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Title:A painterly performance of politeness: Jean-Étienne Liotard’s "Still Life: Tea Set" and identity in eighteenth-century England
Author(s):Kalaher, Emily Danielle
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Jean-Etienne Liotard
still life
tea set
identity
self-fashioning
eighteenth-century
England
Liotard
surface
ancien regime of identity
polite
politeness
polish
agency
consumerism
middling sort
middle class
Georgian
le peintre turc
tea
porcelain
blur
sugar
Abstract:This thesis explores how Jean-Etienne Liotard’s 1783 painting, Still Life: Tea Set, functioned within its eighteenth-century context. Rather than considering the image as an academic exercise, depiction of the chinoiserie craze, or as evidence of the aging artist’s waning virtuosity, as other scholars have done, I argue that Still Life: Tea Set functioned as an active agent within its specific social matrix. Utilizing eighteenth-century sources as well as the work of contemporary scholars, this study closely examines the still life in relation to the phenomena of politeness and superficial self-fashioning, or the ancien régime of identity—a concept put forth by Dror Wahrman. When considered within the historically situated themes of eighteenth-century consumerism, the emergence of the Georgian middle-class, and polite society, it becomes clear that Still Life: Tea Set was an image created for consumption within a very specific cultural matrix, within which it was able to actively generate a range of flexible meanings for viewers.
Issue Date:2015-12-10
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/89085
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Emily D. Kalaher
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-02
Date Deposited:2015-12


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