The Art of Theatre: Word, Image and Performance in France and Belgium, c. 1830-1910 (Romanticism and after in France / Le Romantisme et après en France)
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This collection of essays explores the relationship between art, literature and the stage in France and Belgium in the period 1830-1910. It is the first book to bring together scholarship on this neglected area of study and provides unique insights into current research within this rich interdisciplinary field. The rise in popular theatre, the beginnings of a ‘society of spectacle’, the emergence of the print media and the development of stage direction and set design, along with the crisis in pictorial and literary representation, created a dynamic cultural climate wherein the interface between writing, painting and dramatic representation thrived. The chapters in this volume chart different facets of this phenomenon: from the art of performing assumed by writers and the collaborations between artists and theatre directors to the theatrical motifs that infiltrated visual art and the increasingly ‘dramatized’ relationship between painting and spectator at the end of the century.
Portrait de l’artiste en saltimbanque (Geneva: Skira, 1970). 4 Claire Moran in the novel. Similarly, the artificiality of the acting style of classical actors was criticized by Zola who encouraged actors to ‘live’ rather than to ‘act’ their roles, thereby employing gestures, expressions and diction ref lective of their characters. Zola’s theories found expression in Octave Mirbeau’s Les Mauvais Bergers (1897), Henry Becque’s Les Corbeaux (1882) and La Parisienne (1885), Camille Lemonnier’s
marionettes, having no personality of their own, were not. The critic Anatole France, writing of Signoret’s Petit Théâtre de Marionnettes, expressed the feeling against actors: Leur talent est trop grand, ils couvrent tout. Il n’y a qu’eux. Leur personne ef face l’œuvre qu’ils représentent. Le nom et le visage trop connus d’un comédien de chair et d’os imposent au public une obsession qui rend l’illusion impossible ou très dif ficile.13 The 1892 performance by the Nabis at the Coulons’ house
figure of the avant-garde, to press him to keep his word to the young author. She suggested that her husband, Vallette, might persuade Jarry to tone down his demands.32 She also of fered a suggestion that the puppet-like character of the actors should be emphasized by attaching them to strings leading from the wings, an arrangement fraught with risks that Jarry turned down: Car si marionnettes que nous voulions être, nous n’avons pas suspendu chaque personnage à un fil, ce qui eût été sinon
comme un essaim dans un rayon. […] Les lanternes dans le taillis, quand on en approchait, devenaient de grosses tulipes lumineuses mêlées aux vrais camélias et aux roses réelles. […] Au milieu des arbres, des satyres, des Nymphes toutes nues, des hydres, toutes sortes de groupes et de statues, qui avaient, tous ensemble, comme le lieu même où on les voyait, je ne sais quoi d’impossible et je ne sais quoi de vivant.30 Hugo conçoit sa description, fondée sur les couples antithétiques chrétien/
operas. Her focus is on three shows designed by Desvallières: Anathema by Leonid Andreief f (1911), the dance show of Mlle Trouhanova based on l’Istar by Vincent d’Indy (1912), and Gluck’s Opera, Orphée (1913). Racine considers how this first-hand experience of theatre permeated the painter’s own visual work, notably his decorative panels where the representation of the figures may be interpreted as choreographic and where gesture is emphasised. Katherine Hof fman’s chapter focuses on the