This collection reconsiders the life and work of Horace Vernet (1789-1863), presenting him as a crucial figure for understanding the visual culture of modernity. Including work by senior and emerging scholars, it shows Vernet as a multifaceted artist who moved with ease across the thresholds of genre and media to cultivate an image of himself as the embodiment of modern France. In tune with his times, and skilled at using modern technologies of visual reproduction to advance his reputation, Vernet appealed to patrons from across the political spectum and made works that nineteenth-century audiences adored. Even Baudelaire, who reviled Vernet and his art and whose judgement played a significant role in consigning him to art-historical obscurity, acknowledged that Vernet was the most complete representative of his age. For those with an interest in the intersection of art and modern media, politics, imperialism, and fashion, the essays in this volume offer a rich reward.
Daniel Harkett is an associate professor of history of art and visual culture at Rhode Island School of Design.
Katie Hornstein is an assistant professor of art history at Dartmouth College.