Skip to main content

Distributed for Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Looking and Listening in Nineteenth-Century France

Different eras experience art in different ways—often dramatically so. Looking and Listening in Nineteenth-Century France, the catalog to an exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art, uses a selection of prints, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and recorded music to demonstrate how new technological developments and changing social settings transformed the French experience of art in the nineteenth century. Treating a disparate range of subject matter from Joan of Arc to Homer, from concert audiences to comet sightings, the contributors provide a cultural context for this flowering of imagery concerned with looking and listening. They also explore how artists and composers sought to better capture the attention of their beholders and listeners.
Presenting the achievements of both well known artists (Daumier, Degas, Fantin-Latour, Vuillard) and lesser known figures in a fresh light, Looking and Listening in Nineteenth-Century France cuts to the heart of debates about the function of art and the role of audiences.  The catalog includes a special CD compilation of music relating to the works in the exhibition, along with two bonus tracks of early recordings.

104 pages | 8 color plates, 67 halftones | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 2007

Art: Art--General Studies


"By reading the essays and listening to the CD the spectator can experience the exhibited paintings in a more holistic, historical way. . . . The essays are much more than predictable descriptions, however. Rather, they provide strategies for the viewer to engage with the artworks in a way that mirrors sensory attitudes of the time."

Ingrid Sykes | Music & Letters

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

Color Gallery

Anne Leonard

Varieties of Attention: A (Mostly) Nineteenth-Century View

Martha Ward

Looking and Listening in Émile-René Ménard’s “Homer”

Julia Langbein

Cham, Daumier, and Sky Gazing in Nineteenth-Century Paris

Josephine Landback

A Vision of Beauty: Jules-Adolphe Breton’s “The Song of the Lark”

Elayne Oliphant

Voices and Apparitions in Julse Bastien-Lepage’s “Joan of Arc”

Michael Tymkiw

Pictorially Transcribing Music: The Wagner Lithographs of Henri Fantin-Latour and Odilon Redon

Eleanor Rivera

Listening with Your Eyes: “Le petit solfège illustré” and French Children’s Songbooks

Allison Morehead

A Certain “Tour d’esprit”: Édouard Vuillard’s “The Lerolle Salon”

Checklist of the Exhibition

CD Listener’s Guide

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press