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Fables in Frames

La Fontaine and Visual Culture in Nineteenth-Century France

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Kirsten Powell

Fables in Frames argues that the increased interest in the fables of La Fontaine during the nineteenth century resulted largely from the activities of artists, who offered the seventeenth-century fables new contexts for a post-Revolution age. First in caricature and book illustration and later in Salon painting, artists transformed the fables to comment on contemporary issues. The goal of this study is to tackle the general issue of why La Fontaine's fables appeared in art at all during the nineteenth century and to explore the specific questions of how certain artists made those texts culturally normative.