“Political Portraiture in the United States and France during the Revolutionary and Federal Eras circa 1776–1814” at National Portrait Gallery

September 25 & 26, 2014
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

Organized by Montana State University Professor Todd Larkin, former US Capitol Historical Society Fellow, this conference marks the bicentennial of an important historical event: the British capture of Washington, DC, in 1814, and the burning of the Capitol along with Congress’s state portraits of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

European and North American scholars, students, connoisseurs, and friends of American-French cultural exchange gather to discuss aspects of diplomatic strategy, democratic representation, and republican identity as promoted in portraits by artists such as Charles Willson Peale, Jacques-Louis David, Gilbert Stuart, and Antoine-François Callet.

Please click here to view most of the conference presentations on vimeo, including the following:

  • “Family Matters in French Royal Portraiture” by Melissa Hyde, University of Florida;
  • “Signs of Power: Bonaparte and the Concordat of 1801” by Kathryn Calley Galitz, Metropolitan Museum of Art;
  •  “Representative Democracy and Popular Insurgency: Collective Portraiture under the National Convention” by Gerrit Walczak, Technical University Berlin;
  • “The Physionotrace in Europe and North America (1780-1800): A Tool for Visualizing a New Political Culture” by Guillaume Mazeau, Université de Paris;
  • “Rivalries and Dissentions within the Maison de l’Empereur: The Portraitists of Napoleon and the Production of Diplomatic Gifts” by Cyril Lécosse, Université de Strasbourg;
  • “On the Back of the Engraving: Obverse and Reverse in Philadelphia’s Federal-Era Urban Imagery” by Dell Upton, University of California;
  • “Corruption and Failure in the Body Politic: John Lewis Krimmel’s Images of the Centre Square Waterworks and the Bank of Pennsylvania” by Laura Turner Igoe, Temple University;
  • “From Portrait to Plan: Mapping Capital Cities in the Late Eighteenth Century” by Min Kyung Lee, College of the Holy Cross;
  • “A Tale of Four Cities: Representations, Fabric, and Ambitions” by Jeffrey A. Cohen, Bryn Mawr College;
  • “Politicizing Portraiture: Formal Aspects of French Family Portraits between the Ancien Régime and the Republic” by Marlen Schneider, University of Leipzig;
  • “Preparations for Diplomacy: Gilbert Stuart’s Pendant Portraits of President Jefferson and Secretary Madison” by Gaye Wilson, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies;
  • “What Ever Happened to the U.S. Congress’s State Portraits of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette? The Politics of Pictorial Display, Displacement, and Destruction at the Capitol, ca. 1800-1814” by Todd L. Larkin, Montana State University;
  • “Gilbert Stuart’s ‘Lansdowne’ Portrait of George Washington: From Private Diplomatic Gift to State Portrait” by Ellen G. Miles, National Portrait Gallery;
  • “Portraiturer les souverains entre 1800 et 1831: L’exemple de François Gérard” by Xavier Salmon, Musée du Louvre;
  • “Prints, Paintings and National Characters: Washington’s Likeness in a Transnational Perspective” by Stéphane Roy, Carleton University;
  • “Les dons de portraits du roi sous Louis XVI” by Laurent Hugues, Monuments historiques, Direction régionale des affaires culturelles de Languedoc-Roussillon;
  • “Romans in New York: British Statuary and Atlantic Revolutions” by Wendy Bellion, University of Delaware;
  • “Man + Horse: Repurposing the Equestrian Portrait in the Post-Revolutionary Era” by Heather McPherson, University of Alabama;
  • “Republicanism in Portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte” by David O’Brien, University of Illinois; and
  • “Allan Ramsay’s Portrait Enterprise: The Propagation and Reception of a Ruler’s Image” by Cristina S. Martinez, University of Ottawa.