The developing child in three portraits by Anne-Louis Girodet
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This paper examines three portraits by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (1767-1824) as products of a post-Revolutionary French society, highly influenced by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The portraits are examined as responses to eighteenth century society's ideologies concerning children and child psychology and are used in a comparative fashion with other works of art in order to establish an aesthetic evolution of childhood depictions from this time period. These aesthetic parallels raise questions over the expectations of childhood scenes in the eighteenth century and highlight a main difference in Girodet's works with a focus on the actual child as the subject of the work. The portraits act as visual evidence to the parallels in biographical information between the artist and sitter, providing a better understanding of the artist's personal attitudes and political/social views. The identities contained within these three works of art create a complex combination of general childhood conceptions, personal depictions of a specific eighteenth-century child, and autobiographical reflections of the artist himself.
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