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Aesthetic Rivalries

Word and Image in France, 1880–1926


Linda Goddard

This book explores interaction and competition between painting and literature in France, from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth, offering new readings of works by key figures including Paul Gauguin, Stéphane Mallarmé, Pablo Picasso and André Gide. Combining close visual and literary analysis with a broader examination of critical discourse, the volume uncovers a mutual but often contentious exchange of ideas. The author challenges habits of periodisation, drawing attention to the links between Symbolist and Cubist criticism. Issues such as the debate about ‘literary’ painting, the role of art criticism and artists’ writings, as well as themes such as newspapers and gold, alchemy and forgery, are shown to connect the two centuries. In examining how the rejection of mimesis in painting affected literary responses to the visual arts, the book explores a shift in power from the verbal to the visual in the early decades of the twentieth century.


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Acknowledgements vii


Acknowledgements This book began as a doctoral thesis completed at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. I am greatly indebted to my supervisors, John House and Christopher Green, for their advice, support and example. I would like to thank Richard Hobbs and Peter Read for their detailed comments and encouragement, and Barrie Bullen for his interest in the project. Fund- ing for my doctoral research was generously provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I benefited enormously from two postdoc- toral fellowships, which enabled me to develop this project into a book: a Junior Research Fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge, and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of St Andrews. Colleagues and students in the History of Art Department at the University of Cambridge, the Courtauld Institue of Art and the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews have provided motivating and supportive environments in which to work. At Peter Lang, I would like to thank, in particular, Hannah Godfrey and Gemma Lewis. The time spent writing this book has been greatly enriched by many individuals who have been generous in various ways with their time and perspective, including Natalie Adamson, Yve-Alain Bois, Grace Brockington, Elizabeth Childs, David Cottington, Miranda Gill, Lorenzo Martelli, Jenny Piening, Kate Quinn, Alistair Rider, Juliet Simpson, John- Paul Stonard, Belinda Thomson, Aurélie Verdier – and especially Ralph Kingston, who has been the most constant presence during the writing of this book, and who...

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