The representation of children in modern European visual culture has often been marginalized by Art History as sentimental and trivial. For this reason the subject of childhood in relation to art and its production has largely been ignored. Confronting this dismissal, this unique collection of essays raises new and unexpected issues about the formation of childhood identity in the nineteenth century and makes a significant contribution to the development of inter-disciplinary studies within this area. Through a range of stimulating and insightful case studies, the book charts the development of the Romantic ideal of childhood, starting with Rousseau’s Emile, and attends to its visual, social and psychological transformations during the historical period from which Freud’s psychoanalytic theories eventually emerged. Foremost scholars such as Anne Higonnet, Carol Mavor, Susan Casteras and Linda A. Pollock uncover the means by which children became an important conduit for prevailing social anxieties and demonstrate that the apparently ’timeless’ images of them that proliferated at the time should be understood as complex cultural documents. Over 50 illustrations enhance this rich and fascinating volume.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword, Linda A. Pollock; Introduction: Baudelaire between Rousseau and Freud, Marilyn R. Brown; Introduction: The unmaking of childhood, Carol Mavor; Sex education and the child: Gendering erotic response in eighteenth-century France, Jennifer Milam; Family matters: The construction of childhood in the nineteenth-century artists’ biographies, Petra ten-Doesschate Chu; Childhood and aesthetic education: the role of Emile in the formation of Gustave Courbet’s The Painter’s Studio, Daniel R. Guernsey; Baudelaire’s ’La Corde’ as a figuration of Manet’s Art, Nancy Locke; Impressionist dolls: On the Commodification of Girlhood in Impressionist painting, Greg M. Thomas; Winged fantasies: Constructions of childhood, innocence, adolescence and sexuality in Victorian fairy painting, Susan Casteras; Photographing childhood: Lewis Carroll and Alice, Diane Waggoner; Toys in Freud’s attic: Torment and taboo in the child and adolescent themes of Vienna’s image-makers, Alessandra Comini; Children’s studies and the romantic child; George Dimock; What do you want to know about children?, Anne Higonnet; Index.
'... the perspective offered by the authors are new and insightful, making this a valuable book... Picturing Children offers innovative scholarship of an exceptionally high level.' David O'Brien, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide
'... worthy of attention from social historians, social and cultural theorists, sociologists and art historians, particularly those interested in childhood.' Thomas Cockburn, Social History Society Bulletin
'This book is a welcome contribution to the subject of children and childhood in art... The range of subject matter presented in this book is diverse and interesting, and is designed to appeal to readers from a variety of disciplines... enthusiastically and fascinatingly...' Alison Walker, Cultural and Social History