Portraiture and Friendship in Enlightenment France examines how new
and often contradictory ideas about friendship were enacted in the
lives of artists in the eighteenth century. It demonstrates that
portraits resulted from, and generated, new ideas about friendship
by analyzing the creation, exchange, and display of portraits
alongside discussions of friendship in philosophical and academic
discourse, exhibition criticism, personal diaries, and
correspondence. This study provides a deeper understanding of how
artists took advantage of changing conceptions of social
relationships and used portraiture to make visible new ideas about
friendship that were driven by Enlightenment thought.
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