In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the French public turned to British history as a way of making sense of its recent past. History books written in an accessible and popular style brought the subject to a wider audience, and there was an enormous appetite for historical paintings, plays, tableaux and novels. "The Execution of Lady Jane Grey" was a sensation when it was first exhibited to the Parisian public in 1834. Paul Delaroche's paintings, with their historical detail and their intimate focus on the emotions of their characters, represented an entirely new genre of history painting. This film looks at the circumstances that inspired both his approach and his choice of subject matter. The exhibition Painting History: Delaroche and Lady Jane Grey can be seen at the National Gallery, London, from 24 February to 23 May 2010.
Publisher: National Gallery Company Ltd