Title :

B.R. Haydon and racial science : the politics of the human figure and the art profession in the early nineteenth century

Author :
Publication year :
Language :
English ;
Abstract :
The painter and essayist Benjamin Haydon (1786-1846) has received relatively little attention, despite his significant place in the art politics of his time. This article deals with a specific section of Haydon's extensive engagement with biomedical languages, namely, his early, yet short-lived, focus on physical anthropology and osteology that introduced in art a 'racist' political discourse associated with polygenism. The article aims to reveal the multiple, though art-specific, layers of motivation which underlie this fraught connection between science, politics and representation. After emphasizing the epistemological advantages that physical anthropology offered to artists, the study will reveal the productive ways in which Haydon drew on this model to articulate a new vision for the artistic profession, to address issues of power politics within contemporary artistic communities and to bolster new social identities for artists. Far from being an original political stance, Haydon's 'racism' followed the more complex and insidious channels of the social re-organization of the artistic profession in the early 19th c. - a lesson crucial for the history of race and the intricate cultural patterns of dissemination followed by racial discourses. Moreover, Haydon's case throws added light on the conduct of professional politics in art and in science as well as the interdisciplinary and inter-professional genealogies of naturalism in the early 19th c. ;
Pagination/Size :
6 ill. ;
Topic :
French keywords :
Anthropologie ; Corps humain ; Grande-Bretagne ; Haydon, Benjamin Robert, 1786-1846 ; Iconographie ; Modèle (personne) ; Noirs ; Peinture ; Politique ; Professionnalisme ; Race ; Racisme ; Représentation ; Sciences ; Statut social ; 1800-1900 ;
Descriptors :
Anthropology ; Blacks ; Great Britain ; Haydon, Benjamin Robert, 1786-1846 ; Human figure ; Iconography ; Models (human figures) ; Painting ; Politics ; Professionalism ; Race ; Racism ; Representation ; Science ; Social status ; 1800-1900 ;
Document type :
Article ;
Source :
Visual culture in Britain, 2006, 7, 1
INIST identifier :
24801561 ;
ISSN 1471-4787 ;
Provenance :
Bibliographie d'Histoire de l'Art ;
Publisher :
Ashgate, Aldershot
Publisher country :