Art and Theatre as a Community of Practice in Eighteenth-Century France

Art and Theatre as a Community of Practice in Eighteenth-Century France

By Mark Ledbury

Anthem Studies in Theatre and Performance

A fresh study of creative practice and exchange in theatre and the visual arts in eighteenth-century France, nourished by archival research and by histories of innovation, community and knowledge transfer in the Enlightenment.

Hardback, 250 Pages


May 2023

£80.00, $125.00

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About This Book

This book is a fresh, archivally nourished study of creative practice and exchange in theatre and the visual arts in eighteenth-century France. It focuses on moments of intense collaboration between artists, actors and writers, and on the ways in which entrepreneurship, innovation and aesthetic partnership worked between theatrical and visual arts across the long history of the eighteenth century. It breaks with traditional accounts by emphasizing not the theories of Tableau or even overlaps in subject matter between visual art and theatre, but instead on innovation, risk, community and knowledge transfer in the context of an enlightenment thirst for innovation and for commercial and reputational success. It re-examines the work of familiar figures such as Boucher, Favart and David, in the context of their networks and their relations with less familiar figures from Gillot and Charles-Antoine Coypel to Ignazio Degotti and Prince Hoare, and draws on theories of innovation transfer and mutuality to re-examine the nature of the relationship between theatre and the visual arts, painting a vivid new story of ambitions, friendships, triumphs and disasters, a story which binds theatre and the visual arts in a tight, complex and highly productive mesh.


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Author Information

Mark Ledbury is Power Professor of Art History and Director of the Power Institute at the University of Sydney. A scholar of European art and theatre, he is the author of multiple studies of eighteenth-century artists and dramatic writers in Britain and France. His books include Sedaine, Greuze and the Boundaries of Genre ( 2000) and James Northcote, History Painting and the Fables (2014). He is Director of the Power Institute, which exists to promote research, teaching and communication in the visual arts in Australia and Worldwide.


Anthem Studies in Theatre and Performance

Table of Contents


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