11 45 perfect of i t s . c l a s s .... carpets , handrails, stained-glass windows, musical instruments, bronze pagodas and dragons, and suits of armour, bewildered the v i s i t o r with their variety and profusion. Amid this is the man who w i l l be best remembered for his modern antique sculpture!- 9 Gerdme's paintings emerge from this place and are a product of i t as much as anything else. As Benjamin observed, the interieur was an extension of the i n t e r i o r of i t s owner or inhabitant. Arsene Houssaye, who bought the Pompeian house with Jules de Lesseps, has given us a poem which cele-brates the deep s p i r i t u a l rapport that could take place be-tween the owner of a house and i t s decor, the objects which constituted the l i f e of the inteVieur. The poem is addressed to a sphinx which was in the atrium (probably behind the plant facing the pond in the Boulanger painting): Rabbin, prophete, oracle, brahme, Les si bylies de la foret, L'eau qui chante, le vent qui brame, Ne m'ont jamais d i t le secret. --0 sphinx, daigne m'ouvrir ton l i v r e A 1 a page de 1 a Ra i son : --C'esJ dans sa MAISON qu'il faut vivre, La FENETRE sur 11 horizon, La MAISON, c'est mon corps. La joie Y f l e u r i t comme un pampre vert. La FENETRE ou le jour flamboie* C'est mon ame--le c i e l ouvert.^ This poem's e c l e c t i c stance is similar to the neo-grec concern to employ dif f e r e n t styles to a single end. 46 King Candaules and Antiochus and Stratonice: The Decline of Neo-Classicism Gautier had thought that Ingres' Antiochus and Stratonice (fig.12): of 1840 had been a key inspiration for the neo-grec movement, as a frequenter of Le Chalet he was in a position to hear the young Gerome and his friends discuss art. One can see why Gerome and Gleyre would have been impressed by Straton i ce. Gerome's King Candaules is c l e a r l y a quotation of the Ingres masterpiece. Stratonice is a neo-grec paint-ing insofar as i t is an overwrought celebration of an in-t e r i e u r , but one must remove the figures who are absorbed in a high dramatic moment. The Ingres painting is firmly ground-ed in high art. In Gerbme's painting, the anxiety of the king replaces the delirium of Antiochus. The calm and rather calculated presence of Nyssia is substituted for the haunting self-absortion of Stratonice. The implications of the narrative are vastly different although both stem from desire. Ingres has dealt with in-cest, and s e l f - s a c r i f i c e amid passion that approaches madness. Gerome deals with pride, anxiety, and actions not of s e l f -s a c r i f i c e but of s e l f - i n t e r e s t . However, one must admit that the authoritative neo-classicism of Stratonice shows evidence of the decline or transformation of the c l a s s i c a l ideals of the French Academy. The r e a l i s t i c detail is almost overwhelming, yet Ingres has used his accessories to some psychological purpose. The red 48 columns accent the passionate mood of the painting. The "nervous,, quivering f l u i d i t y " of the drapery patterns serves as an image of the delicate f l u t t e r i n g s of the heart of Antiochus, who hovers somewhere between madness and death 52 for the unrequited love of his step-mother. By contrast, Ge'rome's painting, in which worry rather than passion is portrayed, presents a Lydian inte'rieur seemingly for i t ' s own sake. Buffeted by romanticism, the Salon and the advent of ' mechanical reproduction, and the bourgeois ' taste for realism and scenes of epicurian l e i s u r e , neo-classicism seems in re-trospect to have been destined to turn into ne'o-greci sme. The "frozen" eternal values that Academic painting t r i e d to ex-press in i t s shallow bas-re l i e f format gave way to a cele-bration of the i n te'r i e ur , that fantastic and magical place where objects are removed from the "burden of being useful". Notes - Chapter II 49 Gautier's review appeared in La Presse, 31 March, 1847. I quote from Charles Timbal, "Gerome," in the Gazette des Beaux Arts, (2e s e r i e s ) , vol. 14, 1876, p.219. 2 PI anche, in his, "salon of 1 84 7," Revue des deux mondes, vol. 18, A p r i l , 1 867, pp.354-366 , refers to Ge'rome's "grace" and "fracheur". p.363. 3 Couture s Decadence of the Romans won the f i r s t - c l a s s medal. The third-class medal was considered.a great honor, i f not a singular one, I don't have exact figures for the Salon of 1847 but several medals of each class were awarded; each year, the average between the years of 1815,and 1848 being 33, 11 in each class. But considering tUiat upward s of 4000 paintings were submitted to the 1 847 Salon' and of these half accepted by the jury, to even be noticed, was considered a triumph. (This information from Harrison C. White and Cynthia A. White, Canvases and Careers: Institutional Change in the French Painting World, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1 965.1 Table 5, p.48. 4 The extent and power of valuing erudition as a neces-sary virtue in the a r t i s t can be demonstrated by pointing to instances where i t occurs in the c r i t i c i s m of--surprising1y enough--Thore" and Baudelaire. I give two examples from . critiques of Gerome pictures. Thore' on Phryne Before the Tribunal: "GerQme is praised as a learned archaeologist of antiquity; there is nothing antique, nor above a l l , A t t i c , in this wretched composition of Phryne. If the scene, such as the painter has translated i t , had taken place during the period of the Roman decadence, which has certain analogies with our own, i t would perhaps be acceptable. But, in Greece, in the 4th century before our era, i t is a false interpre-tation." Thord's main c r i t i c i s m on this score is Phryne's gesture of p ude ur , which he finds un h i s tor i ca 1 . Thore', not Ge'rome was mistaken in th i s . (Quoted from Theophile Thore-Bu'rger, "Salon de 1861," reprinted in Linda Nochlin, ed., Realism and Tradition in Art 1848-1900, Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-Hal1, Inc., 1 966 , p.12. Baudelaire on The Death of Caesar: "Caesar cannot be made into a Moor; his skin was very f a i r ; besides, i t is by no means s i l l y to recall that the dictator took as much care of his person as the most refined dandy. Why then this earthy colour with which his face and arms are veiled? I have heard 50 i t suggested that i t is the corpse-like hue with which death strikes the face. In that case how long a time are we to suppose i t is since the l i v i n g man became a corpse? Those who put forward such an excuse must regret the absence of putrefaction. 1..." i "The Salon of 1 859 ," reprinted in The Mirror of Art: C r i t i c a l Studies By Charles Baudelaire, trans-lated and edited by Jonathan Mayne, New York: Phaidon Publisherslnc.,1955,p.255. 5 Yves Bonnefoy, "Le temps et 1 1 i n tempore! i dans la pemture du Quattrocento," Mercure de France, fevrieV, 1958. As cited by Michel Thevoz, "Peinture et Ideologie," in Kuntsmuseum v Winterthur, Charles Gleyre ou Tes i l l u s i o n s perdues, 1974-1975, p.79. C.H. Stranahan, A History of French Painting, New York; Scribners, 1897, p.313. No source given for quote. Also: "They constituted a kind of.apostleship around Gerome of a r t i s t s of most delicate conceits, and formed in art 'a sort of l i t t l e Athens' in which Theophile Gautier fondly made himself at home." Ibid. , p.329. 7Dr611ing in 1833, Granet in 1830. 8 Three main sources for this kind of information are: Charles Blanc, Le tresor de la curiosite', 2 vols. Paris: Jules Renouard,1857 - 1858; Gerald Reitlinger, The Economics of Taste: Vol. 1, The Rise and Fall of Picture Prices 1760-1960, London: Barrie and Rockliffe, 1961; and White and White, o_p_. ci t. White and White have systematically analysed the information in Blanc (which contains records of a l l Paris auctions from 1737 to 1857). Categorizing the paintings by genre and n a t i o n a l i t y , the Whites have made some interesting Tables. According to their calculation 37 percent of the paintings sold between 1838-1857 in Paris auctions were genre, as opposed to 30 percent for history paintings and 33 percent for landscape paintings. Forty-two percent of these paintings were French, 31 percent Dutch, 14 percent Spanish. In the same period the average price for a Dutch genre painting was 11,954 francs, as opposed to 3,867 francs for a French genre painting or. 6,191 francs for a Flemish genre painting. This demonstrates, I think, that not only were genre paintings popular, but Dutch genre paintings p a r t i -cularly so;. .. 9 > ' Arsene Houssaye, Histoire de la peinture de 11a flamande et c hoi 1 andai se Paris: F. "San to ri urn, 1 846 . 51 ^ A l f r e d Cobban, A History of Modern France: Volume 2: 1 799- 1 871 , Penquin Books: Harmondsworth, Middlesex,Engl and, 1965 , p. 131. ^Nancy B e l l (Mrs. Arthur), Representative Painters of the XlXth Century, Sampson, Low Marston and Company, London, 1899, p.69. Ibid. 1 3 From Planche s "Salon of 1831," as cited in Grand Palais, Paris, French Painting 1774-1830: The Age of Revolution 1 974-1 975 ,p. 389. 1 4 Robert Rosenblum, Ingres, Harry N. Abrams: New York, 1967, p.11. 1 5 Indeed, this kind of painting occurs in the F i r s t Empire as well. Robert Rosenblum describes something, xal Led the s ty 1 e troubadour, which were medieval scenes with a high f i n i s h : "Just as other students of David t r i e d to reconstruct with growing accuracy the archaeological data relevant to their scenes of Greek and Roman history, so too did these l i t t l e masters of the style troubadour--Richard, Jean-Antoine Laurent, Jean-Baptiste Vermay, Pierre-Sylvestre Coupin.de la Couperie--attempt to include a maximum of precise information about costume, furniture and decor for the period they i l l u s t r a t e d . " From, "Painting Under Napoleon, 1800-1814," in French Painting 1774-1830: The Age of Revolution, p.169. In his "preface" to Hering, 1892, op.cit. p . v i . ^ S t r i c t l y speaking, I suppose, 13 'e'col e de bon sens, refers to a kind of writing for the stage, but the stage and the world of painting were related--both dealt with story, gesture and tableaux, and often a movement in one are' would affect the other. The playwright, Casimir Delavigne •wrote a play Les Enfants d'Edouard, 1883 inspired by and dedicated to Delaroche. 1 g "On my return from I t a l y , I entered the a t e l i e r of M. Gleyre, who had succeeded M. Delaroche. Three months of study-nude figures." Quoted in Fanny Field Hering, "Gerome," in The Century Magazine, vol. 38, February, 1889, p.488. This is his only reference to Gleyre. (Note that although Gleyre had taken over Delaroche's studio when the later went to Italy 52 in 1843, Delaroche had turned over many of his students to Drolling.) This is speculation, but perhaps Gerome blamed Gleyre for this f a i l u r e to win the Prix-de-Rome. 1 g Delaroche did not have an atelier, at this time, but took his favorite pupil on as an apprecntice, Ger3me claims that he worked almost a year on the former's Charlemagne crossing the Alps. Hering, 1 889 , o_p_. ci t. , p.363: "M. Gerome a dignement prof i te' .des lecons de M. Gleyre." Of course, Champfleury and Planche would have expected to see the lessons of Gleyre in Ger6me's work as he had entered his f i r s t Salon as a student of Gleyre. 21 By Albert Boime in Instruction of Charles Gleyre and the Evolution of Painting in the Nineteenth Century," in Charles Gleyre ou les i l l u s i o n s perdues, op.cit. p.104: "Under Gl eyre's influence, Ge'rome and several fellow students, produced many works of antique genre, and they were hailed as a new school , the ' Ne'o-grecs ' ." 22 In "Catalogue des Ouvres de Gleyre," In Charles Gleyre ou les i l l u s i o n s perdues, op.cit. p.172: Number 42, Lucr^ce ea milieu de ses femmes painted in 1843 or 1844 and Cleonis et Cydippe, given to Arsene Houssaye in 1845. 2 3 Referred to by Albert Boime in his, "The Instruction of Charles Gleyre and the Evolution of Painting in the Nineteenth Century," op.cit. p.104. Ponsard's Lucrece was f i r s t per-formed in 1 843. 24 From the introduction by Daniel Stern to Francois Ponsard, Ouvres Completes, Vol.1, Michel Levy Freres: Parts 1 865 , p.x i i i . 25 T... Ibid, -p.. xxxvi i Ibid, p . x x v i i i ""'Boime states that Gleyre was a follower of Saint-Simon in a r t i c l e referred to above (a.21): "An ardent republican deeply attached to the Saint-Simonists (his a t e l i e r was eveni referred to as a "Republic"), Gleyre fantasized about a utojjian society." (p.102) Stranahan, op_. c i t. , p.313, says: "He [Ge'rome] ... i n 1848, headed a delegation to petition for the abolition of marriage.", a remark which has lead Albert Boime in his, "Jean-Leon Gerome, Henri Rousseau's Sleeping Gypsy and the Academic 53 Legacy," Art Quarterly, Vol. 34, 1971, p.22, n.14 to state: "Gerome, who seemed to have espoused Saint-Simonian ideas early in l i f e , . . . . " I would 1ike to believe t h i s , since several things point to i t : the. brand, of-e.picurianism that was ne'o-greci sm was Saint-Simonian, many of the collectors which Ge'rome knew and befriended were also Sain.t-Simonians in varying degrees. However, just because Stranahan says that Gerome headed this anti-marriage delegation, which would certainly indicate radical b e l i e f s , doesn't make i t so--she is not a r e l i a b l e source. 2 8 Albert Boime, "Entrepreneurial Patronage in Nineteenth Century France," in Enterprise and Entrepreneurs in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century France, edited by Edward C. Carter II et a l . , John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, 1 976 , p.140. 29 As cited in Hering, 1892, op.cit. p.19. 30 Gerome, as cited in Hering, 1889, op.cit., p.488. 31 Frede'ric Masson, "J.-L. Ge'rome: peintre de l ' o r i e n t , " Figaro Illustre'; Paris, vol. 12, no. 136, July,1901, p.8. 3 2From Champfleury, Salons: 1846-1 851 , 1894 edition, p.105 As cited by Michael C. Spencer,. The Art C r i t i c i s m of The'ophile Gauti er, Geneva, 1 969 , p.57. 33 As cited in Hering, 1 892 , o_p_. ci t. p.16. From Tytler's Modern Painters and Their Paintings. Hering finds this an "extraordinary accusation." 34 Reitlinger notes: "In the 1820's there was already a tendancy for middle-class gen re pi ctures, soft in tone and fresh in colour, to gain ground from the grubby paintings of low company, which had been so popular in the eighteenth century among the classes who were not obliged to meet the ori g i n a l models" op.cit. , p.l39f. 35 Athenaeus XIII. 590e,f. (Loeb edition) 3 6 J. Beavington Atkinson, "Exhibitions of the Year," Fine Arts Quarterly, vol . 1 n. s., October, 1 866, p.364. 3 7 As cited in Linda Nochlin(ed.) Realism.and Tradition in Art: 1848-1900, Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1 966 , p. 12f. From Thore'' s "Salon of 1861 ," in Le Temps and 54 reprinted in Salons Thore", Paris, 1 870. de W. BuYger: 1861 a 1 868, pref. by T. vol 38„ 3, Review of the Salon of 1864 January, 1865, p.231. Fine Arts Quarterly, 39 Thore' associated Phryne's gesture with pudeur, but i f the case i t is r e a l l y a reversal of pudeur; she cannot look or look at the Areopagists who are looking, but no way tr i e s to avoid being seen, for her hands could ly been more usefully deployed i f that were the case, have t r i e d to find a source in cl a s s i c a l or renaissance this pose. Strahan (Shinn) claims that the pose is a o r i g i n a l . At least we know that is not so. The pose found in a Nadar photograph of the woman upon whom based the character of Musette, (fig.13). this is bear to she in certa i n I art for Ge'rome can be Murget 40 Although I am not following him to the l e t t e r , this section of the thesis owes a great deal to Walter Benjamin's important essay, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," in II1 urn in at ions', edited with an introduction by Hannah Arendt and translated by Harry Zohn, Schocken Books: New York; 1969. 41 This information from Boime, "Entrepreneurial- Patronage," op.cit. , p.199 , n.123. 42 Ibid, p.200, n.124. 4 3 "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," op.cit. , p.224. 44 Walter Benjamin, Charles. Baudelaire: A l y r i c poet in the Era of High Capi t a l i sm, translated by Harry Zohn, NLB: London, 1973, p.l68f. 45 Daniel Stern, op.cit., p. xi 46 Referred to in Richardson,op.cit. , p.225. Richardson quotes Gustave Claudin: " A l l modern French architects spell out and vaguely dream of a style which one be tempted to c a l l the Neo- Greco Go thi co-Pompacbur-Pompei an ." 47 ' Vollard quotes Cezanne as follows: "I was not at my ease there any longer [Medan] with the fine rugs on the f l o o r , Figure 56 the servants and Emile enthroned behind a carved wooden desk. It gave me the feeling that I was paying a v i s i t to a minister of state. He had become (excuse me, M. Vol lard--1 don't say i t in bad part) a di r t y bourgeois." Ambroise Vollard, Paul Ce'zanne: His Life and Art, (translated by Harold L. Van Doren), Crown Publishers: New York, 1937, p.l03f. 48 Henri Lavoix, "La Collection Albert Goupil," in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, (2e periode), Vol. XXXI, p.322ff. and Vol. XXXII, pp.287-307. 49 Speilmann, op.cit. p.202. 50 This poem, from the man who wrote a neo-grec pi ay, Les Danseuses de Pompeia, "presque tout I'act ou 1'on mettait en scene de tableau de Gleyre," is_prefaced by the following remarks: "J'ai encore chez moi fesphinx de atrium. Ce beau sphinx semble garder le secret de 1 1 An t i qu i te'. Souvent je le questionne encore dans son impassibli1ite." Arsene Houssaye, Confessions, Tome V, Paris, 1891, pp;176-177. The poem c l e a r l y owes much to Baudelaire's notion of cor-respondences, but here mixed with a most un-Baude1 ai r i a n res-pect fo r "raison". 51 The story of King Candaules is found in Herodotus, Book I, 8-13 and in Gautier's Le Roi Candule which was s e r i a l -ized in 1844. The story is as follows: Candaules, king of Lydia, f u l l of pride in the beauty of his wife Nyssia, has ordered his reluctant friend, Gyges, to hide in the royal bed-chamber in order to see Nyssia disrobe. But Nyssia sees Gyges leaving the room and realizes what has happened; this is the moment which Gerome has depicted. The next day, Nyssia gives Gyges a choice; he may k i l l himself or defend her honour by k i l l i n g Candaules. Gyges became the next king of Lydia. Besides the obvious comparisons that can be made between this painting and Ingres' Straton i ce there is a s i m i l a r i t y in the s t o r i e s . In Ingres' work, Antiochus l i e s pining for the love of his step-mother, Stratonice. Antiochus' father, realizes the situation and gives his wife to. his son. Both stories have submerged homoerotic themes, in which the woman stands for some unresolved love between the-.men. One might also note that Nyssia, l i k e Phryne and Cleopatra considered as an icon of high art, is shown in the narrative as being on display. These narratives are metaphorical of the situation of high art in the nineteenth century Salon where the exhibition value of a work of art replaced the r i t u a l value. 52 Robert Rosenblum, Ingres , op. c i t. p.137. 57 CHAPTER III: THE ETHNOGRAPHIC PAINTINGS Painting the orient had been a part of French art for some years before Ge'rome began to travel there regularly from the mid f i f t i e s on. Napoleon had taken a r t i s t s with him on his Egyptian campaign in 1798. Chateaubriand had romanticised the east in his Genie du christianisme , which was published in 1 802. Hugo published his Orien tales in 1828, Lamartine his Voyage en Orient in 1835. Decamps, Marilhart, Girodet, Vernet and Delacroix are just a few of the French a r t i s t s who painted scenes of middle-eastern l i f e in the f i r s t half of the nineteenth century.. The,painters tended to follow the paths that were opened up by French commercial interests. Delacroix 1 f i r s t t r i p to Tangier in 1832 was undertaken as part of the o f f i c i a l party of the new ambassadorto Morocco, the Comte de Mornay. As Albert Boime puts i t : "The govern-ments of the July Monarchy and the Second Empire .made great ef f o r t s to get Frenchmen to invest in Algeria, and here again the t r a i l of the a r t i s t s (both avant-.garde and conservative) was mapped out by entrepreneurial ventures."^ Under the aegis of a group of French Saint-Simonians, who believed that in the despot Mohammed A l i thay had found their Dionysius of Syracuse, Egypt was the f i r s t non-white country to begin i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . As Eric Hobsbawm puts i t : 58 The extraordinary sect of Saint-Simonians, equally suspended between the advocacy of socialism and of industrial development by investment bankers and engineers, temporarily gave him [Mohammed A l i ] their c o l l e c t i v e aid and prepared.his plans of economic development. They also l a i d the foundations for the Suez canal ( b u i l t by the Saint-Simonian de Lesseps) and the fa t a l dependance of Egyptian rulers on vast loans negotiated by competing groups of European swindlers, which turned Egypt into a centre of imperialist r i v a l r y and a n t i - i m p e r i a l i s t rebellion 1ater on. 2 Gerome never shows us this Egypt, which by the time of his f i r s t voyage there, with Emile Augier in 1857, had become a colony of European capitalism. Instead he gives us the romance of the orient, warriors, harems, street-scenes of pre-capital-i s t commerce, dancers, desert nomads, and men at prayer. But Gerome's oriental scenes cannot be called Romantic paintings, the style is highly finished and one always senses that we are getting something of a travelogue rather than images which are meant to s t i r the heart with vague longings for adventure. Almost two-thirds of Gerome's output were so-cal1ed "ethno-graphic" paintings. As the ne'o-grec works were genre paintings of ancient l i f e , the ethnographic works were genre paintings of the orient. If the neo-grec paintings present the viewer with an image that is distant in time, the ethnographic ones present an image of the distant in space. Despite any high art values or any claim these paintings have to partake in a world of the Imagination, they, much more than the other kinds of painting Gerome produced, have--or • 'ha!d--a commodity status. Although Gerome employ.s the techniques and s k i l l s of the Academic a r t i s t , these paintings--with exceptions--59 were not attempts to make high art, rather they were pictures for the art-market. There are l i t e r a l l y hundreds of them; several stood out at the time and s t i l l do as fine paintings. However, Ge'rome seems to have had a mechanical attitude to-wards them. Looking through them one sees the same models, the same costumes and objects, the same bits.of architecture --as i f Ge'rome had abandoned any notion he may have had of o r i g i n a l i t y for the lesser demands of inventiveness. One finds i t d i f f i c u l t to believe that many of these paintings meant anything at a l l to Ger6me, they are so r e p e t i t i v e . Just how many times can one painting a dancing almeh--who is transparently a Parisian grisette--beforeone is manufacturing pictures and not making art. Whether they were successful or not, the ne'o-grec and h i s t o r i c a l paintings attempted to achieve a tableau; that i s , a memorable image that would stikk not only in the viewer's mind but the mind of the culture. The ethnographic paintings make no such attempt—with notable exeeptions--and are rather morceaux--bits and pieces of a world that is never disclosed 3 in i t s entirety. But despite the mechanical way in which Gerome put many of these pictures together, or rather because of this aspect, the ethnographic pictures are highly, interest-ing, especially as Ge'rome works out a new way of making history paintings through his practices as an ethnographic a r t i s t . 60 The Content of Gerome's Ethnographic Painting I: Physiognomic Types Gerome's f i r s t eastern voyage was undertaken in 1853, when the a r t i s t was twenty-nine year's old. With the actor Edmund Got (a star of Arsene Houssaye's Comedie-Francais) , Gerome headed down the Danube to Moldavia intending to go from there to Moscow. But the outbreak of the Crimean war forced Gerome and Got to be detained at Galatz for two weeks before they could return to Paris. Having l i t t l e to do, Gerdme sketched Russian s o l d i e r s , and from these sketches came his f i r s t ethnographic work, Recreation in a Russian Camp (fig.14), which no doubt, 120 years' later inspired the design on Canada's new f i f t y d o l l ar bank note. But Gerfime's intention in making this journey was not s p e c i f i c a l l y to gather material for an ethnographic painting--that such a painting resulted from the journey was a fortuitous result.of circumstances. Rather, his intention was to gather ethnographic material, not for i t s own sake, but as research for a project of quite a di f f e r e n t order. Gerome had received a handsome commission (20,000 Francs), to do a large (7x10 meters) ma chine from a passage 4 of Bousset. This was to be a large Apotheosis of Augustus (this painting has never been reproduced and is currently in the storage f a c i l i t i e s of the Muse'e d'Amiens), which as Ge'rome t e l l s us, was to be cast in the high art mould of Ingres 5 Apotheosis of Homer. This painting, which could be studied from Gautier's exhaustive description of i t , has an i n t r i n s i c 61 Figure 14 62 interest as what would be Ge'rfime's l a s t attempt at t r a d i -tional high art. But of even greater interest is the reason-ing behind GeV6me's voyage of research for this painting. He had undertaken his t r i p in order to gather "types" or "physiognomies" for the painting. Like other nineteenth century Europeans, Gerome believed that beyond the borders of Western Europe, peoplesj being "untouched" by c i v i l i z a -tion, had retained the customs and r a c i a l appearance of the i r ancestors for thousands of years. As Charles Timbal observed, Ge'rome wanted to go to Russia because " i l esperait revoir sur le visage des descendants d'Aminius et d ' A t t i l a quelques-uns des t r a i t s de leurs peres..."^ This attitude about the orient was f a i r l y widespread. Renan and Chateaubriand believed that Palestine had not changed since New Testament times. And Renan f e l t that i t was necessary to travel there to imbibe the atmosphere for his book, La Vie de Jesus. As Rocheblave has noted, interest in the orient revived religious p a i n t i n g - - i f one suspends one's d i s b e l i e f long enough to consider Ary Scheffer's paint-ings a "reviva1"--as the French imagination conflated the orient opened up by capitalism with that of the Bible: "Des Juifs d'Alger, des Be'douins, des Armeniens ont p r o f i l e depuis leurs silhouettes autour de la creche de l'Enfant-Je'sus, ou dans le cortege de 1'Entree a Je'rusa 1 em. " 7 For Flaubert, modern Tunisians were ancient Phonecians for the purposes of the description of physiognomies in 63 Sa1ammbo. Gautier summed, up the European attitude towards these non-Europeans when he wrote (in a discussion of Gerome's ethnographic work): "The fellahs and Copts have not changed since the time of Moses: such as you see them on the frescoes of the palaces or tombs of Amenoteph, of Toutnes, and of Q Sesourtasen — s u c h are they today." Delacroix also saw the ancients in his Tangier: Just think,...how wonderful i t is to see walking the streets or mending sandals, people exactly like Roman consuls — C a t o, Brutus and their i l k — who have even the d i s t a i n f u l l a i r the masters of q the world must have had in the great days of Rome. Gerome's ethnographic paintings were praised for their portrayal of the "types" or "physiognomies" of the "ancient" races of the east. Charles Blanc wrote: "Gerome, among other merits, has not his equal in the art of p a r t i c u l a r i z i n g races, and of transforming into powerful types the most pro-foundly individualized physiognomies." 1^ And The'ophile Gautier admired Ge'rome's ethnographic works for much the same reason: "Different c h a r a c t e r i s t i c types — f e l l a h s , Copts, Arabs, negroes of mixed b-lood,from Senaar and from Kordofan --so exactly observed that they could be used in the anthro-pological treatises of M. Serre's." 1 1 The process which.Blanc and Gautier suggest is rather odd and merits a closer examination. Did Ge'rome r e a l l y , as Blanc would have i t , "transform" individual physiognomies into "types"? The question is a d i f f i c u l t one to answer. Ge'rome used the same models several times, thus giving the impression that he was interested in a type. But did he 64 choose a model because he thought that he or she was t y p i c a l - -or merely a s t r i k i n g individual? I think one should lean towards the former p o s s i b i l i t y . In Gerome's era i t was a common discursive mode to extract the. general from the p a r t i -cular in any given area of observation. This attitude was partly the result of the enormous influence of positivism which maintained that the methods of the natural s c i e n c e s -one process of extracting general laws, similitudes, and r e g u l a r i t i e s fromthe observable events of the natural world--could be applied to a l l areas of i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y ; 1 2 history, philosophy, sociology, etc. Ethnographic painting should thus beseen asr.a part .of the nineteenth century fascination for the typical physiognomy. Balzac prided himself on being able to practise that art of the modern city-dweller., that is the a b i l i t y to imagine the character and circumstances of strangers seen on the street. Writers l i k e the Goncourts always include in their descrip-tions of physical appearances remarks which indicate that they f e l t one could "know" a man through his physiology. Gerome's physica1 appearance and bearing appealed to every-one who wrote about him, for he seemed in l i f e to be like the Bashi-bazouks he painted. Edmond Goncourt wrote of Gerome: "...me p l a i t , l u i [Ge'romeJ, avec son physique energique, sa figure cabosee son regard au grand blanc, enfin, avec toute cette physiognomie, qu'on d i r a i t , helas! 1 3 la physiognomie d'un talent farouche." (compare f i g s . 15 & 16) 66 A high interest in physiognomic generalization was what led Ge'rSme east in the f i r s t place and this interest is maintained throughout the ethnographic paintings. The races of the orient were seen by nineteenth century Europeans in a variety of ways. Gerome tends to ennoble these peoples so he may have f e l t , l i k e Gautier that in the east, "the human clay, less altered by c i v i l i z a t i o n , seems here 1 4 to retain the s t i l l , v i s i b l e imprint of the divine hand." For others, the orient attracted because i t was a, "une 1 5 societe barabare, mais vivante," This image of the orient, formed during the romantic era, remained strong throughout the Second Empire. Gerome's can vases make his attraction quite clear, he is interested in the v i r i l e , s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t men (with whom he seems to have identified) and fantasies of sensuous, imprisoned women. For Gerome the orient offered an alternative to the splendid but often s t i f l i n g atmosphere of the Second Empire. Flaubert wished to excape sophistica-ted Paris when he wrote: "It wi l l no longer be a despot who oppresses the individual but the masses... I.shal1 return to 1 ft the Bedouins who are free." And there is the example of Rimbaud, who did precisely that. Modern capitalism had created the conditions which made the modern al i enated .ci ty-dwe 11 er ; the interieur , and travel to and fantasies of exotic lands were,for those who could who could afford i t , attempts to escape, i f temporarily from this modern condition. 67 The Ethnographic Paintings and Photography Some people seemed to think that Gerome's ethnographic paintings functioned l i k e photographs and told the same truths. 1 7 Celia Stranahan c a l l s them " o f f i c i a l reports". And Emile Galichon wrote of The Prisoner of 1863 (fig.17) (a painting Van Gogh admired) as i f he believed i t was an actual record of an event Ge'rome had witnessed: .. . l e captif oppose 1'impassibi1ite de l ' o r i e n t a l , pour ne point rejouir le coeur de son r i v a l heureux qui, assis I la proue, la main appuyee sur son f u s i l , le garde avec I'air hautain du musulman. Tout 1' orient est l a , av.ec son fatalisme implacable, sa soumission pass i Ve, sa tranquilite' inalterable, ses insultes e'honte'es" et sa cruaute' sans remords. En rendant simplement ce qu'il voyait, M. Gerome a f a i t un oeuvre eminemment morale et phi 1osophique.' 8 Gerome may have seen this event, as Galichon suggests, but then again he may not. It i s , however, rather ironic that verisimilitude should be seen as a virtue of one of the few ethnographic paintings that attempt a t i g h t l y composed tableau. Ge'rome's orient, although cert a i n l y based firmly on his extensive travels and his personal observations, emanated from his Parisian studio, and has more than a l i t t l e about i t which is a r t i f i c i a l . In his dedication of his novel, Le Fellah, to Ge'rome, Edmund About described Gerome's working method: But the hospital i-ty. of the Ismail Pasha had swathed me in bands which paralyzed my movements not a l i t t l e . I had no longer a right to publish ex-professo contemporaneous Egypt. Your example, my dear Ge'rome, has at once fascinated and reassured me. No law forbids an author to work en_ pe i n ture; that is to say, to assemble in a work of the imagination a multitude of d e t a i l s taken from nature 68 69 and scrupulously true, though selected. Your masterpieces, small and great, do not affect to t e l l everything; but they do not present a type, -j g a tree, the fold of a garment which have not seen. The selective attitude which About described results in the morceau quality of many of the ethnographic pictures. Despite Gerome's penchant for formal composition, this morceau quality is also the result of his extensive use of photo-graphs in making his oriental genre paintings. Gerome would sketch, c o l l e c t and photograph on his east-ern voyages while, the finished paintings were done back in Paris. He was not, however, by any means the f i r s t a r t i s t to work this way. As far as I know, this honour must belong to Horace Vernet. Vernet and Fre'de'ric Goupi 1-Fesquet were taking daguerreotypes in the middle-east as early as November of 1839. This was a mere eleven months after Daguerre had announced the discovery of his photographic process. Our f i r s t actual record of.Gerome's use of photographic equip-ment is rather late , 1867. But he may have taken cameras with him before that date. For he was an ardent admirer of the medium from his youth until the end of his days. Moreau-Vauthier t e l l s us that: "Dans sa jeunesse, i l avait assiste a 1 ' enthousiasme soul-eve par les premiers essais de daguerre'otype et sa propre admiration ne f i t que augmenter avec les anne'es." GerSme's last address to the Institute 20 was a defense of photography. The example of the photograph obviously permeates Gerome's painterly manner from almost the f i r s t ethnographic 7Q work on. The photograph seems to have given a r t i s t s l i k e Vernet and Gerome an opportunity to paint images which they f e l t were closer to ver i s i m i l i t u d e than the techniques of an Academic a r t i s t . The ef f e c t which the photograph had on their work — which was a substantial change from the f i n i of David or Ingres or even that of Dutch realism—was what gave their images that "commonness" which has, more than anything else, caused their eclipse from the constellation of modern taste. The c l a r i t y of Ge'rome's style combined with his abandonment of serious generalization—by which I mean, say, Ingres' submission to a sensuous line which pre-vents one from mistaking an Ingres p o r t r a i t , despite the c l a r i t y of d e t a i l , for a photograph--immediately casts his paintings in with the. pro.l i f e r a t i o n of ea s i l y reproducible images that had begun to dominate the visual environment in the nineteenth century. Gerome's photographic style was developed in his ethno-graphic paintings. There are several reasons for this occur-ence. Gerome used photographs to make the oriental genre paintings and one can imagine how natural i t might have seemed to imitate their appearance as he used them for models. That this should happen f i r s t in ethnographic paintings rather than elsewhere can be explained by commonplace h i s t o r i c a l factors. The same thing had happened to Vernet's painting through his ethnographi c work.. And Gerome's oriental i sme is of the Vernet, rather than the Delacroix, t r a d i t i o n . 71 Besides being taken with the exotic east for i t s own sake, Vernet and Gerome, and a r t i s t s l i k e them, had a practical reason for their extensive work in the orient. They were attracted by the l i g h t , as Rocheblave wrote: "Lumiere, forme, couleur, tout les frappait d'un aspect t \ A 21 nouveau, v i f , e'clatant, les prenait aux sens et a 1 ' ame." During his youthful stay in Rome GerSme had travelled the country-side, sketching out-of-doors: "Je me mis a f a i r e des paysages, de 1 1architecture, des animaux, toujours en 22 plein a i r . . . . " He never seems to have done this in France. There are however, pl(ei,,n- a i r passages in the ethnographic paintings. Ackerman points out a "impressionist" handling of the landscape seen through the window in Arnaut Smoking 2 3 (fig.16), and suspects another hand. However, this paint-ing is neither a unique nor the best example of this sort of thing in Ge'rdme's work. In Conducteur de Chameaux (fig.18), for example, the garden seen through the door has 2 4 a. d i s t i n c t l y "Monet" quality to i t . However , Gerome '. s interest in landscape for i t s own sake was not a large one and he reamined primarily interested in i n t e r i o r s and architecture. And Gerome's interest in the l i g h t or the orient effects his work through the photograph rather than through pl.e'i n ai r i sme. In 1839 the exposure time for a photographic plate in Daguerre's machine was between f i f t e e n and t h i r t y minutes. It wasn't until 1851 that the collodion process reduced the 72 minimum exposure time to t h i r t y seconds, and not until 1878 that a new collodion process reduced exposure time to a 25 fraction of a second. The amateur photographer, despite a l l the cultural attractions that the orient offered, must have been impressed by i t s technical attractions as well. The stronger l i g h t would have kept exposure times briefer than in France, thus making the camera more v e r s a t i l e , especially in the winter when Paris is often overcast. I don't wish to suggest that this was the primary reason for the early presence of the camera, a l l i e d to the painter's work, in the orient. Other reasons were clea r l y more im-portant factors. But the. l i g h t of the orient was a consider-able attraction just as the good weather and strong l i g h t of Southern C a l i f o r n i a made i t an especially attractive s i t e for the cinema industry in the early years of this century. Besides the practical reasons for using cameras on his eastern voyages--the d i f f i c u l t i e s of carting about wet canvases in travel conditions that were often f a i r l y primi-t i v e , the r e l a t i v e quickness of the photograph over sketching as a means of building an inventory of motifs for use in paintings--the p a r t i c u l a r i z i n g veracity of the photograph appealed to Gerome for i t s own sake. Unlike the .eye, or the generalizing style of high a r t , the photograph picks up detail without discrimination. The photograph has the a b i l i t y to celebrate a room f u l l of bric-a-brac by presenting a vast array of objects a l l at once. And Gerome's ethno-graphic pictures are tied to his object-hunting or c o l l e c t i n g . 73 His Dance of the Almeh of 1863.(fig.19)—which has a l i t t l e hommage to Chardin in the lower l e f t hand corner--is primarily a record of the a c t i v i t y of Gerome the c o l l e c t o r . He owned every object in the painting. The dancer was photographed in Cairo, Gerome bought her costume and took i t back to Paris and with his assembled costumes and acces-sories, using Parisian models and his photographs, he created 2 7 his oriental i n t e r i o r . The ef f e c t of the photograph on his work was d r a s t i c - - i t is extremely easy to mistake a Ge'rome reproduction for a photograph. Charles Blanc wrote about the effect of the photograph on the work of Vernet, but he might have said the same of Gerome: Vernet's eye was l i k e the lens of a camera, i t had the same astonishing character, but also l i k e Daguerre's machine, i t saw a l l , i t reproduced a l l , without selection and without special emphasis. It recorded the details just as well as the whole — what am I saying?—much better, because with Horace Vernet the detail always took on an exaggerated importance, so that invariably i t reaches a point where no trouble is taken to subordinate i t , to give i t i t s proper place and v a l u e . 2 8 Ge'rome's photographic technique serves to hide the stagi-ness of his procedure and serves to convince--say, someone like Emile Gal i chon — that, we are seeing a document, that "we are there". Whereas Delacroix' orient was romantic and exotic, Gerome's becomes merely foreign. His ethnographic works were seen as "anthropological treatises" or travelogues, in a way they were the visual equivalents of written travel books which were designed for the "armchair" voyager. At least this was how Gautier perceived them: Figure 19 75 Photography, pushed today to the perfection that you know, relieves the a r t i s t from copying architectural and sculptural d e t a i l s , by pro-ducing prints of absolute f i d e l i t y , to which the happy selection of the point of view and moment of time can give the greatest e f f e c t . Is that not also the direction in which Ge'r6me has taken his work. His powerful studies as a his-tory painter, his talent as a draughtsman, fine elegant, exact yet with lots of st y l e , a special feeling which we would c a l l ethnographic and which w i l l become even more necessary to the a r t i s t in these days of universal and rapid travel when a l l people of the planet w i l l be v i s i t e d in whichever distant archipelago they may be hidden, a l l these things make Ge'r6me more suitable than any other to render that simple detail which up to now they have neglected, for landscape, monument and colour; modern explora-tions of the Orient —and man!^" Gautier's tangled prose is rich in cultural assumptions, one of which is his transparent b e l i e f in p'rogress which he a l l i e s with universal t r a v e l . For Gautier, Ge'rome's ethno-graphic works are sort of "explorations" of foreign lands. Because of this aspect of these paintings and the a c t i v i t y of the co l l e c t o r of types and objects that they record, they, l i k e the neo-grec paintings can be seen as a c t i v i t i e s related to the creation of the nineteenth century in-te r i e ur. The Content of Ge'rome's Ethnograph i c Pa i n t i ng 11: The Interieur As I noted in Chapter II, Gerflme's style of living--not by any means unique—involved the creation of an i nte'ri e ur which was crammed from f l o o r to c e i l i n g with objects collected 76 from the four corners of the world. The neo-grec works often refer to the inte'rieur but in the modes of fantasy and his-t o r i c a l reconstruction using much of the vocabulary of academic high art. But the oriental genre paintings refer even more d i r e c t l y to the s e n s i b i l i t y of the house in which they were made. For one thing they are genre paintings, made for the walls of the bourgeois home; in this they do not waver between high art and genre art in the way that the on n_eo-grec paintings do. More importantly they record Gerome's ownership of things and documentation replace Academic erudition and the ideal nude of high art is re-placed by the appropriate type. As Walter Benjamin observed, the "phatasmagoria" of the nineteenth century i n t e r i o r depended upon the c o l l e c t i o n of bric-a-brac, upon which the c o l l e c t o r could confer a "fan-cier's value" rather than a use-value. Collecting, no matter what other purposes and pleasures may be involved, i s , in part, an operation of rescue. Ge'rome's career took him right through what is oftened termed the era of high capitalism. It is the status of the commodity during this period which ought to interest us, i f we believe, as Benjamin does, that the col l e c t o r of exotica is somehow trying to transform this status. According to Marxist historians, with the advent of capitalism the structure of commodity relationships on the market-place became the dominant model for society as a whole. 77 As George Lukacs puts i t : "...the development of the com-modity to the point where i t became the dominant form in society did not take place-'unti 1. the advent of modern 31 capitalism." This occurs because the self-regulating market turned the social relationships between men into relationships between things or commodities. As Lukacs puts i t : "Where the market economy has been: f u l l y developed — a man's a c t i v i t y becomes estranged from himself, i t turns into a commodity which, subject to the non-human o b j e c t i v i t y of the laws of society, must go i t s own way independently of man just l i k e 32 any other consummer a r t i c l e . " Because i t s price is the result of a market where "supply and demand" determine the flow of goods the commodity contains in i t s e l f both a use-v a l u e — t h a t i s , what one does with i t — a n d an exchange-value--that i s , i t s value as determined in terms of other commodities. Marx described this relationship as follows: "The commodity . . . i s the direct un i ty of use-value and exchange-value, and at the same time i t is a commodity only in relation to other 3 3 commod i t i e s . " When a society comes "to s a t i s f y a l l i t s needs in terms of commodity exchange", the social relations between men 34 "assumes...the fantastic form of a relation between things". Thus commodities take on a f e t i s h function as the form of social-re 1 ations becomes viewed as the content. This can be best i l l u s t r a t e d by modern advertising which promises 78 that the purchaser of certain commodities can use them magically, to transform their social relations. But one cannot, for example, r e a l l y make one's spouse a pleasant person to l i v e with by buying decaffinated coffee. The nineteenth century interest in the orient was coloured by a romantic imagination of the east as pre-capi-t a l i s t or p r e - i n d u s t r i a l . It was this attitude which led to the b e l i e f that the ra c i a l "types" found there retained in their physiognomies something as yet unaltered by modern European society. Given this highly charged imagination of the orient--which was seen as a kind of paradise--the a c t i v i t y of the c o l l e c t o r who brings back oriental exotica to furnish his inteVieur becomes almost a magical operation of rescue. By purchasing and bringing back to Paris, weapons, costumes, carpets, objets d'art of the east, a man like Gerome wished to create--by sustituting a fancier's value for a use-value--in his own i n t e r i e u r , a refuge, a special place for these things in which they could retain the aura of their o r i g i n s , "barbare, mais vivante". This a c t i v i t y inevitably bestows on the collected objects a fetish-value, in which they are meant to stand for the values and customs or the cultures they originate from. Gerome, however, had a special advantage as a c o l l e c t o r , he was also a painter and could perform a second magical opera-tion by depicting his c o l l e c t i o n in scenes which showed them in their natural environment. The photographic style was an 79 especially appropriate strategy in Gerome's attempt to give these objects their own time and place while they s t i l l served to create his in te r i e ur. As is well known, "primitive" people often react to the photograph with s u p e r s t i t i t i o n and fear. Less well-known is that Europeans reacted much the same way to the f i r s t photographs. Balzac, for example, was sure that his image could not appear on the photographer's plate without divest-ing him of something of himself. Nadar explains Balzac's "theory" as follows: According to Balzac each material object from whatever direction i t is viewed, is composed of a number of infinitesima 11y thin layers or "spectres". Since i t is impossible to make something out of nothing, the image on the plate could not be pro-duced without detaching something from the body which is being photographed: thus each daguerrian operation involves attaching to the plate of one of these "spectres" and the consequent loss of part of the essense of what is being photographed.-^5 A superstitious attitude towards the photograph is implied in the language. We "take" a picture with a camera, whereas a painter paints or "makes" a picture. In other words, i t was f e l t , and s t i l l is I suppose, that a photograph of an object is closer to the physical, tangible r e a l i t y of that object than a painting or drawing of i t . A typical nine-teenth century view of the camera's power can be found in the 1870 number of The Westminster Review: No mi nature...wil1 , so far as relates to mere resemblance, bear comparison to 'a Daguerrotype. The a r t i s t can soften down e f f e c t s , and present the s i t t e r in the most favorable aspect. The Sun, 80 however, is no':, f l a t t e r e r , and gives the l i n e a -ments as they'exist, with, the most inexorable f i d e l i t y and the most cruel p r e c i s i o n . " Even today, the camera seems to have a magical function. Middle-class fami 1ies take photographs of each other, their homes, their parties, their sacred events (weddings, Christ-mas, e t c . ) , the world at large on their vacations: and they do this not for art or out of an aesthetic passion, but to perform an operation which goes beyond the merely com-memorative in which the "photographed" is meant to become "owned" by the photographer. The photograph was and is used to objectify or r e i f y the events which are photo-graphed. In this way the middle-class photographer of family history compulsively stands outside of the social events around him and turns his re 1 ationship with them into a relationship to things, i.e. photographs. The bourgeois photographer may be trying to bestow a commodity status upon th.e events and scenes he photographs, but Gerome as a painter, was engaged in a pa r a l l e l process that moved in the other d i r e c t i o n . His ethnographic paint-ings show us the human context of the objects he collected in the orient and he uses the photographic style to cele-brate them as r i c h l y as possible in painting. The ethno-graphic paintings contain traceries of two operations, that of c o l l e c t o r and photographer, one complementing the other, which are an attempt to r e i f y and then to rescue the world of the orient. 8 1 As a documentarian Gerome engaged in the re i f y i n g a c t i -vity of objectifying the east by taking photographs there and by c o l l e c t i n g objects. But as a painter, back in his Paris inte'rieur, he engaged in a new operation which is a reversal of the former and t r i e d to bring to l i f e his co l l e c t i o n by painting i t in i t s environment. In fact, this operation was the primary raison d'etre for these paintings and i t was the real reason why Gerome never actually painted in the east, although he certainly would have found studio space in Cairo or Alexandria. The ethnographic paintings had to be made in Paris, because i t was there that Gerome maintained the inte'rieur which was location and source of his s e n s i b i l i t y as an a r t i s t . This after a l l , was the location of Ge'rome's ownership of his oriental, exotica, and ownership i s , of course, the most intimate of possible relationships with an object. 82 Notes - Chapter III 'Albert Boime, "Entrepreneurial Patronage in Nineteenth Century France," in Enterprise and Entrepreneurs in Nine-teenth and Twentieth Century France, (Edited by Edward C. Carter II et a l . ) . The John : Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, 1976, p.205 (n.T80). 2 E.J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789-1848, Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London, 1962. p.144. 3 I owe this d i s t i n c t i o n to Michael Fried who, in his "Manet's Sources," (Art Forum, Vol. 7, No. 28, March, 1969, pp72-73) discusses the difference between Manet and Courbet's approach to composition using the terms morceau and tableau. "Courbet's paintings tended to be seen by fii s admirers and his detractors alike either as agglomerations of superby painted pieces of r e a l i t y - - e . g . , a head, a hand,a dog, a woman's body, a stone outcropping, a breaking wave--or as entire large morceaux in their own right." The concept of the tableau has to do with powerful and memorable com-positions, with the total e f f e c t of a painting on the viewer: "...one's experience of them...their v i t a l i t y , their immedi-ate, instantaneous power to attract or repel." Fried asserts that Manet's Olympia and his Dejeuner sur l'herbe are such tableaux. In Ge'rome's work I would suggest that the neo-grec paintings are tableaux, attempts to.make a memorable image through Academic composition techniques. The ethno-graphic paintings often attempt t h i s , as in the case of The Prisoner, but even more often they do not. A tableau effect seems to be achieved by a confrontation with the viewer. In the Manet paintings,, Victorine stares at us boldly, affecting an immediate "I-you" relationship between the painting and us. In Academic painting the same "con-frontation" is achieved by the use of shallow space and/or " l i f e - s i z e " figures which push the space of the painting back into the actual space that the viewer occupies. In a morceau the viewer is reduced to the status of an unin-volved spectator. 4 The passage celebrates the iPax Romana of Augustus and notes that the birth of Christ was appropriate to this era of peace. I quote i t in f u l l : 7 Les restes.de la republique pdrissent avec Brutus et Cassius; Antfoijhe et CeVsar., apres avoir ruine Lepide, se tournent 1'un contre 1'autre; toute la puissance romaine se met sur la mer. Cesar gagne la 83 b a t a i l l e Actique; les forces de l'Egypte, et de 1'Orient, qu'Antoine menait avec l u i , sont dis-sipe'es; tous ses amis 11abandonment, et meme sa CleopStre, pour laquelle i l s'e'tait perdu... Tout cede a la fortune de Ce'sar: Alexandrie l u i ouvre les portes; l'Egypte devient une province romaine; Cle'opatre, qui de'sespere de la pouvoir conserver.se tue elle-meme apres Antoine; Rome tend les bras a C£sar, qui demeure, sous le nom d'Augustus et le t i t r e d'empereur, seul jnattre de tout I'empire; i l dompte vers les Pyrene'es les Cantabres et les Asturiens re'vol te's; l'Ethiopie l u i demande la paix; les Parthes epouvantes l u i renvoient les e'tendards pris sur Crassus, avec tous les prisonniers romains; les Indes recherchent son a l l i a n c e ; ses armes se font sentir aux Rhetes ou Grisons, que leurs montagnes ne peuvent d£fendre. La Pannonie le reconnait, la Germaine le redoubte, et le Weser recoit ses l o i s . Viciorieux par mer et par terre, i l ferme'le temple .de* Janus. O u t v l ' -univers v i t en paix sous sa.puissance, et Jesus-Christ vient au monde. As cited by Gautier in his Les Beaux-Arts en Europe, Michel Levy Freres: Paris, 1855. p.218f. The reason I quoted the whole passage was to point out that somehow a l l the main parties mentioned by Bousset, as well as representatives of the nations involved:find their way into Gerome1s painting, and i t was the need to gather ethnographic material which led him on this voyage; As. for the choice of subject-matter i t s e l f . F i r s t i t follows the Academic tr a d i t i o n of using AncientRome as an iconological i d e a l i z a t i o n of modern France; the Republic for the Revolutionary Period; Caesar for Napoleon; Augustus for Napoleon III. Secondly, Bousset's passage notes the birth of a new world order, and i t was f e l t by many Frenchmen in mid-century that their era was such a turning point in world history, only science and progress, not a d i v i n i t y were to be the agents of a new dawn. 5 This is more than apparent from Gautier's description of the painting. And Ge'rome t e l l s us that:... " i t (the painting) lacked invention and origina1ity , reca11ing by the disposition of the figures, and unhappily by this point only The Apotheosis of Homer by Ingres, of which i t i s , so to speak, a paraphrase." Cited in Hering, 1889, op.cit. p.489. Timbal, op.cit. p.230. 84 7S. Rocheblave, L'Art et le Gout en France de 1600 a 1900 , Li bra ire Armand Colin: Paris 1 930 edition, p.289. g As cited in Hering, 1892, op.cit. p.25; From • :-, Gautier's "Gerome: Pictures, Studies and Sketches of Travel," I have been unable to find this a r t i c l e . g From a l e t t e r to Delacroix' friend Pierret, as cited in Pierre Courthion, Romanti ci sm, Sk i ra: Lausanne, 1961, p.78. ^ H e r i n g , 1892, op.cit. p.7. No source given. 1 11b i d . p.25. 12 This discursive mode, so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the nine-teenth century, is discussed in greater depth in Chapter IV. 1 3 Edmonde & Jules Goncourt, Journal: Memoires de La Vie Li t t e r a i re;/, Vol. XI, Les editions de 1 ' i mpr i meri e° na t i on a 1 e de Monaco: Monaco, 1 956 , p.16 (entry for Mercredi, 21 A v r i l , 1875). 1 4 H e r i n g , 1 892 , p_£.cj_t. p.25. 1 5Rochebl avftev op.cit. p.287. 1 6As cited by Hering, 1892, p.59. ^ 7Stranahan, op.cit. p.309. 1 g Emile Galichon, "M. Gerome, peintre ethnographe," Gazette des beaux-arts, 1968, vol. 1, p.150. 1 9Hering, 1 889 , op.cit. p.497. 20 Moreau-Vauthier, op.cit. , ; p.69. Also from the same passage: "Gerome ne ccessa d'estime la precision de la photo-g r a p h i c " Moreau-Vauthier t e l l s us that Gerome's last address to the Institute was in praise of,photography on p.70. Gerome seems to have been involved with Emile Bayard and wrote an introduction to the l a t t e r s , "Le inu esthetique", (fig.20). As one can see Bayard constructed Bourgereau-1ike scenes in his studio and then photographed them--with the expected atrocious results. 'Homme, La Fern me, Z'Snfant Figure 2 0 86 Ingres,on the other hand, referred to photographs as "fautographs". 21 Rocheblave, op.cit., p.287. 22 Masson, op.cit. , p.23. 2 3 "Often in these works the hand of a collaborator or an assistant is suspected, as in the very loose landscape seen through the window in the upper right." Ackerman, 1972, op.cit. p.58. 24 It is rather d i f f i c u l t to t e l l from f a i r l y bad black and white reproductions just what is happening in these passages, however, despite their "impressionist" look we should remember Ge'rome and Monet had the same teacher, Gleyre, and that in Gleyre.1.s work one can find landscape passages treated in a p 1 i en. 'a i r fashion. Also, painting out-of-doors in one s i t t i n g was academic practise, but as just that, as a painting exercise, such etudes were not considered finished paintings. 2 5 These s t a t i s t i c s from. Hemult Gernsheim s, The History of Photography, Oxford University Press: London, 1955, p.377. ^ I n 1887, at. 63, Gerome told Hering that, "during the months of November and December, the lig h t is too poor to paint, but s u f f i c i e n t to model a l l day." Hering, 1889 ,op.cit. , p.492. 2 7 Ackerman, 1.972 , op.cit. , p.54. "After watching her dance in a local cafe, Gerftme invited her to his studio where he sketched her, photographed her, and then he bought her dancing costume to take home with him!" 2 8 ' As cited in Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography, London: The Penguin Press, 1968, p.57'. 29 Ibid. From an a r t i c l e by Gautier in "L'Artiste" of 1856. The ne'o-grec paintings were, of course, made for the same walls, but they were also made for the Salon and the museum, to hang.among the Raphaels and the Ingres . 87 Georg Luka'cs, History and Class Consciousness, (translated by Rodney Livingstone, Merlin Press: London, 1971, p.86. 32 r Lukacs, op.cit. , p. 8.7.. 33 Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Criti'que of P o l i t i c a l Economy, Moscow, 1970, p.41. 34 Luka'cs, op.cit, pp.91 & 86. 35 As cited by Michel F. Braive, The Photograph: A Social History, (translated by David Bri t t ) , McGraw-Hi11 Book Co.: New York 1966, p.73. A source is not given, but i t is probably Nadar's, Quand . l . j ^ t a i s photographe, Paris, n.d. (1900). Author's name not given, "Bearings of Modern Science on Art", Westminster Review, Vol. 96, July & October, 1871, p.-403. '• . CHAPTER IV: THE HISTORY PAINTINGS 88 If we do not include the 1 854 Apotheosis of Augustus, which was done in the grand manner, Gerome's f i r s t serious history painting was done in 1859. His Ave Caesar ;. Morituri Te Salutant (fig.21) was the f i r s t of a series of h i s t o r i c a l works which were both more ambitious as paintings and more sombre in th e i r implications than the neo-grec works, which nonetheless Ge'rome continued to produce, along with ethnographic paintings, until the end of his career. As Ge'rome's history paintings are about history we might reasonably expect them to be informed by concurrent notions of "history". An examination of historiography which was contemporary to Ge'rome's paintings w i l l i 11 uminate • the cultur-al context of these paintings, which w i l l in turn, bring forward their meaning. In nineteenth century France, discourse about history occupied a central place in the i n t e l l e c t u a l concerns of the time. Why this should have been so w i l l soon become ap-parent. For Ge'rome, his was an "epoch of moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l disorder." 1 Perhaps the t i g h t l y controlled way he chose to paint was a response to the de'rangement he perceived around himself. But in the main, bourgeois i n t e l l e c t u a l s responded with positivism. And the methods of positivism became the methods of historiography. 89 Historiographic Thought in Mid-Nineteenth Century France For a number of reasons "positivism" has become a d i f -f i c u l t term to use with precision. As an English historian 2 had remarked: "Positivism is a hopelessly ambiguous term." Intellectual historians tend to attempt a d e f i n i t i o n of positivism and then pinpoint i t s exact route through in-t e l l e c t u a l history. This is primarily a process of exclu-sion in which the t r a i l of positivism is seen as progressively 3 narrowing as we approach an adequate d e f i n i t i o n . Although my discussion cannot proceed without providing this d e f i n i t i o n , I am much more interested in broad discursive movements than the precise h i s t o r i a l l imits of the fate of something one might c a l l "pure positivism". In other words, I am interested in commonplaces, nineteenth century discursive givens, no matter how much they are distortions of their origins in the writings of phi1osophers. Great i n t e l l e c t u a l breakthroughs are often diminished by the time they enter the common discourse which they in turn have shaped. Today, for example, everyone can use words l i k e l i b i d o , repression or sub!imat ion without having read Freud and s t i l l "know" what they are talking about. Often common usage of a con-cept is at quite a conceptual distance from i t s usage in the work in which i t originated. In Ge'rome's time, people would have understood by "positivism" a f a i t h in science, a b e l i e f in technology and progress, a general h o s t i l i t y 90 to metaphysics and they might have associated the word with the ideas of Auguste Comte, Hippolyte Taine, Emile L i t t r e , Ernest Renan and others. It is not philosophically rigorous to refer to these thinkers as posi t i vists--wi th the exception of Li ttre'--wi tho ut a great deal of q u a l i f i c a t i o n . But I do not wish to a r t i f i c i a l l y isolate something.called "posi-tivism" from i t s place in general discourse. It was Auguste Comte who f i r s t used the word "positivism" to indicate a b e l i e f or an epistemology (for the p o s i t i v i s t b e l i e f and method become the same thing). Although Comte's philosophy is by no means lucid or without contradictions--and positivism has come to mean, for some, merely the ideas of Comte--it can be defined. B a s i c a l l y , positivism is a d e f i n i t i o n of epistemology which proceeds from a single nega-tion: Dans I'e'tat p o s i t i f , I'esprit humain, recon-naissant 1 1impossibi1itie d'obtenir des notions absolues, renonce a chercher l'origjme et la destination de l'univers et a connaitre les causes internes des phe'nomenes, pour s'attacher uniquement a de'couvir, par 1 1 usage bien combine du raisphvn.e-ment et de 1 1observation, leurs l o i s e f f e c t i v e s , c'est-a-dire 1 eurs. relations invariables de success-ion et de similitude.4 In other words, knowledge must be limited to the observable phenomena of the world. This method of inquiry, b a s i c a l l y that . established by the natural sciences, but applied universally by p o s i t i v -ism, has several logical ramifications. It is taken as given that there can be no real , di f ference between essence and phenomena: "We are e n t i t l e d to record drily 91 5 that which is manifested in experience." In other words, i f one apperceives a white vase, there can be no talk of "whiteness" or "roundness" divorced from the phenomenon one has in front of one's eyes on i t s particular occasion. There are no "ideas" in the Platonic or Hegelian sense of that word. Abstract idealizations are as metaphysical as dryads, and just as "imaginary"; they are merely con-ceptual tools ( i . e . in mathematics: the c i r c l e or triangle) and not real things: "Our ideas are only i n t e l l e c t u a l in-struments which serve to l e t us penetrate phenomena; they must be changed when they have played their part, as one changes a blunted lancet when i t has served long enough." Therefore, there are no such q u a l i t i e s as noble, ignoble, good, e v i l , b eautiful, ugly etc.; a l l these words depend for their meaning upon.world-views that go beyond an account of i t s v i s i b i l i t y . This does not mean that there are no ethics, but that morals are just that; mores; social customs without reference to a universal standard. 7 This is e s s e n t i a l l y what positivism describes i t s e l f to be. It is anti-metaphysical in the extreme. One can e a s i l y see that high a r t , which depends so much on canons of Ideality which are not merely aesthetic but ethical as well, could hardly be expected to survive in such inimical i n t e l -lectual atmosphere. The p o s i t i v i s t never asks, as the quote from Comte might imply, "why", but "how". Ontology is simply erased from the 92 the i n t e l l e c t u a l map. In an undiluted form positivism would seem to have been a form of l i n g u i s t i c suicide. As Lessek Kolakowski has commented: Suffering, death, ideol ogica.V conf 1 i ct, social clashes, a n t i t h e t i c a l values of any kind--all are declared out of bounds, matters we can only be s i l e n t about, in obedience to the princi p l e of v e r i f i a b i 1 i t y . Positivism so understood is an act of escape from, commitments, an escape masked as a d e f i n i t i o n of knowledge, invalida-ting a l l such matters as mere figments of the imagination stemming from i n t e l l e c t u a l laziness. Positivism in this sense is the escapist's design for l i v i n g , a l i f e v o l untarily cut off from p a r t i -cipation in anything that cannot be correctly formulated. The language i t imposes exempts us from the duty of speaking up in l i f e ' s most im-portant c o n f l i c t s , encases us in a kind of armour of indifference to the ineffabi1ia mundi , g the indescribable qualitative data of experience. As Kolakowski is suggesting, positivism tends to be "re-actionary" thought. Positivism had arrived in order to solve what i t s practioners preceived as a c r i s i s . Its main object of scrutiny was society. The c r i s i s which made this object so prominently a problem was two-fold: The I n d u s t r i a l i a l Revolution and the triumph of Capitalism, or as Karl Polanyi has described i t : the birth of the self-regulating market economy and the subsequence dominance of the forms of that economy over the functions of society. Both the Marxist and the l i b e r a l historian agree on this point. Polanyi writes: "(The Industrial Re volution)...shifted the vision of men towards their own c o l l e c t i v e being as i f they had over-looked i t s presence before. A world was uncovered the very 93 existence of which had not been suspected, that of the laws 9 governing a complex society." The reason why such a vision should have arisen when i t did, at the beginning of the nine-teenth century, was that the object, a society subject to one system of complex laws, had only recently developed. As Georg Luka'cs puts i t : "for the f i r s t time in history the whole of society is subjected...to a unified economic process..." 1 0 "Thus," writes Lukacs elsewhere, "the re-cognition that society i s ' r e a l i t y becomes possible only under capitalism in bourgeois s o c i e t y . " 1 1 As might be expected, Comte, Taine and Renan did-not f u l l y understand the nature of the object which they studied. Contradictions and inconsistencies plague the writings of the great p o s i t i v i s t s . As D.G. Charlton has observed: "Positivism is not...a unified system.of thought but the 12 a c t i v i t y of a divided mind." In the broad context of a discourse, positivism takes on the function of an attitude rather than a methodology, a masquerade rather than a true performance; what Lukacs c a l l s "epi stemol ogi cal agnosticism".] Once a p o s i t i v i s t epistemology has been adopted, and nine-teenth century French discourse about history is p o s i t i v i s t i c i f i t is anything, certain insurmountable d i f f i c u l t i e s a r i s e . One cannot write about history or society without using some generalizing concepts, which are almost impossible to demon-strate empirically as " l o i s e f f e c t i v e s " or "relations in-variable de succession et similtude". Abstract and rather 94 arbitrary ideas had to make their way into the heart of p o s i t i v i s t historiography, for as Polanyi writes: "The stubborn facts and the inexorable brute laws [of the s e l f -regulating market economy], that appeared to abolish our freedom had in one way or another to be reconciled to free-dom. This was the mainspring of the metaphysical forces that secretly sustained the p o s i t i v i s t s and the u t i l i t a r -i a n s . " 1 4 These generalizing concepts are best discussed in the context of individual thinkers. It should be noted, however, that when 'one"" refers to an idea of, say, Comte1 s one is also referring to a widely held idea with a t r a d i t i o n . As George Boas put i t : "Comte must not be imagined to be a lonely figure thinking out great ideas which were ahead of his time. His philosophy on the contrary was a much more eloquent expression of the total c i v i l i z a t i o n of early nine-1 5 teenth century France than that of any one man." Among the sources which Comte drew upon was Saint-Simon, who: ...pretended to be promulgating a new r e l i g i o n divinely inspired, in a dream. This r e l i g i o n , in which Newton seemed to occupy the place of Christ and Robespierre that of Satan, is the pursuit of man's happiness through science.16 Indeed, nineteenth century positivism, and Comte's in par t i c u l a r , saw a f a i t h in science as a replacement for r e l i gion. 95 Comte's basic theory of history depends upon a notion of "mankind" as the object of history (as Luka'cs points out: "the species...is no more than an individual that has been mythologized in a s p i r i t of contemplation." 1 7 For Comte, history is the history of the consciousness of the species 1 o imagined as an e n t i t y : "Ideas govern human history." In-t e l l e c t u a l and s c i e n t i f i c developments are therefore the determining factors in the progress of mankind. In Comte's theory•of.historical progress he proposes a three stage development (this is an arbitrary aspect of his thought). From the infancy of mankind in the theological and metaphysical stages, Comte traces the history of in-dividual sciences to their adulthood, "l'e'tat p o s i t i f " . Each science has grown-up at a d i f f e r e n t rate and reached maturity at various stages of history, depending on the social circumstances. Astronomy, for example, reached the positive stage as the growing need for r e l i a b l e navigation demanded that i t do so. Comte gives a rather short l i s t of sciences in the order at which they reached the positive stage, from (in Comte's terms) the least to the most complex. They are; mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology. At the end of this development Comte places "sociologie"--a word he coins. When sociology reaches the positive stage --and i t is the task of p o s i t i v i s t s to perform this task--;-, the sciences w i l l somehow coalesce by virtue of their unified 96 methodologies and there w i l l be a universal science, which, under the aegis of sociology w i l l ameliorate the human con-dition by discovering the " l o i s effectives" of a workable society.. In short, by sociology Comte meant a p o l i t i c a l praxi s. Comte's ideas about a model society were fuzzy and eventually became a l i t t l e pathological. In 1848, not an in-s i g n i f i c a n t year, he founded his Church of Humanity, in an e f f o r t to promulgate a pseudo-religion of positivism. It may strike one that this was most bizarre, yet we see that again and again in nineteenth century France the beance created by a s p i r i t of s c i e n t i f i c rationalism in the place formerly occupied by r e l i g i o n was woven-over by a religious attitude towards science i t s e l f . The Church of Humanity's vision of the future was a l i t t l e disconcerting. It was an authoritarian scheme in which s c i e n t i s t s and philosophers ( p o s i t i v i s t ones) would rule the world according to discoverable laws. The mass of people would, as usual, go to church, where they would chant s c i e n t i f i c maxims as i f a b e l i e f in the s c i e n t i f i c method constituted a mythopoeic f a i t h . That an epistemology which attempts to deal with every-thing from a single methodology should end up proposing t o t a l i t a r i a n p o l i t i c a l structures should come as no surprise. The epistemology of positivism engages i t s practioners in a t o t a l i t y , and this is what distinguished i t from eighteenth century rationalism, i t was this complete f a i t h in the 97 s c i e n t i f i c method. Comte died in 1 857 , when Ge'rome was thirty-three, but his thought was the most pervasive influence of the next generation of French i n t e l l e c t u a l s who came into maturity during the Second Empire. Emile Littre', the famous lexicographer, considered by the i n t e l l e c t u a l historian to have been a "pure p o s i t i v i s t " , was meant to inherit the leadership of Comte's Church of Humanity. But the two men f e l l out over the events of 1851; Comte welcomed the dictatorship of Napoleon whereas Littre'was a Republican. Littre', however, remained a di sci pTe' •ofi'? Comte's thought, and he was able to rescue that part of Comte's thought which argued for rationalism from i t s more pathological aspects, and make positivism the dominant discursive mode of the Institute. Littre" val ued Comte' s theory of history as his most 19 enduring contribution to the history of ideas. In L i t t r e s hands h i s t o r i c a l processes become even more deterministic than Comte had made them. As Littre' put i t : Hi story...means research into the conditions which bring about the succession of one social state after another in a determined order. Events, therefore, play only a secondary rol e ; being pro-ducts of the passions and interests driving peoples and their leaders, they sometimes serve the spontaneous movement of mankind and sometimes obstruct i t ; but taken in all...they are dominated by this movement.20 Needless to say, the "spontaneous movement" of mankind is the vaguest of concepts. This kind of historicism denies the p o s s i b i l i t y of class struggle, or of individual or group 98 action having a meaningful role on the stage of history. As I shall argue shortly, this was i t s purpose, to defuse the workin g. cl ass with scientism. Littre''s star was somewhat eclipsed during the Second Empire by "les deux grands mattres intel1ectuels de cette generation", Ernest Renan and Hippolyte Taine. Both of these men were Ge'rome's age, and as a fellow member of the Institute he must have been aquainted with them. He cer-.. t a i n l y would have known Taine. Both Taine and Ge'rome became 21 * A professors at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1863. (Gerome was given one of three professorships in painting--the others going to Cabanel and Pi Is — and Taine succeeded Viol let-1 e-Duc in the professorship of Art History and- Aesthetics). Although hardly.a-strict Comtean or p o s i t i v i s t , Taine shared with Comte and Littre' a rigourously deterministic attitude towards his subject. As he said in the preface to the f i r s t volume of his important, Les Origines de la France contemporaine: "A historian may be allowed the pr i v i l e g e of a n a t u r a l i s t ; I have regarded my subject the same as the 22 metamorphosis of an insect." In this monumental work, Taine presented a disturbing image of a France which was floundering in search of i t s ap-propriate system of government: ...the point is to di scover i t , whether i t e x i s t s , and not submit i t to a vote. Our preferences in this respect would be vain; history and nature have selected for us in advance; we must accommodate 99 ourselves to them as i t is certain that they w i l l not accommodate themselves to us. The social and p o l i t i c a l forms a people may enter < and remain are not open to a r b i t r a t i o n , but are determined by i t s character and i t s past. 23 Taine's enduring contribution to historiography l i e s in his method, which might be termed " s o c i o l o g i c a l " . Taine believed that the events, l i t e r a t u r e , art and p o l i t i c s of any given period can y i e l d to the historian a coherent struc-ture: "mankind is not a c o l l e c t i o n of objects lying next to one another, but a machine of functionally interrelated parts; 24 i t is a system and not just a formless p i l e . " Taine's strategy is s t i l l current in some c i r c l e s , he f e l t that any given cultural event was a product of three converging factors 25 race, milieu and epoch. This absolute determinism--useful in qu a l i f i e d argu-ments, (li k e this thesis)--can be taken to an extreme in which the entire human enterprise is seen the result of inescapable mechanical laws. An imaginative man by temperament, Taine never became overly reductive, but he f e l t that he ought to have been. A severe c r i t i c of Taine has remarked: "both in Tainism and Hitlerism c i v i l i z a t i o n has been replaced by 2 6 biology." This is perhaps unfair, but i t points out that the d r i f t of p o s i t i v i s t discourse about history is to render i t a natural science. Despite Taine's icy o b j e c t i v i t y - - o r his claim to o b j e c t i v i t y - - h i s writing has a deep class bias. Like Comte, Littre" and Renan, or for that matter Marx, Taine saw his function as a historian as p o l i t i c a l . Taine apparently jug-100 gled his facts to support his personal p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s ; Cobban characterizes Taine's method in this regard as 2 7 "vicious from i t s foundation". The main attack of Les Origines was upon the Revolution, revolution in general, and by extension, the aspirations of the working classes. His Revolution is a beggar's revolt which he painted with a brush dripping with gore rather than gl o i re. This unplea-i-sant picture of the Revolution was "responsible for depriving 28 ^ Frenchmen of joy in their h i s t o r i c a l image." And was a key factor on the malaise of the Third Republic. Taine had thought that the c r i s i s of modernity had had i t s roots in the enlightenment. Eighteenth century discourse was deeply flawed as far as Taine was concerned. In the name of Reason, the eighteenth century invented an image of man that was an automaton. The eighteenth century "Raison" was r e a l l y a form of courtly elegance, altogether impatient with empiricism, i t strove for the nicely rounded aphorism. Ideas about equality originate in a courtly context, but are only functional as a corollary of the symmetrical gardens of V e r s a i l l e s . Out of their context, that i s , in the streets of Paris, they become dangerous. They incit e the masses, whom Taine did not think very highly of: "Stupidity, violence, ignorance, cowardice, were the princip l e ingredients that God 29 mixed together when making . the human race." Taine's unrelenting determinism and his desire "to communicate to the sciences called moral and p o l i t i c a l that 101 absolute certainty which l i k e a l l scholars and philosophers of his generation he was accustomed to attribute to the physical or natural sciences," place his firmly within the context of p o s i t i v i s t discourse. His fellow i n t e l l e c t u a l , Ernest Renan, can not be so surely placed, yet takes up themes and attitudes of the p o s i t i v i s t . Comte had tri e d to cast his Church of Humanity over the be"an ce which pure scientism l e f t in the place of r e l i g i o n , Renan went one better. As an American c r i t i c described Renan: "no one knew better than Renan how to gil d positivism with r e l i g i o s i t y and throw around the opera-tions of the s c i e n t i f i c i n t e l l e c t a vague aroma of the in-f i n i t e . " 3 0 Renan's i d e*e f i xe was to reconcile r e l i g i o n and science, but unlike Comte, his p r i o r i t y was the r e l i g i o u s : "The sole value of science is insofar as i t can replace r e l i g i o n . " In his 1 864 s ucce-s de s canda.le, Le Vie de Je'sus, Renan' struck a note of concord between highly sentimental r e l i g i o u s feeling and a s c i e n t i f i c s p i r i t of inquiry. Those interested in the phenomenon of nineteenth century sentimentality might look to Renan for their ultimate t h e o r i t i c i a n . Renan re-jected the supernatural and fantastic aspects of r e l i g i o n - -which require f a i t h to sustain one's be l i e f in them. But i n -stead of c a l l i n g for an end to the' religious s e n s i b i l i t y he c a l l s for a renewal, based not on fa i t h but on aesthetic feel ing. Renan was, incidently, married to the niece of that supreme master of religious sentimentality, Ary Scheffer. Renan astutely observed that the power of religious feeling is rooted in repressed sexuality. In Le Vie de Je'sus, he rather convincingly explains religious emotion as a human need rather than as an actual relationship with the divine. There is something of a p a r a l l e l between what -Gerome did with high art and what Renan did with r e l i g i o n . Both introduce realism--in the l i t e r a r y sense of that word--into metaphysical realms. The difference between f a i t h and sentiment is the difference between a c l a s s i c a l contemplation of the Ideal and the aestheticism of the epicurian neo-grec paintings. In both cases the movement is reversed from being an outward motion towards a world beyond the human l i m i t — t o Platonic forms and Ideas, to a divine Christ, to an in-v i s i b i l i t y - - to a movement toward these things as signs of the merely human. Beauty and r e l i g i o u s feeling occupy a . "high" place in the worlds of Renan and Ge'rome, but they became d i s t i l a t i o n s or rather special attaintments of the sexual—one might as well say bi ol ogi cal--rather than the dim, shimmering appearance of something eternal, beyond the human l i m i t , l i k e a cosmological harmony or God. The Influence of Positivism on the Arts Nineteenth century discourse has themes and patterns which I have tri e d to point out in this discussion. To sum 103 up: i t focuses on history, as Flaubert commented: "The leading c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of our century is i t s h i s t o r i c a l sense. This is why we have to confine ourselves to r e l a t i n g 32 the facts." This close attention to history took a socio-logical bias, largely because society for the f i r s t time operated under the laws of a unified economic system. Scien-tists assumed the role of r e l i g i o n , The methods of the natural sciences are held up as a universal epistemology. One might also note that positivism is e s s e n t i a l l y the thought of bourgeois thinkers anxious to solve contemporary problems without ceding their power to the masses. The influence of positivism was deep and widespread. M. Ferrez wrote in 1882: "Positivism...has become nowadays 33 the dominant philosophy." L. Dugas in 1895 wrote: "Comte dominates our age...his vast doctrine nourishes the various 34 currents of modern thought." Jaques Barzun could declare in 1958 that: "The majority of thinking men (in XlXth cen-tury France) either declared themselves P o s i t i v i s t s or acted 35 as such without knowing that they were." Emile L i t t r e had a special influence on the founders of the Third Republic; Gambetta and Ferry were both indebted to him. In 1871 Gambetta announced that Comte was "one of the great thinkers of this century," and at a banquet in 1873, held to honour Littre"'s completion of the f i r s t section of his Dictionary of the French Language, he said: "We are honoured to be the free and devoted servants of that doctrine 104 which i t is your ( L i t t r e 1 s ) mission to spread.... The day w i l l certainly come when p o l i t i c s , restored to i t s true role,...wi11 once again be what i t should be, a moral science ....On that day your phi 1osophy--and ours--will have t r i -umphed."36 Taine was instrumental in the founding of the Ecol e l i b r e des sciences p o l i t i q u e s . According to Gargan the function of this school was to defuse the l e f t "by a c r i -t i c a l examination of the 'millenary' s o c i a l i s t s from Babeuf to the International, thus exposing the dreams of the ignor-37 ant implanted by the semi-ignorant." The hi s t o r i a n , Marc Bloch, has attributed the social disunity of the Third Republic in part to the influence of this school: "The Ecole des sciences politiques was always the s p i r i t u a l home of the scions of the.rich and powerful families. Its gradu-ates f i l l e d the embassies, the Treasury, the council of state 3 8 and the public audit o f f i c e . " And in 1917, Clemenceau, pausing in front of Bonnat's po r t r a i t of Renan was heard to remark: "'H don't show defer-ence to many men, but I do to him, for he has made us what 39 we a re. " Positivism's influence on the arts was as widespread as i t s influence among p o l i t i c i a n s and men of power, J u l i e t t e Adam, sal on i s te for Littre', Ferry and other republican posi-t i v i s t s remarked: "The ideas of. Auguste Comte and of Littre' were influencing art (in the 60's) in the most curious way. Altruism, association, synthesis, humanity were everyone's 105 watchwords and stock in t r a d e . " 4 0 These words from ail courent vocabulary seem to come from Renan rather than Li ttre'. Flaubert, Zola, Saint-Beuve and the Goncourts knew Taine and Renan well. The Goncourts have depicted them at Princess Mathilde's and at the Magny dinners. Zola's Le Roman experimentale is held by some to have been inspired 41 by the positivist philosopher, Claude Bernard. Anatole France's Thais is an exposition of Renan's theories about sex and r e l i g i o n . Flaubert asked Renan to write the i n -troduction to the second version of his Temptation of St. 4 2 An tony. More important than these s p e c i f i c points of contact was the sociological approach that Zola and Flaubert took in their novels, which r e a l l y cannot be said to have been "influenced" by positivism, rather positivism and l i t e r a t u r e participated in similar modes of discourse, which arose in response to dramatic s h i f t s . i n the way society was organized. Of course positivism was not the entire picture. There was a reaction against i t . Hugo's spooks, Flaubert's deep and touching b e l i e f in the i r r a t i o n a l , Eliphas. Le v i ' s mag i e Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarme', Gustave Moreau and Huysmans are only a few of Ge'rome's contemporaries whose stance was resolute in i t s opposition to the p o s i t i v i s t e s p r i t . However, I have deliberately accounted for those discursive models which I f e l t most illuminated the work of Gerome. 106 Gerome's History Paintings In some ways, Ge'rome's more serious history painting — by serious one means simply having a serious theme, not necessarily cast in the mail d of high art-- develops themes, that Gerome worked out in the neV-grec paintings. The tinges of cruelty and sadism that g l i t t e r below the surface of paintings like The Cock Fight or Phryne (which on one level at least, is about humiliation) emerge into the f u l l l i g h t of day with the openly brutal imagery of Pol 1i ce Verso of 1874 (fig.22). P o l l i c e Verso depicts — a t a certain r a r i f i e d level of g e n e r a l i z a t i o n — t h e same theme as The Cock Fight. Spectators watch a battle to the death for pleasure or entertainment. We can even see, in the figure of the woman who s i t s in the Imperial box, just above the standing gladiator and s l i g h t l y to his right, a vestige of the young Greek g i r l of The Cock Fight. Only here the theme is more serious, instead of a conceit about young love i t is about society and history. Pol 1i ce Verso is just one of a group of paintings which depict Roman entertainments in the time of Vitell.ius. There is Ave Caesar, Morituri Te Salutant of 1 859 (fig.'21) of which Pol 1i ce Verso is more or less an emendation. The Christian Martyr.s'; Last Prayer ( 1 863-1 883) (fig.23) was worked on for twenty years, being completely repainted at least three times. There are sculptural groups l i k e P o l l i c e Verso (fig.24) which is the central group of the painting made into a bronze, and LaMarty re ( f i g. 2 5). Les Rentrees des felines dans la Cirque Figure 2 2 108 Figure 23 109 Figure 2 5 m c. 1901, (fig.26), is an especially g r i s l y piece of painting. There are others, but these examples serve to show the in-tensity of Ge'rome's interest in the subject and just how graphic he was prepared to be. Ge'rome had been interested in things g l a d i a t o r i a l ' since his youth. During his year in Italy (1844) he was struck by some Roman game armour he had found in a Neopolitan museum. "Voila' qui m'ouvre un horizon immense!... Comment! tous les peintres, tous les scuptures sont venus i c i , et pas un n'a songe' a refaire un gladiateur," Ge'rome seems surprised that . Donatello made a David but not a gladiator. He immediately began to research the subject: "Je me recherche tout ce qui avait t r a i t au gladiateur: des mosaiques, des peintures, des petites sculptures, le tombeau de Scorus, etc...etc... c o l l e c t i o n s assez nombreuse car les gladiateurs ont joue un role considerable dans le monde romain : Panem et c i r -„ 4 3 censes. Note that Ge'rome explains his interest as i f i t was sociological c u r i o s i t y , h e i s i n t e r e s t e d in the authentic Rome of h i s t o r i c a l experience, rather than Roman high culture; just as he had been interested in anecdotes from Greek and Roman l i f e in his ne'o-grec works, rather than the Davidian Rome of republican virtues. This sociological interest was informed by a personal one. Gerome was charmed by the strangeness and barbarity of g l a d i a t o r i a l equipment. I am not joking when I suggest Figure 26 113 that this material , which he longed to possess, which he lovingly painted and sculpted, w a s - j n some secret way the ultimate bric-a-brac for him; the ultimate collectable upon, which he could impose a fancier's value of some sexual s i g n i -ficance. In Pol l i c e Verso and Ave Caesar the armour and weaponry were the real subjects of the painting. Pol 1i ce Verso was painted to correct inaccuracies in Ave Caesar, "which was 44 incorrect in several archaeological points." Ge'rome prob--iably used a r t i f a c t s in the Po urtal e's-Gorgi er. col 1 ecti on to make P o l l i c e Verso and he also had a friend ship casts of armour to Paris from originals Gerome had found in a Roman 45 ' * museum. According to an American student, i t cost Gerome three thousand do!1ars to have armour made from these casts, this would almost be more than he could reasonably expect 46 to get for the finished painting. This drive for absolute accuracy in detail was important because " . . . i t adds to the general physiognomy and gives the characters an especial barbarous, savage and strange aspect." He hired a model to wear the armour and the fantasy was complete: "My model," wrote Ge'rome, "dressed up in them is for a l l intents and 4 7 purposes a gladiator." Ge'rome may have had several things in mind when he painted this series of paintings. Of course, there was the prosaic reason of expense, once certain costumes and a r t i -facts had been collected, a certain amount of time invested 114 in research, Ge'rome naturally had to make more than one painting.from them, or he would have gone bankrupt. But, as I have suggested, this p a r t i c u l a r theme was important to him for personal reasons. In his series of Roman spectacles, Gerome uses a "socio-l o g i c a l " s t y l e . As one c r i t i c put i t : "He wished to photo-47 graph Greek and Roman l i f e . " -But this had been the method of his ethnographic paintings as well. I think that we can assume that the Roman spectacles are a cr i t i q u e of c i v i l i z a t i o n , of the barbarity of mankind. Po11i ce Verso was painted three years after the Franco-Prussian war and the formation and brutal supression of the Paris Commune. In.a l e t t e r to a young American who had re-quested that he explain the significance of P o l l i c e Verso, Ge'rome wrote: "...that the turned down thumb meant death to the vanquished and that when the Roman people wished to impart grace to the gladiator who had gone down but had fought v a l i a n t l y , they raised two fingers of the right hand 48 in the air." This is the gesture which the f a l l e n gladiator in the painting implores the vestal virgins to make, as i t was they who made the decision. "But," Ge'rome continued, "this grace was rarely accorded for in those r e l a t i v e l y far off times, man was already almost as ferocious (feroce) as 49 he is today." Certainly,such cynicism was considered an elegant mode of conversation in the Second Empire and beyond, but Ge'rome has not only tossed off a bon mot, he has laboured 115 over a series of paintings which emphasize the b r u t a l i t y of man. We should take him seriously when he suggested in his l e t t e r that he f e l t that things were worse in the nineteenth century, which he called "an epoch of moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l disorder", than they had been in Roman times. In P o l l i c e Verso, the sympathy of the viewer for the protagonists is only tentatively engaged. As spectators our-selves we are in something of the same position as the crowd in the painting, and c e r t a i n l y , i f i t were up to us we would grant clemency--but that moment has passed and the vanquished fighter is making his plea too late. (Note that this is not the case, s t r i c t l y speaking with t h e s c u l p t u r a l group, where we are more l i t e r a l l y in the position of that Roman mob and can perhaps reverse thei r -decision) . And given this situation we can only recoil and in r e c o i l i n g withdraw any feeling we may wish to have had for the young man about to die. This uneasiness is close to the e s p r i t of P o l l i c e Verso--which li k e other Geromes,, is rather macabre--and I believe that i t is the reaction Ge'rome wishes to invoke and by so doing make h i s p o i n t. We cannot r e a l l y work up much feeling for the pro-tagonists when the result of the context is such a foregone conclusion. The winner is not much better off than the loser, given his occupation. He w i l l , no doubt, slay his young adversary, but not out of any v o l i t i o n that he himself may have; this decision is quite l i t e r a l l y in the hands,of others. 116 In fact his victory only r e i f i e s his fate: tomorrow, next week, he w i l l be in the same ghastly circumstance. If there is no rescue from this arena other than death, then the extension of l i f e which victory brings hardly matters. Our victor is a helpless puppet whose only sure prospect is a violent death. In other paintings Gerome amplifies this theme, which is about the meaninglessness of individual action and v o l i t i o n in an arena of action circumscribed by fate in the guise of h i s t o r i c a l necessity. In Ge'rome's Death of Marshal Ney of 186 8, (fig.27) he deliberately refers to his Death of Caesar (fig.28) painted the year before. He thereby begs a comparison between the two events. The b r u t a l i t y : o f the Marshal Ney painting caused a controversy before i t was exhibited at the Salon of 1868. As an Ecole des Beaux-Arts professor there was l i t t l e that could be done to stop him from hanging the painting, but an e f f o r t was made. Gerome reported the event as follows: "The superintendant of the Beaux-Arts (Nieuwerkerke) begged me several times not to exhibit this picture; but I stead-f a s t l y refused to y i e l d , for the sake of the princi p l e i n -volved, declaring to him that painters has as good a right to write their history with their brushes as authors with their pens." Gerome's " p r i n c i p l e " here is almost a paraphrase of Delaroche, from whom Ge'rome probably received this particular 50 form of the idea of the a r t i s t as a hi s t o r i a n . Ge'rome added, Figure -28 118 not a l i t t l e coyly; "Besides, this picture is only a state-ment of a well-known fact, without comment of any k i n d . " 5 1 Of course, Ge'rome's cold and "objective" eye, with i t s detached br u t a l i t y i s , in fact, "comment" enough as i t hardly evokes the heroic mood that Nieuwerkerke might have wished to surround such subject-matter. After a l l , Gerome could have chosen another moment, he could have depicted Ney about to be shot, or like Manet, in his Execution of Maximi H i an, he 5 2 could have shown Ney being shot. Instead, he shows us the once great general lying face down in the mud--Ge'rome' s Ney looks l i k e a sack of potatoes that was j o s t l e d from a cart and forgotton, Ney and Caesar have not only been murdered, they have been abandoned. Albert Boime has written of these paintings: "Unlike the figures in what we take as typical history paintings, these protagonists do not achieve heroic stature but are disclosed in moments of abandonment and i s o l a t i o n , pitted harshly against 5 3 the overwhelming predominance of forces outside them." In Ge'rome's L ' 0 e d i pe ( f i g . 2 9) , shown at the Salon of 1886, he depicts a diminutive Napoleon before the Sphinx at Giza. From the t i t l e one must assume that Napoleon expects some revelation of his destiny from this sandstone creature. In a sketch from this painting (fig.30) Ge'rome had given the general an answer, an Imperial eagle s i t s on the head of the sphinx. But by removing the "answer" or omen, Gerome general-izes the situation and Napoleon becomes everyman wondering Figure 29 Figure 30 121 what i t w i l l a l l come to--and receiving by way of a reply a knowing silence. As Ge'rome's ebullient biographer, Fanny Field Hering put i t : The sphinx rears i t s massive head, and regards with a calmness born of absolute knowledge the vain struggles of a pygmy wor1d...(Napoleon) mutely demands of the oracle the secret of his future. In vain! the steady gaze passes over even his head--on--on--doubtless beholding the snowy steppes of Russia, reddened with blood and the l i g h t of conflagration; the wounded eagle t r a i l i n g his broken wings over the f i e l d of Waterloo; a lonely rock, at the base of which the sea makes incessant moan.. But there is no warning, no s i g n . ^ 4 The world which Ge'rome has made in these paintings is rigorously deterministic; men do not make history in Gerome's paintings, rather they are undone by history. Gerome's manner of painting in these pictures f i t s his theme. His hard, polished surface, his tight l i n e , absent of personality, the detail dwelt upon as promiscuously as i f the canvases attempted to imitate the photograph, and the composition which dwarfs the protagonists in.large, somewhat menacing archi-tectural spaces, a l l serve to bring forward the theme of determinism. This technique, what one might c a l l Gerome's attempt at a "blank" s t y l e , a style "without comment of any kind", has a l l the appearances of p o s i t i v i s t o b j e c t i v i t y . One commonly associates o b j e c t i v i t y with positivism, as the faculty, rather than s u b j e c t i v i t y , which the mind deploys in the a c t i v i t i e s of the natural sciences. Objectivity is associated with realism, in painting as well as l i t e r a t u r e . 122 Gerald Ackerman, who has done a great deal of work on Gerome, has consistently described Ge'rome as an "academic r e a l i s t " or as a " r e a l i s t " , largely because of the photo-54 graphic style of his paintings. But this issue is not a straightforward one. As Merleau-Ponty has pointed out, quite r i g h t l y I think, a photograph.: of a Cezanne motif looks 56 less somehow " r e a l " than the painting of i t does. Obviously a di f f e r e n t meaning of the word "r e a l " is implied here than the one we invoke when we say " r e a l i s t " in reference to a nineteenth century painting. On the l a t t e r occasion we mean not only a particular manner of painting--and we often do_ not mean the c l a r i t y of i l l u s i o n in a highly finished painting--but a special range of subject-matter. Bernard Wienberg has put together the following d e f i n i t i o n of "realism" as the term was used in the c r i t i c a 1 1iterature between 1830 and 1870: Realism is the exact imitation (ca1 que, copy) of nature as i t i s , without choice of subject and . without idea l i z a t i o n or intrusion of the a r t i s t ' s personality, i t emphasises the material rather than the s p i r i t u a l aspedts of nature: in matters of form i t disdains " s t y l e " , "elegance", "con-vention". It is synomous with materiali sme, and pos i t i vi sme and d i r e c t l y opposed to i de'ali sme , reveri e , fan tas i e , poesi e , imagination. 57 ~ This d e f i n i t i o n only applies p a r t i a l l y to Ge'rome. Cer-ta i n l y he strove for o b j e c t i v i t y , and that within a " p o s i t i v -i s t" imagination of the r e a l . However, Ge'rSme was a de-fender of i de'a 1 i sme , reverie , fantasie , poe's ie and the 123 i magi nation., Are we r e a l l y prepared to c a l l the painter of The Poet Touched by His Muse ( f i g . 31) a r e a l i s t . Gerome himself would have renounced the l a b e l , despite his photo-graphic style he had strong opinions on r e a l i s t subject-matter: Today, in the epoch of moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l disorder there seems to be a sovereign contempt for those who seek to elevate themselves, to move the spectator, to have some imagination; for those who are not content to remain fettered to the earth, dabbling in the mud of realism. It is today the fashion to which a l l the world s a c r i f i c e s , because i t is granted to only a few to have a well-balanced mind, and because i t is easier to paint three f r i e d eggs than i t is to execute the c e i l i n g of the Sistine Chapel.58 What Ge'rome seems to have done was to wrestle from general discourse values that espoused o b j e c t i v i t y and determinism--both aspects of the p o s i t i v i s t stance--whi1e retaining many of the values and ideas he received in his youth as a Beaux-Arts student. For according to the d e f i n i t i o n s we use to categorize nineteenth century painting, Ge'rome's personality is decidedly divided between realism and Academic formulae. Gerome worked in d i f f e r e n t genres, and i t was his work in the ethnographic genre which gave him the means and the vision to make his rather special "serious" history paintings. In 1 854 , i t w i l l be remembered, Ge'rome had just completed a grande machine in the Ingreiste mode, he also painted his f i r s t ethnographic work. His painting, Russian Soldiers in a Recreation Camp was painted in a photographic style to give .it a documentary feel ing, thi s was a style of ethnographic painting developed in the previous generation by Vernet, using 124 Figure 31 125 actual photographs. From documenting the orient, Ge'rome began documenting h i s t o r i c a l periods. He used the photographic style to give a feeling of authenticity, a problem, which of course, had occupied Delaroche and Ingres before him. But they had used merely a high focus and c l a r i t y of d e t a i l , a sort of northern Renaissance realism, to accomplish th i s . Gerome did the same, but he also uses compositional techniques that can only have been a result of his experience with photography. The Death of Caesar is a case in p o i n t - - i t looks li k e a stereo-scope. As in Ave Caesar and other paintings, the background recedes with dizzying speed, partly as a result of the sweep-ing curves which tend to wrap around the f i e l d of v i s i o n - -as i f we are seeing a f u l l one hundred and eighty degrees--and pulls the eye into the canvas. Gerome's attitude towards his h i s t o r i c a l subject-matter was conditioned by his temperament, he liked spectacle and he liked the exotic and the strange. But this almost romantic side of Gerome finds i t s e l f expressed through the prosaic values of a provincial bourgeois, who measured ac^ -complishment in terms of labour rather than i n s p i r a t i o n . Ge'rome's emphasis on hard work approaches the compulsive: I am at work every morning and only leave my studio when the day had f l e d ; and this since my youth. You see I have been hammering on the anvil for a long time. It is one of the examples I try to set to my pupiils, that of being an ardent and indefatigable worker every day and under a l l circumstances.59 Like Renan or Taine, Gerome approached his subjects very methodically. He never acknowledges Taine, but their worki methods and aims were similar. Taine's attitude was: Give up the theory of constitutions and their mechanism, of religions and their system and try to see men in. their workshops, in their o f f i c e s , in their f i e l d s , with their sky, their dress, t i l l a g e , meals, as you do when, landing in England or I t a l y , you remark faces • or gestures, roads and inns, a c i t i z e n taking his walk or a workman drinking. 60 Ge'rome' s approach to history was much the same: I have studied much and in many countries, and have consequently learned a great many things which I try to put into practise, always seek-inf to remain natural and true, forcing myself to depict the character of the epoch which I represent on the canvas.61 In other words, Ge'rome f e l t himself to be a historian in the Tainian sense, that is he focussed on milieu, race and era, rather than on individuals and their heroisms. If we take Pol l i c e Verso as an example, we can see that this painting has a great deal of information in i t , other than the unfolding drama i t s e l f . Renan had declared of this ancient Rome: "The circus had become the centre of l i f e ; the rest of the world seemed made only for ministering to 6 2 the pleasures of Rome." And the Colosseum and Circus paintings endeavour to show us Roman.-civi1ization. Gerome has shown us an entire society, the imperial powers in the box, the vestal virgins next to them, the senators and patricians behind and beyond them the mob of Rome. In his Versailles paintings Ge'rome has much the same method. The Reception of the Due de Conde (fig.32) was made 127 according to one account to celebrate the staircase. Gerome had f e l t that this had been improperly rendered or "restored" in the work of a. friend. So this painting , despite i t s interest as an anecdote, is largely a scholarly rebuttal. Gerome is saying--as much as anything e l s e — ' t h i s is what the staircase actually looked l i k e ' . Ge'rome probably f e l t , as Taine would have, that the architecture was immensely important to the action. It was Taine who declared that there were structural s i m i l a r i t i e s between a l l manifesta-tions of a particular culture. And Ge'rome must have thought that we could not f u l l y understand the story here — which is r e a l l y only a gracious comment by the king-- unless we knew what that staircase looked l i k e . That Ge'rome f e l t this way is brought out even more in his famous L'Eminence grise (fig.33). In this painting the syncopated gestures of the stream of c o u r t i e r s - - i n which elaborate courtesy turns to intrigue as we mount the s t a i r s — a r e themselves an image of the essence of a parti cul ar. c ul ture ; just as the frenzy of the Roman pictures was an image of the essence of that culture. The ethnographic paintings, with their emphasis on "type" are also examples of Ge'rome's t y p i c a l l y nineteenth century ( i . e . p o s t i v i s t ) penchant for extracting the general from the p a r t i c u l a r . Or to put i t more accurately, this tendancy to present an array of particulars and present the sum of those particulars as the general. For Ge'rome and his 128 Figure 3 3 129 colleagues in philosophy and history.the whole was the sum of i t s parts. As a c r i t i c noted of Gerome1s paintings: "He [Gerome] is the f i r s t French painter who has been scrupulous 64 to give a l l the p a r t i c u l a r s . " A p a r a l l e l approach is found in Taine, whose method was ultimately the arrangement of cultural facts into a structure. Gerome's determinism, his vision of alientation and i s o l a t i o n which comes out not only in the history paintings but in a l i f e l o n g series of lion paintings (which Albert Boime has discussed in his, "Jean-Leon Ge'rome, Henri Rous-6 5 seau's Sleeping Gypsy and the Academic Legacy.: ), is very much a result of his sociological/photographic docu-mentary approach to his subjects. Or perhaps i t is the other way around, at any rate determinism, often of a bleak variety, and "the methods of the natural s c i e n t i s t " go hand in hand. This is because the aim of the social s c i e n t i s t — a role Gerome assumes for himself, both of the orient and of the p a s t — i s to discover, as Comte would have i t , "leurs re-lations invariable de succession et de similitude." But Gerome was not a s c i e n t i s t in this way, he was an a r t i s t . He presents essays on invariable laws; microc.osims where the game is fixed. His gladiators, his Caesar, Napoleon and his Ney are struck down by the juggernaut of the determinable laws of history. Ney and Caesar are not presented as men who shaped history, but men who were executed when they tr i e d to trespass beyond the l i m i t s of the h i s t o r i c a l l y poss i.bl e--th i s is Ge'rome's vision of tragedy. Both Taine's and. Gerome's view of alienated man have a common root, or can be explained by the same social phenomena. Positivism, after a l l , was a reaction to the development of capitalism, and society is perceived as an object of study at this h i s t o r i c a l moment because at this time, and for the f i r s t time, i f we are to believe Polanyi and Marx, society as a whole became subject to one set of laws--the laws of the self-regulating market economy. 131 Notes - Chapter IV 'As cited by Hering, 189, op.cit. p.493. 2 R. F l i n t , A n t i - T h e i s t i c Theories, Edinburgh, 1917,p.505. Quoted in D.G. Charlton, P o s i t i v i s t Thought in France During the Second Empire 1852-1870, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1959, p.5 The approach I have in mind is the one employed by D.G. Charlton, see note above. Auguste Comte, Cours de philosophie positive , i , 1 864, pp.9-10. Quoted in Charlton, o_p_.cJ_t. , p.6. 5 Lesek Kolakowski , The Alienation of Reason: A History of P o s i t i v i s t Thought, (trans. Norbert Guterman) New York, 1968, p.6. "Claude Bernard quoted by Henri Bergson in The" Creative Mind, Greenwood Press, New York, 1988, p.243' 7This paragraph was paraphrased from Ko1 akowski , op.cit. pp.7-8. Kolakowski writes: "...we are not to assume that any value assertion.(Kolakowski's examples are that i t is "good" to cure the sick and that i t is "bad" to abuse children) that we recognize as true "in i t s e l f " , rather than in re-lation to something else, can be j u s t i f i e d by experience."--Idem. u0_p_. c_i_t. , p. 210. 9 ...Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The P o l i t i c a l and Economic Origins of our Time, Foreward by Robert M.MacIver. "Beacon Press, Boston, 1957, p.84. 1 0Georg Luka'cs, History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist D i a l e c t i c s , (trans Rodney Livingstone) Merlin Press, London, 1968, p.92. 1 1 Ibid, p.19. Charlton, op.cit. , p.'2<L_ 132 ] 3 Quoted by Linda Nochlin in Realism, Penguin Books, 1971 , p.45. 1 4 K a r l Polayni, Ibid, p.84. 15 George Boas, French Philosophies of the Romantic Period, John Hopkins Press: Baltimore, 1925, p.254. Ibid. p.270f. Boas is summarizing^the contents of Saint-Simon's Lettres d'un Habitant de Geneve, 1803. 1 7Luka'cs, op.cit. , p.193. 1 8 "Ce n'est pas aux lecteurs de cet ouvrage que je c r o i r a i jamais devoir prouver que les ide'es gouvernent et bouleve.rsent le monde, ou, en d'autres termes, que tout le mecanisme social repose final.ement sur des opinions, l i s savent sur.tout que la grande crise politique et morale des societes.; actuelles t i e n t , en derniere analyse, ai I'anarchi'e i n te 11 ect uel 1 e. " As cited in Charlton, op.cit. , p.38. "Here (on the question of the Law of Three Stages) Littre' and his collaborators could reproduce the master's voice f a i t h f u l l y , so much so that Littre' praised Comte's work as the f i r s t philosophical appreciation of history and claimed that i t was in this f i e l d . . . t h a t he had been an accomplished s p e c i a l i s t , apart from his synthesizing achieve-ments in philosophy." W.M. Simon in European Positivism in the Nineteenth Century, Cornell University Press: Ithaca, New York, 1963. p.30. From L i t t r e ' s inaugural and only lecture from the chair of History at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1871. Quoted in W.M. Simon, European Positivism in the Nineteenth Century: An Essay in Intellectual history, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1963, p.30. 21 ' In November of 1863 the Ecole des Beaux-Arts was completely overhauled under the then Superintendant of Beaux-Arts, Count Nieuwerkerke. Albert Boime has an forth-coming a r t i c l e on these reforms (for Art Quarterly). They are also described by Ernest Vinet in a "Letter from Paris, "Fine Arts Quarterly, Vol. 1, n.s., October, 1866, pp.432-446. Among the more important reforms was the i n s t a l l a t i o n of three master studios within the ecole i t s e l f for painting i n -struction, previous to 1863 only drawing instruction had taken place on the e'col e premises. 1 33 22 From the Preface to Volume I of The Ancient Regime (trans. John Durand) H. Holt & Co., New York, 1876. Re-printed in The Origins of Contemporary France, ed. Edward T. Gargan, University of Chicago, 1974, p.6. 2 3 Ibid, p.4. 24 Hippolyte Taine, Essais de critique et d'histoire, "Preface de la premiere e'dition," 12th ed.,,Paris, 1913, ;> p . i i i . Quoted in Edward Gargan, "Introduction" in The Origins of Contemporary France, op.cit. p.xxvii. 25 See Linda Nochlin, op.cit. p.45. 2 6 Leo Spitzer, "Race", in Essays in H i s t o r i c a l Semanti cs, .New York, 1948, p.155, as quoted in Gargan, op.cit. p.xxvi i i . 2 7 Alfred Cobban, "Historians and the Causes of the French Revolution," in Aspects of the French Revolution New York, 1 968, p.43-44, as quoted in Gargan, o p .: c i t. , p . x i i . 2 8 Gargan, op.cit. , p. x l . 29 Hippolyte Taine, Life and Letters, (trans. R.L. Devonshire), 3 vols., New York, 1902-08 I: p.137, as quoted in Gargan, op.cit. , p.xx. 30 I. Babbit, The Masters.of French C r i t i c i s m , Boston, 1912, p.271, as quoted Tn Char! ton , op.cit, p . 86 . 31 As quoted by Emile Faguet, P o l i t i c i a n s and Moralists of The Nineteenth. Century, Books for Libraries Press re-print: Freeport, New York, 1 970 , p.276. 32 As quoted in Linda Nochlin, op.cit. , p.23. 33 In Social isme natural isme and positivisme 4th ed. Pari s., n . d. ; f i r s t pub. 1882 , p.313, as quoted in Simon, op.cit. , p.90. 34 In "Auguste Comte: Etude c r i t i q u e et psychologique ," in Revue phi1osophique , XL, 1 895 , pp.397-398, as quoted in Simon, Ibid. 1 34 35 Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage, 2nd ed. Garden City, New York, 1958, p.49. 36 From a speech made^in 1 873 honoring L i t t r e on the completion of his Dictionnaire de la langue franchise, as quoted in W.M. Simon, opfci t. , p 37( 155 Gargan, op.cit. , p.xxxv. Gargan is summarizing Taine's a r t i c l e , "Fondation de l'e'cole l i b r e des sciences politiques," this .origina11y appeared in the Journal des debats and was reprinted in Derniers essais de critique et d'histoire , Paris, 192 3. 3 o Marcel Bloch, Strange Defeat, trans. Gerard Hopkins, New York, 1 968, p.159, as quoted in Gargan, op.cit. , p.xxxvi 39 This incident is recounted in Wardman, op.cit. , p.209 40 J u l l i e t t e Adam, My Literary L i f e , p.365, as quoted in S i mon , op.cit. , p.163. 4 1 " H i s [Bernard's] adventures were almost inevitably led to feel that science and knowledge were synonymous; Zola's Le Roman experimental is only the most notorious i l l u s t r a t i o n of the scientist's profound plh.i 1 osophical impact." Charlton, op.cit. pA.73. 42 Wardman, op.cit., p.210 reports this Renan's introduction, although written, was not published with Flaubert's book. 4 3 A Moreau-Vathier, Charles. Gerome, peintre et sculpteur, 1'homme et l ' a r t i s t e , D'apres sa correspondance, ses notes, les souvenirs de ses eleves et de ses amis. Paris, 1906, Libraire Hachette et Cie., p.65. 44 Hering, 1892,i op.ci t 45, 88. 'Albert Bo i me . wri tes : "Ge'rome sought out the banker's set of gladiator armour to ensure that his painting Pol 1i ce Verso would possess archaeological v e r i s i m i l i t u d e . " in "(Entrepreneurial Patronage, in Nineteenth Century France," op.cit., p . 149. 1 35 46 The student in question was J. Alden Wier, who later took up the cuase of Impressionism in America; from Dorothy Wier Young (ed. & i n t r o ) , The Life and Letters of J. Alden Wier, New Haven, 1960, p.47~ : 4 7Fre'de'ri c Masson ine'dites," in Les Arts 48 49 Benson , op.cit Masson, op.cit ed. " J . L . Ge'rome Feb. 1904, p.26. p.682. p.26. Notes et Fragments 50, 'Delaroche: "L'historien ne s e u t - i l pas tous les jours de sa plume pour retracer les e'voiements de la v i e l l e ? Pourquoi done defendre au petntre de s e s e r v i r des memes materiaux. pour ens,eigner la ve'rite' dans toute sa dignite' et sa veritable poesie?" from a l e t t e r quoted in an unsigned a r t i c l e , '"Delaroche" in The Fine Arts Quarterly, Vol.2, May, 1864, p.293. "'Hering, 1 889 , op_. cr t . , p.490. 52 * /\ In his catalogue entry for the Ge'rome exhibition, o p-c i t. p.65, Ackerman seems to see Marshal Ney as part of an ongoing dialogue with Manet and a response to th.e Tatter's Execution of Maximillian in p a r t i c u l a r . Ackerman thinks that Ge'rome Ts trying to be more of a " r e a l i s t " than Manet. "Manet either did not know or chose to ignore the r e a l i s t dictum--that i t was better to show the moment before or after the deed than the deed i tse 1 f - - wh i ch Ge'rome now follows." This so-called " r e a l i s t " dictum is in fact no such thing. It is a Davidian theory which comes from Diderot or Lessing (needless to say, i t is also a cannon of A t t i c tragedy). "Painting...can use but a single moment of an action, and must therefore choose the most pregnant one, the one most suggestive of what has gone before and what i s to follow." (from Lessing's Laocoon. (trans. Ellen Frothingham, New York 1963, p.92). In an a r t i c l e which appeared in the Gazette des beaux-arts vol. 70, 1967, pp.163-176, "Ge>6me and Manet", Ackerman carries this on his version of a dialogue between Manet and Gerome. 5 3 Boime, 1971, "GerSme & Rousseau", op.cit. p.4 54 Hering, 1 889 , op_. cj_t. , p.485f. 1 36 0 0 A In his introduction to the Ge'rome catalogue, op.cit. , Ackerman makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between the objective r e a l i s t ( i . e . Gerome) and the subjective r e a l i s t ( i . e . Impressionism). He writes: "It is a curious and poorly based prejudice of 20th century c r i t i c s to bestow the t i t l e of "realism" only upon pictures concerned with that which the a r t i s t could see in his "everyday l i f e " , (p.12) This "prejudice" is based upon the c r i t i c a l writing of the nineteenth century, which as Wienberg has pointed out used the word " r e a l i s t " in regard to a certain type of subject-matter. Or perhaps this "poorly based "prejudice" arises from Gerome himself, who would have certainly never referred to himself as a " r e a l i s t " . Maurice Merleau-ponty, "Cezanne's Doubt," in Sense and Nonsense, Transl ated" by Hubert L. Dreyfus and P a t r i c i a Allen Dreyfus. Northwestern University Press, 1974, p.l3f.: Ce'zanne wanted to paint this primordial world, and his pictur'es therefore seem to show nature pure, while photo-graphs of the same landscapes suggest man's works, con-veniences, and imment presence." 5 7 Bernard Weinberg, French Rea1ism: The C r i t i c a l Reacti on, 1 830-1 870 , Modern Language Association of America: New York, 1937, p.102. °Hering, 1 889, o_p_.cvt. p.493. 5 9 I bid, p.494. 6 0 As quoted in Nochlin, op.cit. , p.23. 6 1 H e r i n g , 1 889 , op_. c i t . , p.494. Ernest Renan, Anti Chri st, trans. William G. Hutchison London, 1889, p.65. Ge'rSme wrote an account of the action for W.H. Vander-b i l t , for whom he had painted i t : "In the year 1674, Conde' had returned to Court, where he was received in triumph. The king came forward to meet him on the grand staircase, which was not his usual habit.. The Prince was going up slowly, on account of the gout, which made him almost help-less. As soon as he saw the Monarch, 'Sire, 1 said he, 'I beg your majesty's pardon, to make you wait so long.' 'My cousin,' answered the King, 'do not hurry. When one is loaded with laurels as you are, i t is d i f f i c u l t to walk quickly.'" As cited in The Dayton Art Institute, op.cit.,p.74. 137 64 Benson, op.cit. , p.682. 6 5 I n Art Quarterly, Vol. 34, 1971, pp.3-30. 1 38 CHAPTER V CONCLUSION In Chapters Two and Three I argued, following Walter Benjamin, that the a c t i v i t y of c o l l e c t i n g objects from the distant in time and the distant in space was an operation of rescue: that the co l l e c t o r who arranged his inte'rieur with exotic bric-a-brac wished to confer a fancier's value on his objects and rescue them from the burden of being commodities. I also argued that Gerome's ne'o-grec and ethnographic paintings duplicate his a c t i v i t y as a c o l l e c t o r . Much the same thing could be said about his history paint-ings, especially those which depict ancient Rome or V e r s a i l l e s In these paintings the architecture often predominates; i t is hard to t e l l whether i t serves to accentuate the figures and their actions or i f , indeed, the figures serve to ac-centuate the architectural space. Like the ne'o-grec and ethnographic paintings, the history paintings are extensions of Gerome's own inte'rieur, the paintings serve as imaginary locales for his c o l l e c t i o n of objets d'art. Ge'rome placed his c o l l e c t i o n in r e a l i s t i - ; . ca l l y recreated scenes which were distant both in time and space form his own Paris studio. Their photographic veracity functioned to give these objects a r e a l i t y which was previous to and far from the " r e a l i t y " of objects as commodities. This "secret" function of Gerome's rpa'intings explains their ' r e a l i s t i c style which so ea s i l y accommodates i t s e l f 1 39 to the celebration of things. Their narrative content often expresses what Gerome must have f e l t was a fact of the human condition, a condition of alienation and helplessness. But we must beware of thus thinking of Ge'r6me as "deep". Many of the themes I have discussed in regard to his work had themselves to be rescued from beneath the surface of his canvases where traditions of painting, social conditions like the Salon and the advent of mechanical reproduction, c a p i t a l -ism and the interieur became the circumstances of Gerome's art. Gerome may have thought of his paintings in quite dif f e r e n t terms than the ones I have used. For example, Poll ice Verso, considered in the context of Gerome's public polemics about "modern" art, might be considered as a s e l f - p o r t r a i t of sorts. Note that the victorious gladiator is middle-aged and somewhat flabby, perhaps only a few years younger than Gerome's own f i f t y years, his age when he painted, the painting in 1874. Is a message being implied? Are we to think that the older man has won because of his t r a i n -ing and years of experience against the raw but naive brute strength of the younger man? If we are--and paintings l i k e this were meant to be read this closely--then we may have an image of Ge'rome, the experienced Academician vanquishing his foes, the r e a l i s t s and the impressionists. More to the point, however, is the conception behind Gerome's oriental types whom he admired greatly and to whom his friends often compared him. He admired men who could 140 face the misfortunes which fate had dealt them with an implacable calm and dig n i f i e d reserve. This, as Galichon pointed out, was the point of a painting l i k e The Prisoner. Despite his "revisionism", Ge>ome considered himself to be an Academic painter and a guardian of certain c l a s s i c a l , canons:, of painting. If this thesis accomplishes anything outside of an interpretation of Gerome then i t is meant to be part of an examination of what happened to French Academic art after Ingres. Gerome did not merely bastardize or con-tinue a tr a d i t i o n whose raison d'etre was no more. Rather,' on several occasions he tried to bring that t r a d i t i o n up.to date, although as we' have seen, he w,as;hardly alone or original, in these endeavours. In the neo grec works, follow-ing the example of Gleyre, Ge'rome presented the c l a s s i c a l world in a less arch way than David or Ingres. In the ethno-graphic paintings he t r i e d to bring some of the standards of academic art to the practise of genre painting. Vernet and Delaroche had shown him the way in this t e r r i t o r y . In the serious history works he-tries to make r e a l i s t i c history painting based on the image of photography. And here he is f a i r l y unique or more successful than most. His f i n a l attempt to inject l i f e into the academic way of doing-things; was' his revival of the practise of t i n t i n g marble and of making chryselephatine sculpture. And here again the transparency of his " r e a l " task was obvious and Ge'rome's acti v i t y . a s a c o l l e c t o r affects the re s u l t . Speilmann 141 astutely caught the real nature of a statue like Bel 1ona (fig.34) when he wrote: The figure, standing on tip-toe, screaming woe and warning, shouting "To Battle!" with flesh tinted ivory, eyes of emeralds, draperies, weapons, and cobra of many metals, make greater e f f e c t than would be believed from reproduction, for i t looked more like l i f e . But the subject missed the target, for this screaming Hecate suggests not so much "War" as "Madness"-- and suggests not so much sculpture as sublimated bric-a-brac. 1 In other words, no matter what Ge'rome did, he remained locked into his time and station in l i f e and his art was symptomatic-, of the p o l i t i c a l economy of his era in a way that, perhaps, a greater a r t i s t would have managed to either transcend or face head on. Of course, i t is Ge'rome's status as a minor figure that makes him interesting in the f i r s t place. The minor figure w i l l always y i e l d to the historian the wide picture, the context from which sprang the great figures. A study of someone lik e Gerome i l l u m i -nates the problems which his contemporaries had to deal with and adds to our appreciation of those who solved these problems in a more striking'and successful way. When one knows that Ge'rome' s paintings were often considered scanda-lous, one recognizes a l l the more the courage and boldness of a public gesture li k e Manet's Dejeuner. A study of Ge'r6"me also opens up for investigation the social and in-t e l l e c t u a l context of mid-nineteenth century French painting, as the American c r i t i c / p a i n t e r Eugene Benson expressed i t : 142 Fi gure 34 ...today, which is given to study, to t r a v e l , which is accurate, mechanical, unimpassioned, which cares nothing for m i l i t a r y glory, which dreads revolution, which wishes to know, which exalts knowledge and longs for sensation, but is not poetic or heroic, is represented by Ge'rome. Ge'rQme , today, in France, the popular painter of France, is closest to the moral s p i r i t , and best shows the i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a i t s o f h i s t i me . 2 144 Notes - Chapter V ^Speilmann, op.cit. , p.204, 2 Benson, op.cit. , p.682 145 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY I. BOOKS Amaury-Duval. L'Atelier D'Ingres. Biblioteque Dionysienne, Les Editions G. Cres & Cie.: Paris 1924 ( F i r s t published in 1878.). Athenaeus. The Deipnosophists. With an English translation by Charles Burton Gulick. London, William Heinemann Ltd., 1937. Baudelaire, Charles. The Mirror of Art: C r i t i c a l Studies by Charles Baudelaire. Translated and edited by Jonathan Mayne. New York: Phaidon Publishers Inc. , 1 955. Blanc, Charles. Le Tresor de La Curiosite t i r e des des catalogues de vente de Tableaux, dessins, estampes, etc. Paris, 1857. B e l l , Mrs. Arthur (Nancy D'Anvers). Representative Painters of the XlXth Century. London: Sampson Low, Marston and Company Limited, 1899. Benjamin, Walter. II1uminations Edited with an i n -troduction by Hannah Arendt. Translated by Harry Zohn. Conains "on Some Motifs in Baudelaire" & "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Re-production." New York: Schocken Books, 1969. Benjamin, Walter. Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism. Translated by Harry Zohn. London : NLB (New Left Books?) , 1973. Boas, George. French- Phi1osophies of the Romantic Period. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1925. Boime, Albert. The Academy and French Painting.in the Nineteenth Century. London: Phaidon Press Ltd., 1971. Braive, Michel F. The Photograph: A Social History Translated by David B r i t t . New York: McGraw-H i l l Book Company, 1966. Burchell, S.C. Imperial Masquerade: The Paris of Napoleon III. New York: Atheneum, 1971. 146 Bury , J . P . T. Gambetta and the Making of the Third Republi c. London: Longman Group Limited, 1 973. Celebonovic Aleksa. The Heyday of Salon Painting: Masterpieces of Bourgeois Realism. London, 1974. Charlton, D.G. P o s i t i v i s t Thought in France During the Second Empire: 1852-1870. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1959. Clare t i e , Jules. Peintres & Sculpteurs contemporains. 2e. serie: Artistes vivants en Janvier 1881. Paris: L i b r a i r i e des B i b l i o p h i l e s , 1884. Clark, Kenneth. The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form. Bollingen Series XXXV.2. New York: Pantheon Books Inc. , 1956. Cobban, Alfred. A.History-of Modern France, vol.2; From the F i r s t Empire to the Second Empire, vol.3; France of the Republics, 1 871 -1 962. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd., 1965. Courthion, Pierre, Roman t i c i sm (trans. Stuart G i l b e r t ) , Editors d'Art Albert Skira, 1961. Crespelle, J.-P. Les ma'i^tres de la belle epoque. Paris: L i b r a i r i e Hachette, 1966. Flaubert, Gustave. Salammbo. Translated by J.S.Chartes with an introduction by Frederick C. Green. Appendix includes Saint-Beuve 1s review of the book and Flaubert's reply. Everyman's Library edited by Ernest Rhys. New York: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1931. Fox, Shirley, An Art Student's Reminisences of Paris in the Eighties. London: Mil l s & Boon, Limited, 1909. Friedlaender, Walter. David to Delacroix (trans. Robert Poldwater) New York: Schocken Books, 1968. Gammel, R.H. Ives. Twilight of Painting: An Analysis of Recent Trends to Serve in a Period of Reconstruction. New York: G.P. Putman's 1946. Gautier, Theophile. Les Beaux-Arts en Europe. Paris: Michel Levy Freres, 1855. n Gernsheim, Helmut. The History of Photography: From T:h'-e E a r l i e s t Use of the Camera Obscura in the Eleventh Century up to 1914. London: Oxford University Press, 1955. 147 Gon'court,. Edmond . Paris under Seige, 1 870-1871: From the Goncourt "Journal". Edited and translated by George J. Becker with an introduction by Paul H. Beik. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1969. Goncourt, Jules and Edmond. Paris and the Arts, 1851-1896: From the Goncourt "Journal". Edited and translated by George J. Becker and Edith P h i l l i p s , with an "Afterword on Japanese Art and Influence," by Hedley H. Rhys, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1971. Halevy, Daniel. My Friend Degas. Translated and <.! edited by Mina Curtiss. Middletown, Connecticut: Wes1eyan.University Press, 1958. Hauser, Arnold. The Social History of Art. (2 volumes) London.:! Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited, 1951. Hering, Fanny F i e l d . Gerome: His Life and Works. Preface byJ.-L. Ge>8me. New York: Cassel Publishers, 1892. Hobsbawn, E.J. The Age of Revo!ution: Europe 1789-1848, Wei denfeld: and Nicol son: * London, 19 62. Hobsbawn, E.J. The Age of Capital 1848-1875. Wei denf el d ; and :Ni col son :' • London , 19 74. Holt, Edgar. _Plon-Pl on: The Life of Prince Napoleon. [1822-1 89TJ: Michael Joseph: London, 19/3. Houssaye, Arsene, Les Confessions: Souve nirs d'un demi s i e c l e ; 1 830-1 880, Vols. 4 & 5, Li bra ire de la societe des gens de l e t t r e s ; Paris, 1891. Kelder, Diane. Aspects of " O f f i c i a l " Painting and . Philosophic Art 1789-1799. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. , 1 976. Lenoir, Paul. Le Fayoum, le S i n a i , et Petra. Paris,1 872. Luka'cs, Georg. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in M a r x i s t D i a l e c t i c s . Trans, by Rodney Livingstone. London: Merlin Press, 1971. Marx, Karl. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. New York: International Publishers, 1 963. 148 Marx, Karl. A Contribution to the Critique of P o l i t i c a l Economy. Moscow: Progress. Publishers , 1970. Moreau-Vauthier, Charles. Gerome: peintre. et sculpteur, 1'homme et l ' a r t i s t e , (D'aprgs sa correspondance , ses notes, les souvenirs de ses e1e~ves et.de ses amis). Paris: L i b r a i r i e Hachette et Cie., 1906. Nochlin, Linda. Realism an Tradition in Art 1848-1900. Sources & Documents in the History of Art Series edited by H.W. Janson. Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1966. Nochlin, Linda. Reali sm. Style and C i v i l i z a t i o n , . edited by John Fleming and Hugh Honour. Harmonds-worth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd., 1971 . Pliny. The Elder PIiny's Chapters on the History of Art. Translated by K. Jex-Blake, introduction and commentary.by E. S e l l e r s . Chicago: Argonaut Inc., 1968 (reprint of 1896 e d i t i o n ) . Polanyi, Karl. The Great Transformation: The P o l i t i c a l and Economic Origins of our Time. Foreward by Robert M. Maclver. Boston: Beacon Press, 1957. Ponsard, Francoi s , Oe-.uv-res completes vol .1 , (with an introduction by Daniel Stern), Michel Le'vy Fr'eres • Paris, 1965. Power, Thomas •"jr.) Jules Ferry and the Renaissance of French Imperialism. New York:Octagon Books, 1966 (c.19-44). R a i 11, A.W. Life and Letters in France: The Nineteenth Century. 2nd ed. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Limited, 1970. Reitlinger, Gerald. The Economics of Taste, vol. 1 ' "The Rise and Fall of Picture Prices 1760-1960. Barrie and R o c k l i f f : London 1961. Richardson, Joanna. La Vie Parisienne: 1852-1870. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1971. Rocheblave, S. L'Art et Le Gout en France: de 1600 a 1900. 1930 ed. Paris: L i b r a i r i e Armand Colon, 1930. Scharf, Aaron. Art and Photography. London: The Pengui n Press , 1968. 149 Scharf, Aaron. Pioneers of Photography. New York: Harry Abrams, Inc., 1976. Simon, W.M. European Positivism in the Nineteenth Century: An Essay in Intellectual History. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1963. Sloane, Joseph C. French Painting Between the Past and the Present: A r t i s t s , C r i t i c s , and Traditions, from 1848 to 1870. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1951. Stranahan, Celia Cornelia. A H i story of French Painting from i t s E a r l i e s t to i t s Latest Practise Including an Account of the French Academy of Painting, i t s Salons , Schools of Instruction and Regulations. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1902 (c. 1888). Sweezy, Paul M. The Theory of C a p i t a l i s t Development: Principles of Marxian P o l i t i c a l Economy. New York: Modern Reader Paperbacks, 1968 (c. 1942). Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe. The Origins of; Contemporary France: The Ancient Regime, The Revolution, The Modern Regime: Selected Chapters. Translated by " John Durand. Edited and with an Introduction by Edward T. Gargan. Chicago: The University of Ch i cago Press , 19 74. Wagar, W. Warren. Good Tidings: The Belief in Progress from Darwin to Marcuse. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 19 72. Wardman, H.W. Ernest Renan: A C r i t i c a l Biography. University of London: The Athlone Press, 1964. Weinberg, Bernard. French Realism: The C r i t i c a l Reaction: 1830-1870. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1937. II. ARTICLES "The Gifts of Science to Art." in The Dublin University Magazine. 36 (July 1850):1-20 "Bearings of Modern Science on Art." in the Westminster Review. 96 (July 1871):389-405. "Gerome's Cleopatra and Caesar." in The Art Journal. 16 n.s. (1877):12f. 1 5 Q "Our Living A r t i s t s : Jean Leon Ge'rome." in The Magazine of Art. 3 (1880):453-58. "A Powerful Monk--Son Eminence Grise." in Art Journal. 38 n . s . (1.899) : 200f. "Jean-Leon Ge'rome." (Obi tuary) in The Athenaeum (Jan.' 1904) : 89 Ackerman, Gerald M. "Gerome, The Academic Realist." Art News Annual. 33 . ( 1 967):1 01 -1 07. Ackerman, Gerald M. "Ge'rome and Manet." Gazette des Beaux-Arts. 70 ( 1 96 7) : 1 6 3--76 . Ackerman, Gerald M. "Thomas Eakins and His Parisian Masters Gerome and Bonnat." Gazette des Beaux- Arts. 72 ( 1969 ) : 23.5-256 . Ackerman, Gerald M. "Gerome's A'Chat by the Fireside!" University of Kansas: The Register of the Museum of Art. 4 (March 1971):20-31. Atkinson, J. Beavington. "Exhibitions of the Year." s in Fine Arts Quarterly. 1 n.s. (October 1866): 343- 374. Benson, Eugene. "Jean Leon Ge'rome ." Gal axy. 1 (1 866):681 -87 (actually 581 -87 but pages are mi sn umbe red) . Bl a s h f i e l d , E.H. et a l . "Open Letters: American A r t i s t s on Gerome." The Century Magazine. 37 (1886): 634-36. Boime, Albert. "The Second Republic's Contest for the Figure of the Republic." Art B u l l e t i n . 53 (1971): 68-83. : > Boime, Al bert. ""Jean-Leon Ge'rome ;".... Henri Rousseau's Sleeping Gypsy and the Academic Legacy." in Art Quarterly. 34 ( 1 971 ) : 3-30. Boime, Albert. "Thomas Nast and French Art." in The American.Art Journal. 4 (1972):43-65. Boime, Albert. "Entrepreneurial Patronage in Nine-teenth Century France." in Enterprise and Entepreneurs in Nineteenth Century France. Edited with an introduction by Edward Carter II, et a l . B a l t i m o r e : Johns Hopkins University Press , (1 9 76 ) : 1 37-207. 151 Galichon, Emile. "M. Ge'rome, peintre ethnograph i que ." Gazette des Beaux-Arts. 1 (1868):147-151. Guillemin, Victor. "E'tude sur le peintre et sculpteur-, J.L. Gerome." Acade'mie des Sciences, Belles- Lettres & Arts de-Besancon; Proces-Verbaux & Memo ir e s . (1 90.4) : I 34-1 88. Haskell, Francis. "The Sad (flown: Some Notes on a 19th Century Myth." in French 19th Century Painting and Li terature edited by Ulrich Finke. New York.: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1972. Hering, Fanny Fie l d . "Ge'rome." The Century Magazine. 37 (February 1889):483-499. Isaacson, Robert. "Jean Leon Gerome." Art and A r t i s t s , Vol.2,No.5. (August.1973):34-38. Lasterrie, Ferdinand de. "Review of the Salon of 1864." in Fine Arts Quarterly. 38 (January 1865): 225-242. Lavoix, Henri. "La.col 1ection Albert Goupil."; II L'Art Oriental." in Gazette des Beaux-Arts. 32 2e periode (1886):287-307. Mantz, Paul. "Salon.de 1860." in Gazette des Beaux-Arts. (15 June,1860):349ff. Masson, Fre'de'ric, "J.-L Gerome: peintre -de l ' o r i e n t . " Figaro Mustre. Vol.12 (July, 1901):2-24. Masson, Frederic, ed. "Notes et Fragments de J.-L. Ge'rome." Les Arts. (February, 1904) : 22-32 . Meyer, Ruth K. "Jean Leon Gerome: The Role of Subject-Matter and the Importance of Formalized composition." Arts Magazine. (February, 1973): 31-34. Planqhe, Gustave. "Le Salon de 1847.' La Peinture." Revue des Deux Mondes. 18 (Apri1 1847):347-366. Rosenblum, Robert. "Ingres, Inc." in Arts News Annual XXXI 1 1 ( 1 967)167-75. Sloane, Joseph C. "The Tradition of Figure Painting and Concepts of Modern Art in France from 1845 to 1870." The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Cri t i c i s m . 7(September 1 948) :1 .-29. 152 Spencer, Eleanor P. "The Academic Point of View in the Second Empire." in Courbet and the Naturalist Movement. Edited by George Boas. Baltimore:- The Johns Hopkins Press, 1938. Spielmann, M.H. "Jean-Leon Ge'rome, 1 824-1 904: Recollections." The Magazine of Art. Vol.2 (1904):200-208. Timbal, Charles. "Gerome: Etude biographique" Gazette des Beaux-Arts. 2e. period, 14 (1876):218ff & 344ff. Titherington, R.H. "Jean Leon Ge>6me." Munsey' s Magazine . 3.5- ( 1 906) : 279-287. Vinet, Ernest. "Letter From Paris, 29 August, 1866." Describes the reform of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Fine Arts Quarterly, 1 n.s., (October, 1866):432-446. III. EXHIBITION CATALOGUES The Art Institute, Dayton Ohio. Jean-Leon Ge'rSme (1824-1904) Organized by Bruce Evans. Introduction and Commentaries by Gerald M. Ackerman. Essay by Richard Ettinghausen. November 10-March 11, 1972. University Art Gallery, State University of New York at Binghamton. S t r i c t l y Academic: Li f e Drawing in the Nineteenth Century, with an Introductory Essay by Albert Boime, "Curriculum Vitae: The Course of Life in the Nineteenth Century." March 30-April 24, 1974. Galerie Tanagra. Jean-Leon Ge'rome: 1824-1904: Sculpteur et Peintre de "L'Art O f f i c i e l " . Introduction by Gerald Ackerman. Paris: 25 A v r i l -15 Mai, 1974. Kuntsmuseum, Winterthur. Charles Gleyre ou les i l l u s i o n s perdues. Contains a great deal of material among which: "Biographie ," by Rudolf Koella; "The Instruction of Charles Gleyre and the Evolution of Painting in the ^Nineteenth Century," by Albert Boime; "Liste des e'leves," by B r i g i t Staiger-Gayler & "Catalogue des oeuvres de Gleyre," by Charles Clement. 1974. 153 Grand Palais, Paris. French Painting 1774-1830: The Age of Revolution. With four essays: "Painting Under Louis XVI, 1774-1 789." by Frederick C. Cummings; "Painting During the Revolution, 1 789-1 799 ." by Antoine Schnapper; Painting Under Napoleon," 1800-1814." by-Robert Rosenblum; "Painting During the Bourbon Restoration, 1814-1830." by Robert Rosenblurn. 16 November 1974-5 February 1975. Shepherd Gallery, New York. Ingres & Delacroix Through Degas & Puvis De Chavannes: The Figure in French Art: 1800-1870. May-June, 1975.
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Jean-Léon Gérôme 1824-1904 : a study of a mid-nineteenth century French academic artist Watson, Donald Scott 1977
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