The 19th century is frequently referred to as the “century of nationalisms.” Indeed, in the art history of the period the idea of national schools of art had broad currency. However, both of these constructs are heavily contradicted by historical reality, as they fail to appreciate transnational currents in the development of artistic expression as well as the international mobility of artists– particularly during their formative years. From 1800 onward young artists from the German-speaking world flocked to the Paris studios of Jacques-Louis David. Forty years later, they were even more numerous in the studios of Paul Delaroche and Thomas Couture.
The goal of this encyclopedia is to provide a complete picture of this German-French exchange. It provides a register of German-speaking artists who received their training between 1793 and 1870 in the École des Beaux-Arts, private studios, and outside of formal institutions in Paris. The encyclopedia’s individual articles investigate intellectual and ideological motivations as well as artistic, sociological, personal, and political contexts. The encyclopedia thus makes a fundamental contribution to issues related to the transnational education of artists.