Revolution, Abolition and Blackness in the French Empire - The Art of 1800 [fr]
Thursday 7 November 2019, 6.45pm
Venue : Institut français d’Ecosse, West Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF
Free admission : book here
0131 285 60 30 or email
As part of The Borders of Identity seminar series.
In her words, Anne Lafont explores “the issue of art and race in its most striking and lesser-known aspects".
In this lecture, Anne Lafont will reflect upon the question of representation and portraiture of Black people during the French and Haitian Revolutions (1789-1802). Starting from two famous paintings – the Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley by the artist Girodet, and the Portrait of Madeleine by Marie-Guilhemine Benoist – as well as lesser-known images such as Toussaint-Louverture’s printed portraits, and other anonymous black figures of the time, Anne Lafont will engage in an interpretation of visual art and identity politics in the dislocation and upheaval of the French Empire around 1800.
Anne Lafont is Professor (directrice d’études) at EHESS in Paris. She is an art historian and researches visual cultures of the early modern world with a specific interest in Art of the African Diaspora in an eighteenth-century imperial context, and contemporary artistic theory regarding Blackness and Creolization. She has co-edited Plumes et pinceaux. Discours de femmes sur l’art en Europe 1750-1850, 2 vols (Paris: Presses du Réel, 2012) and just completed a book on Art and Race in the Age of Enlightenment : L’art et la race. L’Africain (tout) contre l’oeil des Lumières (Paris: Presses du Réel, 2019). She collaborated to the exhibition « Black models: from Géricault to Matisse » held in spring 2019 at the Musée d’Osrsay.