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The ‘Unknown Arts’ of Ancient America: Challenging Classical Art Canons in Nineteenth-Century France

The Reception of Pre-Columbian Art before the Primitivist and Surrealist Avant-Gardes

Susana Stüssi Garcia    Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France    

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abstract

Pre-Columbian artefacts have been collected and exhibited in Europe since the 16th century. For a long time, they were considered exotic curiosities, ‘grotesque’ attempts at art by inferior peoples. This was a judgement stemming from a Eurocentric definition of art and, during the 19th century, indissociable from colonial and imperialist ideology. We present some views held in scholarly circles about pre-Columbian art in nineteenth-century France and focus on two artists, Jean Frédéric de Waldeck (1766-1875) and Emile Soldi (1846-1906), who drew from contemporary ethnographic and archaeological research, and pre-Columbian history to challenge the limits of academicism and the Beaux-Arts system.

Pubblicato
22 Dicembre 2020
Lingua
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-463-9
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-462-2

Keywords: Nineteenth-century FranceAcademicismArt history and ethnographyPre-Columbian collectionsHistory of collectionsNon-European art exhibitionsArtistic receptionPre-Columbian art

Copyright: © 2020 Susana Stüssi Garcia. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.