French Genre Painting in the Eighteenth Century - Conisbee, Philip - Yale University Press

Art and Architecture

Series Information
Studies in the History of Art Series

Published by the National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts/Distributed by Yale University Press 

French Genre Painting in the Eighteenth Century

  • Edited by Philip Conisbee
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Imagined scenes of daily life by Watteau, Chardin, Fragonard, Greuze, and other 18th-century French artists are the subject of this important new study. The wide range of these artists’ works encompasses domestic subjects, portraits and fashion plates, and depictions of stylish entertainments, seductions, and sentimental tales. Examples span the century, from the time of Louis XIV to the French Revolution.


Fifteen distinguished scholars present their latest research into the contexts and meanings of French genre painting during this period. The authors offer a variety of critical and historical perspectives, covering such topics as the relationship of genre painting to contemporary life and to sexuality, sentiment, and sensibilité; its patrons and collectors; its popularization through reproduction in the print trade; its contemporary critical reception; and its resonances through subsequent centuries, continuing to our own time.

Philip Conisbee is senior curator of European paintings at the National Gallery of Art and a specialist in French art from the 17th through the 19th century. His books include Cézanne in Provence (Yale).