The Renaissance in the Nineteenth Century/Le XIXe siècle renaissant

Edited by Yannick Portebois and Nicholas Terpstra - ES02

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The nineteenth century witnessed rapid economic and social developments, profound political and intellectual upheaval, and startling innovations in art and literature. The pace of change was unmatched since the Renaissance. As Europeans peered into an uncertain future, they drew on the Renaissance for meaning, precedents, and identity. Many claimed to find inspiration or models in the Renaissance, but as we move across the continent’s borders and through the century’s decades, we find that the Renaissance was many different things to many different people.

This collection brings together an international collection of sixteen authors who examine the many Renaissances conceived by European novelists and poets, artists and composers, architects and city planners, political theorists and politicians, businessmen, and advertisers. The essays fall into three groups:
Aesthetic Recoveries of Strategic Pasts looks primarily at the work of creative artists and writers in France, where the Renaissance was largely a sixteenth-century affair. Many believed that it was France’s “true ” tradition, that it demonstrated an immediacy and vigour that had been suffocated by the classicism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The Renaissance in Nineteenth-Century Culture Wars turns the focus to political and religious issues in France and Italy, with a focus on the meaning of freedom, a concept commonly associated with the period but for very different reasons.
Material Culture and Manufactured Memories looks at how new industrial techniques, new fortunes, and new political demands turned the Renaissance into a valuable and evocative brand in the marketplaces of the bourgeois century.

Yannick Portebois (University of Toronto) dirige le Centre d’études du XIXe siècle français. Elle est l’auteur, en collaboration avec Dorothy Speirs, de Mon cher Maîre. Lettres d’Ernest Vizetelly à Emile Zola (2002), de Notes from Exile. Zola in England (2003), et d’un ouvrage portant sur l’histoire culturelle de la langue française (Les saisons de la langue, 1998)

Nicholas Terpstra (University of Toronto) is author of Lay Confraternities and Civic Religion in Renaissance Bologna (1995), which won the Howard K. Marraro Prize of the Society for Italian Historical Studies, and the editor of The Politics of Ritual Kinship: Confraternities and Social Order in Early Modern Italy (2000).

302 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2019-1 softcover
Published: 2003


University of Toronto Quarterly, 76:1 (Winter 2007), pp. 121-123. Reviewed by Janice Best.



Nicholas Terpstra and Yannick Portebois, Introduction, "Nineteenth Century Renaissances: Ideology to Commodity"

Aesthetic Recoveries of Strategic Pasts
1. François Rigolot, “Sainte-Beuve’s Invention of the French Renaissance”
2. Robert Melançon, “Du Bellay, de Sainte-Beuve à l’histoire littéraire”
3. Michel Fournier, “‘Les primitifs du roman moderne’: la réception critique du roman de l’âge baroque dans le discours critique du XIXe siècle en France”
4. Janine Gallant, “Les peintres de la Renaissance au coeur de l’esthétique de Stendhal”
5. James E. Housefield, “The Nineteenth-Century Renaissance and the Modern Facsimile: Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks, from Ravaisson-Mollien to Péladan and Duchamp”

The Renaissance in Nineteenth-Century Culture Wars
6. François-Emmanuel Boucher, “Le début de la fin: le rôle de la Renaissance dans l’historiographie des réactionnaires français au début du XIXe siècle”
7. Jean-Claude Yon, “La Renaissance vue par un librettiste: le cas d’Eugène Scribe”
8. Jeanice Brooks and Mark Everist, “Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots: Staging the History of the French Renaissance”
9. Sandra Parmegiani, “In Search of a Nation: Renaissance Motifs  in Ugo Foscolo’s Pre-romantic Historical and Literary Criticism”
10. Alan Kahan, “The Burckhardt-Sismondi Debate over the Meaning of the Italian Renaissance”

Part Three: Material Culture & Manufactured Memories
11. Mariel O’Neill-Karch, “Jean-Alexis Rouchon (1794–1878) et la (Re)naissance de l’affiche publicitaire”
12. Diana Cooper-Richet, “Le redécouverte des editions aldines au XIXe siècle: Antoine-Augustin Renouard, bibliophile, collectionneur et passeur culturel”
13. Dylan Reid, “Local Printing, Local Pride: Rouen’s Nineteenth-Century Bibliophiles and the Renaissance Printing Industry”
14. Laura Willett, “Romantic Renaissance in Montaigne’s Chapel”
15. Rosanna Pavoni, “The Nineteenth-Century Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi in Milan, Italy: A Homage to the Italian Renaissance”
16. D. Medina Lasansky, “Reshaping Attitudes Towards the Renaissance: The Fight against ‘Modern Mania’ in Florence at the Turn of the Century”