Enchanted Islands: Picturing the Allure of Conquest in Eighteenth-Century France (Hardback)
  • Enchanted Islands: Picturing the Allure of Conquest in Eighteenth-Century France (Hardback)
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Enchanted Islands: Picturing the Allure of Conquest in Eighteenth-Century France (Hardback)

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£42.00
Hardback 416 Pages / Published: 21/06/2018
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In Enchanted Islands, renowned art historian Mary D. Sheriff explores the legendary, fictional, and real islands that filled the French imagination during the ancien regime as they appeared in royal ballets and festivals, epic literature, paintings, engravings, book illustrations, and other objects. Some of the islands were mythical and found in the most popular literary texts of the day--islands featured prominently, for instance, in Ariosto's Orlando furioso, Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata, and Fenelon's, Telemachus. Other islands--real ones, such as Tahiti and St. Domingue--the French learned about from the writings of travelers and colonists. All of them were imagined to be the home of enchantresses who used magic to conquer heroes by promising sensual and sexual pleasure. As Sheriff shows, the theme of the enchanted island was put to many uses. Kings deployed enchanted-island mythology to strengthen monarchical authority, as Louis XIV did in his famous Versailles festival Les Plaisirs de l'ile enchantee. Writers such as Fenelon used it to tell morality tales that taught virtue, duty, and the need for male strength to triumph over female weakness and seduction. Yet at the same time, artists like Boucher painted enchanted islands to portray art's purpose as the giving of pleasure. In all these ways and more, Sheriff demonstrates for the first time the centrality of enchanted islands to ancient regime culture in a book that will enchant all readers interested in the art, literature, and history of the time.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226483108
Number of pages: 416
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm

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