Charles Willson Peale (inbunden)
Inbunden (Hardback)
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University of California Press
51 b-w photographs
228 x 158 x 31 mm
544 g
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Charles Willson Peale (inbunden)

Charles Willson Peale

Art and Selfhood in the Early Republic

Inbunden Engelska, 2004-08-01
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Son of a convicted felon whose early death left the family impoverished, Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) went on to lead a staggeringly full and successful life. A portrait painter who produced an unparalleled body of work, including the iconic "The Artist in His Museum", Peale was also a revolutionary soldier, a radical activist, an impresario of moving pictures, a natural historian, an inventor, and the proprietor of one of the first modern museums. His many other interests included a lifelong preoccupation with writing; in fact, his autobiography is one of the first examples of the genre in the United States. David C. Ward's engaging book, richly textured with references to the history and culture of the time, is the first full critical biography of Peale. It links the artist's autobiography to his painting, illuminating the man, his art, and his times. Peale emerges for the first time as that particularly American phenomenon: the self-made man. Before Peale's time, autobiographies had been written mainly as religious and confessional documents. Peale, however, produced his secular work to describe, not how God made him, but how he worked to make himself. This compelling study, drawing extensively from Peale's extraordinary autobiography, shows how Peale's life itself documents the development of American independence and individualism. Ultimately Ward addresses Hector St. John de Crevecoeur's great question, 'What then is the American, this new man?' as he sheds light on one of these new men and on the formative years in which he lived.
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"A masterly portrait, and an interpretive tour de force." - Charles C. Eldredge, author of Tales from the Easel "This is an invaluable critical study of Charles Willson Peale - clear, erudite, and imaginative. Ward shows what went wrong as well as right in Peale's lifelong attempts at self-fashioning, giving us a richer picture than ever before of this restless American figure." - Alexander Nemerov, author of The Body of Raphaelle Peale; "One of the hallmarks of public life after the Revolution was the desire of notable Americans to fashion their own enduring reputations. This exquisite book lucidly and compellingly investigates how Charles Willson Peale expressed and controlled his image. David C. Ward takes us on a remarkable journey through the labyrinth of a major artist's evolving self-consciousness during the early Republic." - Paul Staiti, Mount Holyoke College"

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Övrig information

David C. Ward is historian and deputy editor of the Peale Family Papers at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution.


List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Preface. Charles Willson Peale: This New Man Part I "Why Not Act the Man?" 1. Forgeries: Charles Willson Peale and His Father 2. "This Faint Spark of Genius": Fortune, Patronage, and Peale's Rise as an Artist 3. "Application Will Overcome the Greatest Difficulties": Work, Career, and Identity in Peale's Art and Life Part II "I Scrutinize the Actions of Men" 4. A Good War and a Troubled Peace: Charles Willson Peale's Search for Order, 1776-94 5. "The Medicinal Office of the Mind": The Peale Museum's Mission of Reform, 1793-1810 6. "The Hygiene of the Self": Work, Writing, and the Enlightened Body Part III "It Would Seem a Second Creation" 7. The Struggle against Dispersal: Work, Family, and Order in Peale's Family Portraits 8. "I Bring Forth into Public View": Peale's SecularApotheosis in The Artist in His Museum Notes Index