Man/Animal/Monarch/Nation: Hunting Art and Political Power in Eighteenth-Century France.

Date: April 23, 2021
Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm


Phone: 4134582303
Website (click here)
The Clark
225 South Street
Williamstown, MA 01267

Florence Gould Foundation Fellow Amy Freund presents, “Man/Animal/Monarch/Nation: Hunting Art and Political Power in Eighteenth-Century France.”
This talk will analyze the royal hunt and its visual representations in eighteenth-century France, and make an argument for the political and aesthetic efficacy of hunting art in establishing the king’s authority, codifying elite masculinity, and justifying the expansion of the nation’s borders. Hunting art’s visual strategies—dependent on dogs, guns, and violence—are not particularly congruent with our understanding of Rococo aesthetics, or of the early Enlightenment. But these themes, embraced with equal enthusiasm by the monarchy and its artists, inspired an outpouring of artworks in every genre and medium between 1700 and 1750. At this crucial moment in French history, France was expanding its colonial empire, the absolute monarchy existed in tension with ambitious noble and non-noble elites, and the Enlightenment was eroding old certainties about selfhood and society. Hunting art, more convincingly than any other genre of art production, provided a visual language of personal and national sovereignty that intervened in these debates and literally naturalized claims to political authority. 
Amy Fruend is an associate professor and Kleinheinz Endowment for the Arts and Education Endowed Chair in art history at Southern Methodist University. Her first book, Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France (Penn State University Press, 2014), examines the uses of portraiture to reformulate personal and political identity during the French Revolution. At the Clark, she will be completing her second book, Noble Beasts: Hunters and Hunted in Eighteenth-Century French Art, which argues for the centrality of hunting art to late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French art, and explores its impact on Enlightenment notions of the human self and political authority.
This prerecorded lecture is publicly available starting on April 23rd and will be available through June 15.

Other Virtual lectures in this series – Spring 2021

Friday, February 26th – Glenn Peers (Syracuse University), “The Mandylion’s Marital and Martial Message Machines”

Friday, March 5th  – Timothy Hyde (MIT), “Indifferent Objects: The Architectural Remains of Modernity”

Friday, March 19th – Robert Schindler (Birmingham Museum of Art), “Making Visible / Rachel Ruysch”

Friday, April 16th  – Jennifer Nelson (University of Wisconsin–Madison), “The Ship of Faith Surrounded: The Genre of Encounter”

Friday, April 23rd  – Amy Freund (Southern Methodist University), “Man/Animal/Monarch/Nation: Hunting Art and Political Power in Eighteenth-Century France”

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