Hardback304 PagesSize: 311 × 254 mm
160 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781848222342Publication: August 01, 2017

America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting

Yuriko Jackall et al


  • Accompanies a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (May 21–August 20, 2017)
  • Charts the enduring fascination of American collectors with French painting from the 18th century to the present day, and the resonance of the work for American audiences and with American ideals
  • Brings together for the first time, a wealth of stunning works by famous artists from Jacques-Louis David to Fragonard, drawn from public and private collections throughout the whole of the United States

In 1815, Joseph, elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, arrived in America, bringing with him his vast and exquisite collection of 18th-century French paintings, and a new American taste for 18th-century French painting was born. America Collects Eighteenth-century French Painting brings together some of the best and most unusual examples of this type of art that American museums have to offer, and tells their stories on a national stage. Who were the collectors, curators, museum directors and dealers responsible for bringing 18th-century French painting to America? Where are the paintings now?

The book considers America's very real fascination with France in the 18th century: a staunch ally in the Revolutionary wars, a cultural and intellectual model for Franklin, Jefferson and other Americans abroad. It also looks at the way in which the cultural ideal of 18th-century France has continued to endure in the American imagination.

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