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Title: Théodore Rousseau (1812-67), his patrons and his public
Author: Kelly, Simon
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 2604
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis is a case study of the relationship between a nineteenth-century French landscape painter, Théodore Rousseau, and his patrons and public. My aim is to reconstruct the context in which Rousseau's work was created, thereby inferring what the artist intended for his painting and how his collectors and public approached the style of his work. The thesis examines the nature of the dynamic between Rousseau and his consumers and the extent to which the artist's style may, or may not, be affected by the taste of his audience. In Part I, I examine Rousseau's involvement with the members of his circle including those who supported him during his years of absence from the Salon, the critic, Théophile Thoré, the industrialist, Frédéric Hartmannn and the civil servant, Alfred Sensier. This provides a framework for discussion of a number of ideas which preoccupied both the artist and his patrons including the level of finish in his work, the importance of pantheism, responses to commercial deforestation and the continuing resonances of ancient Greek culture. In Part II, I look at the problem of Rousseau's response to the expansion of the public sphere for art in the nineteenth-century. I approach this by locating Rousseau within the institutional structures of the art world which acted as intermediary between the painter and a wider public. These include the public exhibition, the rôle of the reproduction in the dissemination of his imagery, the importance of one-man public auctions and the position of the dealer as an outlet for the sale of his work. In reconstructing the dynamic between Rousseau and his patrons and public, I have relied above all on primary sources. These have included the often unpublished correspondence of the artist and his collectors, contemporary Salon criticism and sale catalogues, auctioneers' records and the stock-books of the Durand-Ruel firm of dealers, as well as a close formal analysis of Rousseau's paintings themselves.
Supervisor: Haskell, Francis; Whiteley, Jon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Painting & paintings ; History of art and visual culture