No Strings Attached: Emotional Interaction with Animated Sculptures of Crucified Christ

by Jonah Coman, University of St Andrews

Coman1In a manuscript in the National Library in Madrid, MS 3995 (c.15 C),[i] one can find one of the most bizarre depictions of human interactions with the crucifix. The miniature shows a kneeling Benedictine nun, her black and white robes flowing in front of her, calmly looking at a crucifix with her hands folded in prayer. From the textured wooden crucifix, an emaciated but smiling Christ has descended and stands on her ample habit, maybe even pinning it down. Both of his feet, and one of the hands, are pierced through with three massive iron nails, and all of his limbs are marked with the bleeding sores of crucifixion. His right hand hovers in front of the nun’s face, as if to show her from up close the bleeding wound left by the fourth nail in his palm. But that fourth nail is not affixed to his body anymore; in fact, the big iron peg is now stuck in the nun’s face, both ends visible on the surface of her cheeks. Is this a ‘compassio Christi’ gone remarkably literal?

The story accompanying it locates the event under the influence of English kings, at the (unidentified) Benedictine convent of Fontanblay.[ii] The nun kneeling was said to be of an unsurpassed beauty, and an equal devotion to her convent’s sculptures of Mary and Christ. Every time she would pass by the figures, she would kneel and greet them with an Ave and a cross. This nun nevertheless has captured the attentions of a young knight in the town, and she returned his affections. So much so, that she has planned to one day sneak out of the convent and run away with him; but in order to do that, she would have to go by the two sculptures she usually venerated. The nun, either still out of devotion, or so that she wouldn’t tip her sisters off, or still out of a quasi-animistic concern that she would tip off the statues themselves, went by and kneeled in front of the figures on her way out. At that point, Mary, who understood her intent, started scolding her, and Christ himself descended from the cross, removed one of his nails, and struck the nun with it across the face, so that it went through her cheeks. ‘After dealing the blow, Christ crucified returned to the cross just as he had been before, except that his right arm forever after remained in the position in which it had wounded the nun’. The modified position of the sculpture itself worked another miracle in the conversion of the knight, through visual confirmation if the truth: ‘When the knight heard about it, he could not believe it. To be sure he went to the convent to see what had happened. Once he has learned the truth about what had happened he considered himself a great sinner and repented of all the sins…’[iii]

The story above, like others mentioned in this chapter, are tales of interaction of medieval audiences with what appears to be life-size, mobile Christs. Nevertheless, very few scholars explicitly associate them with a specific typology in the plastic arts, and especially sculpture, of the middle ages. Such life-size Christs were not just the stuff of dreams (or nightmares), but have existed in Europe throughout the middle ages – massive wooden bodies, from the size of a small adult up to three metres tall, were habitually hung on the crosses above the nave. A special subset of these is formed by sculptures capable of moving their hands, bowing down, or even rolling their eyes and wagging their tongue, what Kamil Kopania terms ‘animated sculptures’.[iv] These sculptures appear in scholarship on established communal theatrical rites, such as processions and Easter sepulchral dramas, which used articulated Christ from the local cross as a multi-purpose prop for enacting the descent, burial and resurrection. [v] Nevertheless, their presence in the community outside of these ritualized moments, and their significance as presences, rather than props, has not been yet enquired.

Kamil Kopania considers this work on sepulchral drama as preliminary studies that explain the function and liturgical use of such statues, but do not address provenance, survival, construction and over-all physical aspects of the sculptures.[vi] His comprehensive cataloguing study comes as new knowledge in an art historical field already disgruntled with traditional analysis of art based on materials. His Animated Sculptures of Christ is, nevertheless, a needed addition to the field – as three-dimensional and emotional objects, these sculptures cannot be studied in isolation of their materiality. Only by taking into consideration their size and physical presence can their emotional impact be assessed. Coman 2and3In this essay, I take the materiality of the sculptures as a starting point, and, through the exploration of what this materiality implies, I arrive at the same destination as the knight in our story: at a meditation on the questions of truth that this sort of life-size figures pose.

The medieval story I started with is one of many taken from exempla as well as vitae, where sculptures of the crucified Christ become animated. Lukardis of Oberweimar reacted out of compassion for the man when, dreaming of walking around in her convent ‘into a certain portal’ (per quoddam ostium), she saw ‘Jesus Christ as if recently crucified on a cross’ (in quo Iesum Christum recenter cruci quasi iam affixum). Seeing a dangling hand (implicitly jointed) that has come loose from its peg and therefore left all Christ’s weight resting in only two nails, she tried to allay the pain of the crucified by tying it back to the rood.[vii] Rupert of Deutz saw the big crucifix above the altar he was praying at not only bow down to embrace him, but also ‘sensed how joyfully [a sculpted crucifix] received this gesture of love, since as he was being kissed he opened his mouth, that I might kiss him more deeply.’[viii] In 1340s, Margaret Ebner’s similar desire to kiss the altar crucifix came true in a dream when ‘my Lord Jesus Christ bent down from the cross and let me kiss His open heart and gave me to drink of the blood flowing from His heart’.[ix] This kind of feeding at Christ’s side-wound is not unusual for mystics of the period, although this story, and the one of Luitgard of Luxemburg, emphasize the concrete sculptural form the crucified takes in these encounters:

Christ came to meet her at the very entrance of the church, all bloody and nailed to the Cross. Lowering his arm which was attached to the Cross, he embraced her who was standing opposite and pressed her mouth against the wound in his right side.[x]

In MS Ludwig IX.7, St Hedwig of Silesia prays ‘prostrated’ in front of a crucifix that comes to life to gesture and talk ‘with a loud voice’ to the woman.[xi] The illuminator directs the extra-textual spectator’s reading of the right-arm motion of the crucified towards Hedwig in a concrete way emphasizing its body: ‘Here, detaching his right hand and arm (manum et brachium dextrum) from the cross beam, the image of the crucified (ymago c[ru]cifixi) blesses St. Hedwig’.

Coman4

In all these narratives, as well as in images accompanying or independent of this sort of texts, the dangling right arm (always dextra, as counterpart of sinistra, where the sinners would rest) of the explicitly sculptural crucifix is read in multiple ways. It slaps the English nun, embraces Rupert, droops painfully in front of Lukardis, presses Luitgard’s head to Christ’s side, or points towards his side-wound in a donor portrait in the prayerbook of Bonne of Luxembourg.

Coman5

This gesture of the crucified interacting with believers are treated as visionary or miraculous events, but they benefit from concrete, material support onto which the medieval imagination was able to map familiar gestures. Christ’s arm movement, kisses and intense gaze can be explained as the effect of articulated Christ sculptures witnessed in motion. Even though not all, not even a majority, of crucifixes were articulated, the stark impression the few animated Christs make on anybody witnessing it can then be mapped on a regular, unmoving crucifix. Once the viewer acknowledges the reality of sculptures in motion, any crucifix has the potential to animate, especially the highly affective, highly dynamic ones characteristic of the high and late middle ages. This contamination of imagery and imagination can be observed by comparing the manuscript images of crucifixion encounters with 12th century Romanesque Christs. Sculpted in a dynamic pose as if frozen during the descent from the cross, originally part of a larger devotional group, these images of the crucified alone could have been, by the 14th century, viewed in isolation from their original ensemble. [xii]

Coman 6 through 9

With their dramatic bend of the torso and the drooping arm, not quite fully surrendered to gravity, they seem to extend their right hand to caress, slap or hug the viewer. Not a lot of imaginative effort is required to envision these sculptures as suddenly animated, especially if moving sculptures of Christ already exist in the experiential horizon of the viewer.

The capacity for mutation and contamination of medieval religious sculpture has been demonstrated by scholars specifically working on medieval crucifixions. Sara Lipton asserts that ‘we can trace in these [diachronically] different depictions of Christ’s body visual characteristics that seem to align with contemporary devotional trends’,[xiii] while Lutz notes that artists and viewers adapted to and influenced each other in the design and reception of crucifixes.[xiv] This way, the 12-13th  century meditations on the crucifix imagine Christ bloody on the cross, even though the long-established iconography of the time was still the unbroken, quietly dignified pose that Rachel Fulton called Redeemer Christ;[xv] and Francis of Assisi’s devotion to the crucifix reveals that the materiality of his stigmata are quite plastic, closely mimicking the sculptural conventions  – not cavernous wounds but protruding simulacra of nails grown from his own flesh, and a side-wound where ‘the flesh was contracted into a sort of circle, so that it looked like a beautiful rose.’[xvi]

Coman 10

The relation between text and imagery, as well as the extent to which the trope of the moving sculpture infused the psychology of the medieval believer, can be mapped by using Sara Lipton’s case study. In cataloging viewer interaction with crucifix statues, Lipton has identified and collected one specific trope of the crucified slumping body of Christ read as one of the gestures compiled above: the motion towards an embrace and a kiss.

Therefore S. Bernard said: Who is he that is not ravished to hope of affiance which taketh none heed to the disposition of his body? He hath his head inclined to be kissed, the arms stretched to embrace us, his hands pierced to give to us, the side open to love us, the feet fixed with nails for to abide with us, and the body stretched all for to give to us[xvii]

This specific image appears in fourteen variations across the medieval Latinate and vulgate Christianity, spanning four hundred years.[xviii] The trope of the embrace, associated by Jacobus of Voragine with Bernard, was already a commonplace imagery in English miscellanies before it was widely disseminated by the Passio Christi chapter in the Latin Legenda Aurea and its vernacular translations. Manuscript copies of this work abounded even before being given a boost by Caxton’s own translation and print of the Legenda. This is just one of many tropes; the diversity of meaning the gesture has (blessing, punishment etc), as well as the wide geographical area of its spread attests to a quasi-animistic lay thinking about local sculptures of Christ.

Coman11

If the statue moves for Easter, and for other special sermons, why could he not move in personal encounters with true believers? If the statue is capable of animation, then what keeps it from springing into life at any point?

The likeness with live humans was not just a result of the lifelike size and the affected poses of the statues of the crucified. Exceptional survivals like the ‘Mirakelmann from Döbeln’, highly jointed, with real human hair, fingernails and flexible skin, and capable of bleeding, should not discourage the scholar to investigate farther this type of sculptures. Kamil Kopania catalogues more than 150 figures with different degrees of articulation (see map), and he does not take into consideration other non-jointed, but still quasi-skeuomorphic sculptures.

Coman13

The credibility of these sculptures was preserved by concealing the joints articulating head, hands (shoulders, elbows and wrists, as well as fingers), knees and hips of sculptures – which allowed it to perform a far larger set of movements than those required during the Easter sepulchre dramas – with skin-coloured leather, parchment or bone glue paste.[xix] The Christ sculptures of Burgos, Valvasone and Orense are covered in calf leather over a soft wool padding, which makes their body give to pressure – these sculptures are especially designed to be touched, and not just witness from a distance. Several examples have human hair and horn nails;[xx] other narratives of sculptures covered in parchment or leather imitating skin can be found in literature.[xxi] The Burgos, Döbeln and Boxley Christs could bleed from the side wound thanks to a liquid tank in the chest cavity. Another three sculptures, including the Boxley rood, the best documented but by no means the first or the only English artefact, have movable tongues and eyes, allowing them to conceivably perform the kissing, whispering and gazing that contemporary descriptions of animated Christ mention: ‘the iȝen of the ymage be turned hidirward and thidirward, and that the ymage semyngli speke.’[xxii]

So how did these animated sculptures of the crucified Christ perform in a medieval, emotional version of the Turing test? As the stories collected at the beginning of this essay demonstrate, this sort of moving images suffused the collective imagination of the Christian believers and cropped up as miracle tropes as well as in mundane depictions of interactions with the crucified. If from afar, and in candlelight, these Christs flickered between animated and static, between object and subject ‘hover[ed] in the gap between the visible and the visionary’, closeness to the statue could bring even more awareness in the spectator of the status of the image as human. [xxiii] Their size and weight, experienced in the process of (re)moving, cleaning, or praying to, the way they filled the space with presence creating slight changes in the air pressure, the way the breath and whispers of the believer bounced off the material reality of the body, imbuing it with its own echoed breath and whispers, and especially the somewhat uncanny give of the skin and slight sway of the hair, are all tools for emotional recall. This is a process Sara Lipton calls

‘resemblance and relation. The [spectator] roams freely within his visual memory, personal history, and cultural world in his search for images and gestures similar to, and therefore of significance for, the images and gestures of the artwork before his eyes…’[xxiv]

Jacqueline Jung also considers these statues as interpretable multi-dimensional texts that draw their power from memory and imagination: ‘the figures are best thought of as embodied templates for imaginative projection.’[xxv] These assessments are as poetic as they are deeply attuned to the medieval mnemonic and meditative practices, but I would like to slightly challenge the direction of their argument.

Sara Lipton’s focus on the gesture of the embrace emphasizes the dialogical dimension of these encounters. On two different occasions, she prompts the modern reader to see devotional art ‘as initiating a dialogue or conversation’, whether in one specific moment or ‘across many centuries’.[xxvi] This narrative of the dialogical relationship emphasizes difference of bodies and creation of ‘other’ in relation to an abstracted self. I communicate with him therefore he exists outside my body; I touch him therefore he is a physical entity separate from my own. Instead of the ‘other’ that dialogue presupposes, I propose reading these encounters through the Lacanian ‘mirror’ perspective. Lacan’s mirror, that stands at the core of the formation of self, is not a literal, but a metaphorical one: it is the body of mother or lover mirrors the self and represents the ideal ego.[xxvii] Recognition of these Christ images as human – by their size, materiality, and ability to move, speak and bleed – (re)materializes the self as reflection of Imago Dei. This is a concern prevalent in mystical and theological discourse of the 13-15th centuries, but, as Alexa Sand demonstrates, it is also reflected in the lay concern with mirrors, death and the body mortal.[xxviii]

The humanness, three-dimensionality, credibility and especially – and this is crucial – the essentially Christian incarnational belief of the spectator faced with an image of God embodied all collaborated toward a moment of visceral recognition, of heightened sense of presence and of identity.[xxix] Through acutely human, self-actualizing experiences like pain, revulsion, arousal, and terror, the believer is reminded of self as Imago Dei and, faced with his image, of Christ as god incarnate.[xxx] I touch him and he touches me; he suffered pains that I could suffer and I bleed like he bled; I understand his pain because he is like me – human fully. The three-dimensional sculptures of the crucifixion especially, but also visual and narrative cues (the blood of the crucifixion, the pains and tortures described) more generally, drive home one of the most important truths of the Christian church: the incarnation. Sand’s intuition about statues of Mary – that it is not her lifelike appearance, but her humanity (which allow her to give birth to Christ but also to be vengeful) make her statues so effective[xxxi] -productively maps on the crucified Christ examples. The impact of the imago crucifixi is doubly effective since Christ’s humanity – that allow him to caress the viewer as well as to suffer on the cross – is the fundamental dogma of the medieval church, and one that was over and over rehearsed through theological works as well as popular sermons.

Modern as well as medieval scholars have been concerned with the authenticity these statues assert with their presence. Echoing Lollard and other medieval iconoclastic ideas, Elina Gertsman re-emphasizes the incongruity between the ontological status of the figures and the recognition they demand.

‘The statue makes a claim for reality, for truth, not least through the use of real epidermis to render skin, real keratin to render nails, real human hair to frame his face. But this reality produces a corpse, pale and leeched of life.’[xxxii]

Nevertheless, the truth that is constructed in the encounter between the statue and spectator is, as I theorize it, in the body of the believer and not in the manufactured simulacrum of a human. The pale corpse is alive through the inspiration of the believer, through the act of imagining or believing, which makes it move not by ropes and pedals, but by imagination – Margaret Ebner, Lukardis and Rupert of Deutz gave life to the statues because they believed they were indeed alive. The real epidermis shell is filled with animation/animus by the human who understands the skin as part of the stuff of incarnation; this (re)animation of statues is, in a way, building a real presence from material and inspiration just like the Creation (Genesis 2:7 Formavit igitur Dominus Deus hominem de limo terrae, et inspiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vitae) and, by its Chalcedonian nature, the Incarnation does.

This theoretical approach might seem to be a far-fetched animistic approach spurred by modern familiarity with robotronic fantasies that glorify, nonetheless, the human intellect behind the machine. Yet the Welsh-born bishop of Chichester, Reginald Pecock (d.1461), made the same kind of comparison between the ontology of animated sculptures (idols) and that of Christ:

People thought that the spirits would join themselves with the images in a complicated process incomprehensible to human perception, and that the spirit and the image combined in some inexplicable way would be a perceptible god; somewhat like the way we Christians believe that God descended into humankind and united to himself a human individual.[xxxiii]

For Pecock, idolatry was akin to the incarnation; but in the case of the sculptures of Christ, where the believer would not (or at least, was supposed not to) believe that the actual Christ resided, the similar process taking place was in fact not idolatry. The arguments of Lollards, a group that so adamantly condemned multiple practices of the institutional church, against image-based devotion construed it as ‘ner of kyn to ydolatrie’, but not idolatry quite yet.[xxxiv] The idol-worshipper believed that his god resided in the image – the image would be animated with the spirit of the god; the orthodox Christian believed that her god did not reside in this one specific image, but that the image signified him – in a sophisticated Christian semiology seen best at work in the Eucharist[xxxv] – and that the sculpture was animated by her imagination and belief.

So why do all the images that I found in narrative and illumination resemble the semi-detached Christ of the deposition? What makes this motif so appealing and iconic that it appears over and over again across time, space and story matter? One can use stylistic shifts around the period in order to explain the different approach of the viewer to the new motif, and therefore a feeling of uncanny and uncertainty around the new, more expressive sculptures, like Sand did with sculptures of Mary.[xxxvi] Nevertheless, this essay offered an alternative possibility predicated on the Europe-wide examples of jointed sculptures of Christ. By their ability to prompt the thrill or fear of the crucified suddenly coming alive because of their inherent animation mechanisms, I have shown that artifice – that is, the fabricated and staged sculpture, that represents the incarnated Christ in his most human of moments – can substitute, or better still, re-actualize nature. Contact with a credible simulacrum of embodiment and pain can bring one to recognition of the self, and therefore of the human, in her god. This process rests on witnessing the physicality of the sculptures, and on coming into close proximity, or even contact, with the inviting body of these figures. Intimate touch, therefore, is the key to this incarnational epiphany, a direct body contact that crucial to the very scene of the deposition, and sought by the medieval believer.

Coman14 and 15

Direct body contact produces an extremely visceral sense of truth, and body contact with a material Christ produced the truth of his incarnation. That that body is art, or artifice, idol, or inspired representation of god, it does not matter in the end; what matters is the knowledge that this contact brings.

Visiting the Christ of Burgos in the middle of the 19th century, Theophile Gautier was seriously disturbed by its appearance and the myths surrounding it:

Nothing can be more lugubrious and disquieting than this attenuated, crucified phantom with its human appearance and deathlike stillness; the faded and brownish-yellow skin is streaked with long streams of blood, so well imitated that they seem to trickle. It requires no great effort of imagination to give credence to the legend that it bleeds every Friday.[xxxvii]

For him, this sculpture was the pinnacle of ‘the craving for the true, however revolting,’ a characteristic that he ascribed to Spanish art as a whole, but which could be said to be the impulse for a lot of high and late medieval art. For Gautier, as well as for the nun that I started with, the tangible, credible materiality of the crucified sculpture provides a visceral jolt of (self)-recognition and maybe, a return to belief in the fundamental Christian paradox, a dead god made human.

***

[i] One of the seven surviving medieval copies of the Castilian mirror for princes attributed to King Sancho IV (1258-1295) ‘Castigos del rey don Sancho IV’. Colbert I. Nepaulsingh, ‘Notes for a Study of Wisdom Literature and Literary Composition in Medieval Spain’, in Hispanic Studies, Madison, Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies 1986, ed. John S. Miletich, pp.217-222; Barry Taylor, ‘Old Spanish Wisdom Texts: Some Relationships’, La corónica 1985 (14), pp.71-85.

[ii] The story closely resembles one episode (vol. I, distinction VII, capitulum XLIV) from Cesarius of Heisterbach’s Dialogus Miraculorum (1220-1235), with the twist of the end action by the statue of Christ and not of Mary. See Alexa Sand’s summary in ‘Vindictive virgins: animate images and theories of art in some thirteenth-century miracle stories’, Word & Image 26 (2010), p.155. Cesarius’ story quickly found its way in the Cantigas de Santa Maria attributed to Sancho IV’s father, Alfonso X (1221-1284), but the mutation is peculiar to the Castigo.

[iii] ‘Castigo del Rey don Sancho’, chp.19, translated by Emily C. Francomano, Medieval Conduct Literature: An Anthology of Vernacular Guides to Behaviour for Youths, with English translations, ed. Mark David Johnston, Kathleen M Ashley, (Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press, 2009) pp.217-221.

[iv] Kamil Kopania, Animated Sculptures of the Crucified Christ in the Religious Culture of the Latin Middle Ages (Warszawa: Wydawn. “Neriton”, 2010).

[v] Easter sepulchre animations: Pamela Sheingorn, The Easter Sepulchre in England, Early drama, art, and music reference series 5 (Kalamazoo, MI : Medieval Institute Publications, 1987); Clifford Davidson, ‘The Bodley ‘Christ’s Burial’ and ‘Christ’s Resurrection’: Vernacular Dramas for Good Friday and Easter’, European Medieval Drama 7 (2003), pp. 51-67; Osborne Bennett Hardison, Christian Rite and Christian Drama in the Middle Ages, (Baltimore 1965), pp. 253-283; Peter Meredith, ‘The Bodley Burial and Resurrection’: Late English liturgical drama?’, in Alan J. Fletcher, Wim Hlisken (eds.), Between Folk and Liturgy, (Amsterdam, 1997), pp. 133-155.

[vi] Kopania, ‘”the Idolle That Stode There in Myne Opynyon a Very Monstrous Sight”: On a Number of Late-Medieval Animated Figures of Crucified Christ’, in Materiał Rzeźby, ed. Aleksandra Lipińska (2009), pp.132-3.

[vii] “Vita venerabilis Lukardis,” Analecta Bollandiana 18 (1899), pp.305‒67 (314) cited in Jacqueline Jung, ‘The Tactile and the Visionary: Notes on the Place of Sculpture in the Medieval Religious Imagination’ in Looking Beyond: Visions, Dreams, and Insights in Medieval Art and History, ed. Colum Hourihane (Princeton: Index of Christian Art, 2010), pp.217-18 and n.63.

[viii] Sara Lipton, ‘”The Sweet Lean of His Head”: Writing about Looking at the Crucifix in the High Middle Ages,’ Speculum 80 (2005), pp.1175-6.

[ix] Margaret Ebner, “Revelations,” in Margaret Ebner, Major Works, transl. Leonard P. Hindsley (New York: Paulist Press, 1993), p.96.

[x] Thomas of Cantimpré, The Collected Saints’ Lives: Abbot John of Cantimpré, Christina the Astonishing, Margaret of Ypres, and Lutgard of Aywières, transl. Barbara Newman, Margot H. King, (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2008), p.228.

[xi] ‘Ubi dum in oracione prostrata moram faceret, ut solebat, ymago iam dicta manum et brachium dextrum de ligno crucis absolvens extendensque ipsam benedixit dicens voce sonora: Exaudita est oracio tua et, que postulas, inpetrabis’ transcribed in Jung, ‘Tactile and Visionary’, p.215 n.58

[xii] Carla Varela Fernandes, ‘Pathos – the bodies of Christ on the Cross. Rhetoric of suffering in wooden sculpture found in Portugal, twelfth-fourteenth centuries. A few examples.’ RIHA Journal 0078, 2013.

[xiii] Sara Lipton, ‘Images in the world: reading the crucifixion,’ in Medieval Christianity in Practice, ed. Miri Rubin (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2009), p.180.

[xiv] Gerhard Lutz, ‘The Drop of Blood: Image and Piety in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries’, Preternature 4 (2015), p.37.

[xv] Lutz, ‘Drop of blood’, p.39; Rachel Fulton, From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ and the Virgin Mary, 800-1200 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002).

[xvi] Jung, ‘Tactile and Visionary’, pp.223-4 n.85

[xvii] Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints, ed.F.S. Ellis (Temple Classics, 1900), Chp 12 ‘The Passion of our Lord’.

[xviii] Lipton, ‘Sweet lean’, indexes several primary texts, of which I give a selection: Verse appended to the English text of the Ancrene Riwle (London, British Library, MS Cotton Nero A.xiv, fol. 131v) England, c. 1225-50; Collection of biblical and patristic distinctions (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm. 23447, fol. 23v), 13C; Devotional verse in Latin, French, and English (London, British Library, Add. MS 11579, fol. 36r-v), England, 13C; Middle English devotional verse or excerpt (Trinity College Cambridge, MS B.14.39, fol. 83v). England, c. 1250; Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea, Italy, ca. 1260-63. Other famous medieval writers adopted the trope: Ramon Lull, Catherine of Siena, Thomas a Kempis, Richard Rolle of Hampole.

[xix] Kopania, Animated Sculptures, passim; Kopania, ‘Idolle’, p.135.

[xx]Kopania, ‘Idolle’, p.139.

[xxi] An interesting example is 13th and 14th C mechanic monkeys ‘with real (regularly replaced) skins.’ Jessica Riskin, “Machines in the Garden,” Republics of Letters 1:2 (2010), p.31.

[xxii] Reginald Pecock, The Repressor of Over Much Blaming of the Clergy, Churchill Babington cited in Sarah Salih, “Idol Theory”, Preternature 4 (2015), p.31; Leanne Groeneveld, ‘A Theatrical Miracle: The Boxley Rood of Grace as Puppet’, Early Theatre 10.2 (2007), p.18; Kopania, Animated Sculptures, pp.118, 156 n.117. Misericords with movable tongues in Winchester and Halifax, St John’s cathedral, are mentioned in Paul Hardwick, English Medieval Misericords: The Margins of Meaning, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press, 2011), p.167, and Kopania mentions a ‘bad thief’ with a similar construction.

[xxiii] Sand, ‘Vindictive virgins’, p.155.

[xxiv] Lipton, ‘Reading the crucifixion’, p.181

[xxv] Jung, ‘Tactile and Visionary’, p.219,220

[xxvi] Lipton, ‘Reading the crucifixion’, p.185 Lipton, ‘Sweet lean’, p.1201

[xxvii] Tamise Van Pelt, ‘Lacan in Context: An Introduction to Lacan for the English-Speaking Reader’, College Literature 24 (1997), p59.

[xxviii] Alexa Sand, ‘The fairest of them all: Reflections on some fourteenth-century mirrors’ in Push Me, Pull You: Imaginative, Emotional, Physical, and Spatial Interaction in Late Medieval and Renaissance Art, ed by Sarah Blick and Laura Gelfand (Leiden: Brill, 2011), pp. 535, 544-5.

[xxix] In a somewhat similar manner, Hans Belting sees the body as a big organ receptive to reality from within: “The human being is the natural locus of images, a living organ for images, as it were… it is within the human being, and only within the human being, that images are received and interpreted in a living sense.” An Anthropology of Images: Picture, Medium, Body, trans. Thomas Dunlap (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), p. 37.

[xxx] Sand, ‘Reflections on mirrors’, pp.536, 558, touches on the latter two experiences, but does not give the rationale for their effectiveness.

[xxxi] Sand, ‘Vindictive virgins’, p.157.

[xxxii] Elina Gertsman, ‘’Bewilderment Overwhelms Me’’, Preternature 4 (2015), p.8.

[xxxiii] Reginald Pecock, The Repressor of Over Much Blaming of the Clergy, ed. Churchill Babington (London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, 1860), I.244–45 cited in Salih, “Idol Theory”, p.28

[xxxiv] Salih, “Idol Theory”, p.15

[xxxv] Michel Camille suggests to take the Eucharistic theology as framework for understanding late medieval ‘perception of images, for here a visible thing was itself capable of becoming and not just signifying its prototype.’ The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-Making in Medieval Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), p.217.

[xxxvi]  Sand, ‘Vindictive virgins’, p.150.

[xxxvii] Theophile Gautier, Voyage en Espagne, 1865.

Fabricating Innocence and Fashioning Sexuality: The Material Culture of the Female Child in Nineteenth Century British and French Art

by Sophie Handler,  Durham University

Throughout medieval Europe, the most prevailing opinion of the state of children was their inherent sinfulness. The belief in the notion of Original Sin at home in the child, only to be cleansed away on one’s journey to adulthood through a positive, dutiful and pious life, was strong and widespread, such was the power and influence of the Church. The infiltration of Enlightenment philosophy from the eighteenth century onwards turned the world of established European thought on its head. The Middle Ages’ view of the young was characterised by “the temptation to equate the child with the savage”.[i] As close to basic physical and sexual urges as animals, children had to learn to become civilised in order to be considered human, for “childhood [was] merely the life of a beast”.[ii] However, by the eighteenth century, empirical thought had made considerable headway in chipping away at the cultural cornerstone of Europe that was religion, and began replacing it with a more sceptical attitude that declared man responsible for the corruption of an otherwise innocent and pure child. Accordingly, eroticism was no longer seen as something innate within a child, but acquired through exposure to the evil of the adult world; “crucial to the modern conception of childhood as a state of innocence was the notion that sexuality is dormant, or even non-existent, in the prepubescent body”.[iii] This attestation generated a sense of urgency on the part of social thinkers and philosophers of the period to protect the innocence of the young for as long as possible. In complete contrast to the tolerance of the unruly, carnal child of the medieval era, the Enlightenment period saw every effort imaginable to shield infants from the immorality of the world, perhaps to such a degree, according to some, that most anything besides the overtly pure and innocuous was considered a taboo subject, regardless of its natural roots: “Foucault contends that during the Enlightenment people became deprived of certain ways of speaking about sex”.[iv]

It is unsurprising, then, that by the nineteenth century, attitudes to the moral fibre of the child, particularly in relation to sexuality, were muddled and varied at best. Linda Pollock accurately summarised the perplexity of the situation thus: “The mingling of sexuality and purity, freedom and restraint, material indulgence and corporal punishment, in attitudes to and treatment of children in the nineteenth century indicates both the legacy of the past and the increased anxiety of Victorian society with respect to the new emphasis on the responsibilities of parents and educators”.[v] Social reform in Europe in the nineteenth century had launched parents especially into the spotlight of public scrutiny with regards to appropriate care and education of children, which had consequently intensified anxieties over the place of sexuality in the lives of children.[vi] Far from a sensible and considered approach being established, the pressure of the modern age appeared to merely conflate the issue, most often resulting in the projection of two very polarised images of the child, reflecting the paradoxical combination of innocence and sexuality at play: “in nineteenth-century Europe the diffusion and sentimental glorification of the cult of childhood coincided exactly with an unprecedented industrial exploitation of children”.[vii]

Correspondingly, this paper shall investigate the ways in which these two conflicting ideas of the child were represented in the visual culture of nineteenth century Britain and France, focusing on the depiction of the female child. This focus upon girls invites an issue that is something of a crux to the paper; that is to say, the identities, roles and manifestations assumed by children in these examples of visual culture are invariably a construct of adult design, a physical or symbolic ideal or concession to support popular and material culture of the epoch. The significance of the female child arises from the fact that this commodification of the image of the child is intensified tenfold in the case of little girls, who, from a very young age are “prepared to be looked at by another”, serving as a constant reminder that “the feminine body is constructed for display”.[viii] [ix] The ineffectualness of the child becomes enhanced yet further when that child is female, for her powerlessness does not dissipate gradually on the pathway through adolescence to adulthood as it does for boys. She will remain similarly objectified and manipulated throughout her life, having been prepared and worked upon for this very purpose from an early age. Given that childhood in general has been “primarily a cultural invention and a site of emotional projection by adults”, the subject of the female child becomes all the more loaded, meaning that “representing them visually can project adult questions and assumptions about the social order and can place [female] children in a political (and often sexual) economy that is greater than the contingency of the individual child”. [x] [xi] In order to investigate this issue, this paper will explore and discuss various examples of revealing visual culture of the period, including the work of Impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), the fairy paintings of British artists John Simmons (1823-1876) and Robert Huskisson (1820-1861), the photography of writer Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), and relevant advertising artwork of the period. By turning to some of the most prevalent yet simultaneously controversial artwork of this era from either side of the Channel, this paper can arguably obtain the most accurate gauge of how the female child was viewed and presented, both in terms of the extremes of artistic license and the representativeness, acceptance and popularity of such artwork amongst the general public.

Whilst in most art historical accounts, Impressionism is hailed as a deliciously treasonous movement, brashly subverting the established style and subject matter of the academic art world, its presentation of girlhood is all too often obedient and supportive of the status quo. [xii] Instead of concentrating on the blotchy, heavily stylised landscapes that gave Impressionism its name and renown, and which were so popular with key artists of the movement like Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Alfred Sisley (1839-1899), Renoir became arguably the most prolific producer of Impressionist artwork in which the focus was people in everyday scenes. From sisters collecting flowers and dreamy boat trips to intimate dancing couples and busy café scenes, Renoir became the purveyor of the simple bourgeois social scene for the Impressionist movement. Indeed, for although his style was decidedly neglectful of traditionally accepted techniques as supported by the Salon, conversely, his compositions often buttressed the approved lifestyle of the conforming middle classes. This is perhaps particularly evident in his idyllic family arrangements of mothers, daughters and sisters, whose leisurely role in the home “emphasises this cyclical reproduction of ideal feminine domesticity” at the heart of bourgeois culture. Consider, for example, Renoir’s Children’s Afternoon at Wargemont (1884), in which three sisters of varying ages are depicted partaking in activities appropriate to their delicately domestic upbringing and future, such as reading and sewing. [xiii]

Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Children’s Afternoon at Wargemont, 1884, oil on canvas, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.

These pastimes are peaceful and require little or no supervision; Renoir enhances the quiet insignificance of these girls and their activities by carefully blending them into their surroundings. The girl on the left in particular almost becomes part of the furniture; dressed in shades of blue and white and holding a blue book, she becomes camouflaged in the settee upon which she is seated, her chambray skirt fanning out into the navy stripes of the upholstery, which in turn fades into the blues of the wall behind. Similarly, though not to the same extent, the girl on the right, dressed in reds and with a plait of auburn hair is placed before a predominantly russet background. Far from individuals in their own right, these girls, engrossed in their pastimes, are a decorative feature of a blissful middle class home. Subject to the voyeuristic gaze of the adult viewer, they are “put on display as a commodity of bourgeois culture, signifying wealth, leisure and domesticity”, neither their activities nor appearance disturbing the idyll. [xiv]

It is perhaps the youngest girl in the centre of the composition who is most interesting, however. Unlike her sisters, her dress contrasts with the fabrics immediately surrounding her, and she is not wholly engaged with an activity, instead stood slightly nonchalantly, looking out of the artwork and in the general direction of the viewer, possibly meeting his gaze in a more confident, perhaps coquettish manner. Significantly, she is holding a doll, whose general appearance and countenance is strikingly similar to her own; that is to say, Renoir has seemingly painted the child’s face in much the same way as the doll’s, supporting the notion that in nineteenth-century Europe, “dolls had a powerful influence in helping to internalise, on an unprecedented scale, stereotyped role models”.[xv] In order to compete with the enormously successful German toy market, French company Jumeau, founded in the early 1840s, began designing and manufacturing high quality bisque dolls, whose soaring popularity with the middle and upper classes resulted in an explosion in doll sales by the latter decades of the nineteenth century.

Jumeau
Example of a Jumeau doll.

Far from an innocuous plaything, the Jumeau dolls became a powerful tool by which adults could project their ideals onto children, for these immaculate miniatures embodied the tiny ladies to which these little girls ought to aspire; “the dolls were as placid and perfect as the parent wished the child to be”.[xvi] Spotlessly manicured, stylishly clad, with engaging and unflinching eyes, sweet mutism and reassuring stillness, the Jumeau doll provided the perfect example of feminine decoration and domesticity from which the obedient and dutiful bourgeois girl could learn, and which Renoir’s portrayal of girls eagerly conflated. The ivory complexion, soft rosy cheeks and bright glassy eyes of Renoir’s infant subjects, combined with their idle and somewhat ornamental positioning in the home supported the aesthetic and behavioural ideal for the little bourgeois girl: “the prevalence of the doll type as a visual standard of children shows that children – girls especially – were being commodified as an essential element of bourgeois spectacle”.[xvii]

To explicate this issue yet further, it is important to understand the potential inferences that can be drawn from the name Jumeau, which translates from French to mean ‘twin’, and thus carries a sense of novelty appealing to a materialistic audience or buyer. This is perhaps best explored by looking to another of Renoir’s paintings, Pink and Blue (1881), a portrait of Alice and Elisabeth, the daughters of Jewish French banker Louis Raphaël Cahen d’Anvers.

Renoir_Mlles_Cahen_d_Anvers
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pink and Blue, 1881, oil on canvas, Sau Paulo Museum of Art, Sau Paulo, Brazil.

Although not twins, Elisabeth was just fourteen months older than Alice, and the resemblance is palpable, further expounded by their outfits. The sisters, like a pair of little Jumeau dolls, are positioned before the viewer in matching outfits, separable only by the pink or blue embellishments, as if to offer the consumer a choice of colour, or indeed the complete set of two: “these children are like commodities on a store shelf, the shiniest of many luxury goods”.[xviii]

Reflective of the paradoxical projection of both innocence and sexuality upon the female child in this period, Renoir’s presentation of little girls fittingly corresponds to both characterisations. On the one hand, she embodies the pure innocence of childhood, partaking in simple, harmless activities, seemingly unaware of the adult surveillance to which she is subject; on the other, she has been prepared for viewing, trained from an early age to perform the appealing and perversely alluring role laid out for her, and which she is thus far unable to fully comprehend. Perhaps then, she personifies the “infantile stage of sexual ignorance (not innocence)”, for she is simply unaware, or at least does not wholly appreciate, the sexual economy into which she has been forced from an early age as an unavoidable rite of passage to womanhood. [xix] This is conflated and muddied yet further by the contention that in some cyclical twist, it is from the very innocence and purity of the female child that her sexual appeal is derived. Given that women of nineteenth century Europe had few, if any, rights beyond those of a child, it is unsurprising that the traditional male voyeur gleaned some sexual intrigue if not satisfaction from the same basic sense of innocence and powerless which characterises the perceived role and image of both women and little girls. [xx]  The traditional social expectation of women in this era, namely that they should be “pious, modest, virtuous and chaste” could equally be applied to one’s anticipations of a little girl, a comparison that becomes all the more poignant when coupled with the fact that in nineteenth century France at least, a married woman was considered a minor. [xxi] [xxii] In both life and culture, “young girls and adult men are the preferred couple”, and being that “rich men turned young and beautiful women into ‘trophy wives’ [who were] pampered, indulged and well-dressed, but […] uneducated, led pointless lives, and were little more than rich men’s playthings and status symbols”, it is scarcely remarkable that this deep preoccupation of innocence extended yet further to those most innocent and thus with the most potential for modulation, control and even initiation. [xxiii] [xxiv]

The nineteenth century saw a disconcerting shift in its symbolic figurehead, the middle class adult male. Whilst originally a protective authority, albeit an increasingly curious “voyeur of puberty”, the middle class man was transforming instead into an individual of considerable means and power dangerously captivated by the notion of “childhood innocence sullied by adult intrusion”. [xxv] [xxvi] It was Victorian Britain especially in which morbid and perverse fascination of all sorts flourished, and indeed where “the child-woman came into vogue [as] one yearned for unripeness”, and so the popularity of the bizarrely tantalising art form of fairy painting soared. [xxvii] The combination of the erotic and the supernatural in the art world was not new to the nineteenth century. Consider Henry Fuseli’s (1741-1825) 1781 painting The Nightmare, which, whilst ostensibly depicting a sleeping woman and the demonic manifestation of her nightmare, has overtly sexual motifs running through it, including connotations of violent male libido, conquest and rape of a virgin, and female orgasm. This mingling of the supernatural with taboo aspects of sexuality reached a climax of sorts in Victorian fairy paintings, which offered its viewers an acceptable and accessible way of exploring “a mixture of childish innocence and ripening eroticism”.[xxviii] Once again, the female child is “on passive display, an object of visual pleasure”, and now, instead of a doll, fills the role of a sweet little fairy, disturbingly similar to the ones found in her storybooks, thus partaking in the dangerous, though carefully otherworldly, game of mystical sexual initiation. [xxix] Against a backdrop of advancing awareness of the potentiality of the sexual life of the child, especially in light of “the Victorian era’s cultural fascination with fallenness and prostitution” and the wavering ambivalence towards the eroticising powers of the male gaze, fairy paintings offered an escape into the harmless, fictional land of guilty pleasures: “it often seems as if pictorial fairies overtly acted out what humans only covertly expressed in literature and kept under wraps in varying degrees in real life”. [xxx] [xxxi] By equating the little girl to a fairy, a chaste and miniature being belonging to a fictional universe, she is both protected by the reaffirmation of her innocence and unobtainability in the real world, and eroticised as a sexually appealing commodity to be viewed and sought, instead of appreciated and understood as a person.

John Simmons’ watercolour painting of 1872, entitled There Titania Lies, is just one example of his extensive work on Shakespeare’s fairy queen Titania. In the centre middle ground of the piece lies Titania, the reclining, erotic yet unknowing nude illuminated by her ethereal fairy bedchamber, sleepy, if not sleeping, and angelic. She is surrounded, in the foreground, by a collection of similarly delicate and unconscious fairies, one of whom, in the centre of this protective ring of supernaturalism, is clearly a small fairy child, huddled in the foetal position, the purest of the pure. The dusky background features the vague figure of an adult male approaching; whilst we may assume this is Oberon, Shakespeare’s king of the fairies, this is unclear, and could just as easily be some sort of threatening imposter suggestive of “rather orgiastic undertones, […] of male desire and possession” as he makes his way towards the collection of virginal girl fairies. [xxxii]

Huckisson
Robert Huskisson, The MIdsummer Night’s Fairies, 1847, oil on mahogany, Tate, London, United Kingdom.

A strikingly similar scene is replicated in Robert Huskisson’s painting The Midsummer Night’s Fairies (1847), in which the figure of Titania lies limp and unaware in the light of her purity, whilst a strong and virile knight approaches her from the opaque darkness behind, his white helmet plume aloft as he surveys this diminutive yet invitingly voluptuous child-woman, Huskisson’s use of chiaroscuro emphasising their moral polarity: “sleeping, recumbent, and vulnerable, she is visited by an erect […] youth with a shield […] who has entered her private boudoir”.[xxxiii] The secondary scene in the foreground is a violent one, featuring muscular male fairies battling one another, their lances raised and threatening, perhaps indicative of the all too frequent “sinister spectre of rape or assault [who] lurks in many corners” of the Victorian fairy world of lust, aggression, and prepubescent erotic investiture. [xxxiv] Ultimately, the fixation with fairy paintings points to a need for an outlet through which sexual taboos of the period (which included concepts of bestiality and gender non-conformity as well as the exploitation of young girls) could be safely explored and even enjoyed. Both virtuous and enticing, whilst maintaining a crucial level of fiction and thus separation from the human world, fairies served as the perfect fantasy, the personification of “the ubiquitous fetishisation of girlhood which is at once innocent and erotic”.[xxxv]

More worrying perhaps is the fact that such fetishisation and commodification of little girls, particularly on a paradoxical see-saw combining innocence and sexuality, extended beyond the fictional world and emerged into the human one. Charles Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, is most renowned for his works about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865 onwards), but it is his photographs of little girls, in particular a little girl named Alice Liddell, the reported inspiration behind his eponymous character, which is of particular interest to this paper. Carroll spent a considerable amount of time and often photographed the daughters of friends and acquaintances, (consider for example, his controversial child-nudes featuring sisters Beatrice and Evelyn Hatch), frequently terming the infantile muses his ‘child friends’. Whilst Carroll sought and cultivated “the friendship of many little girls”, it was arguably Alice Liddell to whom he was most firmly attached. [xxxvi] The daughter of Henry Liddell, a long-established friend of Carroll’s from the University of Oxford, Alice became something of a muse to the young writer, manifesting herself in a series of photographs, which have, in more modern times, come under significant scrutiny for their paedophilic undertones.

Lewis
Lewis Carroll, Open your mouth, and shut your eyes, 1858, photograph, Princeton University Library.

Consider as a prime example, Carroll’s 1858 photograph Open your mouth, and shut your eyes, in which Alice is pictured alongside her sisters Lorina and Edith, one sister dangling a pair of cherries before another who waits with closed eyes and open mouth, whilst the third sister watches. On the one hand, it is simply a portrait of three young sisters, wearing their white Sunday dresses. On the other, of course, it is overtly sexual; from the title of the photograph, suggestive of tactile and sensory games, to the poignant use of the cherries, a symbol of virginity and the relinquishment thereof, in the hands of Carroll as a practiced coercer. Perhaps an insight into the largely secretive and thus controversial relationship between Carroll and Alice, the image of cherry bobbing, just like “an adult male playing with a little girl, carries erotic connotations of sexual initiation”.[xxxvii] Reinforced by the third sister who coquettishly observes the scene, this is an acting-out of feminine, infantile sexuality to a captive audience, a “performance of childhood for the adult”.[xxxviii] Encouraging the little girl to come out and play on this intimate stage is metaphorical of the “titillating attractions of the young girl becoming a sexually mature adult”.[xxxix]

Stretching beyond the realm of art and entertainment, the power of the fetishised girl carried economic sway, allowing the materialistic and greedy heart of nineteenth century Europe to maximise upon her potential: female “childhood was elaborately capitalised”.[xl] Interestingly adopting a similar focus on the heavily loaded symbol of the cherry, British soap company Pears made use, from the early 1900s onwards, of John Everett Millais’ (1829-1896) 1879 work Cherry Ripe.

Millais.jpg
John Everett Millais, Cherry Ripe, 1879, oil on canvas, Private Collection.

Originally commissioned by the editor of Victorian newspaper The Graphic, the image proved immensely popular. Featuring a young girl sat beside a bundle of cherries, she is dressed in eighteenth century garb, a nostalgically unreachable image of yesteryear. Her tiny hands pressed together in black fingerless gloves and her ankles are exposed as her skirts bunch around her thighs and hips, suggestive of the curves which will develop beneath the fabric. As she gazes out to the viewer, half smiling, the inference here is that the little girl is ripening just like the cherries. However, her smile is unfounded, for like the other dolls and fairy girls to which she can be compared, her role and appearance is a construct that in itself feeds off its own ignorance: “girl children in particular must not be seen to explore sexual knowledge on their own terms […] they must perform childishness as if unaware of their sexual appeal”.[xli] Once again buttressing the juxtaposition of innocence and sexualisation in which the little girl is passively embroiled, this coy child is unknowingly harnessed for her pubescent sexual appeal in order to sell a product solely for the purposes of cleansing, cleanliness and purity.

A doll, a fairy, or a nostalgic ideal of the past or even one’s own youth, the female child is constructed in a contradictory manner that reflects her lack of natural place in nineteenth century Europe. Her absence of personal or cultural identity as formed on an independent basis conflates her role as harnessed by the beholders of the male gaze. As the miniature version of the already commodified woman, even more ineffectual than her adult counterpart, her existence and image renders her all the more useful to the unbending culture of materiality into which she has been tossed. Perplexed and unnerved by an unfathomable array of historical and philosophical accounts and teachings on the role and morality of the female child, the powerful male populace of nineteenth century Britain and France manipulated this situation, as they did with many others, in order to benefit from the material gains that their influence of careful modulation could afford. Little girls, like dolls and fairies, quite literally became constructions, not so much formed of bisque, fabric and painted magic, as of greed, enterprise and power.

***

[i] Colin, Heywood, Growing Up in France: From the Ancien Régime to the Third Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 286.

[ii] Ibid, 1.

[iii] Jennifer Milam, “Sex education and the child: gendering erotic response in eighteenth-century France”, in Picturing Children: Constructions of childhood between Rousseau and Freud, ed. Marilyn R. Brown. (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2002), 45.

[iv] Ibid, 49.

[v] Linda A. Pollock, foreword to Picturing Children: Constructions of childhood between Rousseau and Freud, by Marilyn R. Brown (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2002),  xix.

[vi] For example, the loi sur la déchéance de la puissance paternelle (‘law on the forfeiture of parental power’), which was passed in France in 1889 and essentially dictated that parents would lose their rights as such if convicted of “crimes committed against ‘the person or persons of their children’”. Sylvia Schafer, Children in Moral Danger and the Problem of Government in Third Republic France. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), 19.

[vii] Brown, Picturing Children , 3.

[viii] Patricia Holland, Picturing Childhood: The myth of the child in popular imagery (London: I.B Tauris & Co Ltd, 2006), 188.

[ix] Ibid, 188.

[x] Brown, Picturing Children , 1.

[xi] Ibid , 2.

[xii] Renowned figure of the nineteenth century Parisian art scene, Louis Leroy (1812-1885) famously coined the term ‘impressionist’ by way of scathingly satirising Claude Monet’s artwork in a review for Le Charivari in 1874. John Rewald. The History of Impressionism. (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1973), 323. In more contemporary times, the National Gallery (London), for example, defines Impressionism as a “radical breakaway movement”. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/learn-about-art/guide-to-impressionism/guide-to-impressionism

[xiii] Greg M. Thomas, “Impressionist Dolls: on the commodification of girlhood in Impressionist painting” in Picturing Children: Constructions of childhood between Rousseau and Freud, ed. Marilyn R. Brown. (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2002), 105.

[xiv] Thomas, “Impressionist Dolls”, 107.

[xv] Ibid, 105.

[xvi] King, Constance Eileen King, Jumeau (Atiglen: Schiffer Publishing, 1983), 92.

[xvii] Thomas, “Impressionist Dolls”, 104.

[xviii] Ibid, 108.

[xix] Milam, “Sex education”, 47.

[xx] In the French Third Republic, for example, a married woman was considered a minor, over 40% of French women were illiterate and therefore excluded from education, and those who found employment had to settle for unskilled work for which they were paid less than half of their male counterparts. William Fortescue. The Third Republic in France 1870-1940: Conflicts and Continuities. (London: Routledge, 2000), 83-96.

[xxi] Fortescue. The Third Republic, 80.

[xxii] Ibid, 83.

[xxiii] Valerie Walkerdine. Daddy’s Girl: Young Girls and Popular Culture. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), 140.

[xxiv] Fortescue, The Third Republic, 96.

[xxv] Alessandra Comini, “Toys in Freud’s attic; torment and taboo in the child and adolescent themes of Vienna’s image-makers” in Picturing Children: Constructions of childhood between Rousseau and Freud, ed. Marilyn R. Brown. (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2002), 174.

[xxvi] Walkerdine, Daddy’s Girl, 174.

[xxvii] Comini, “Toys in Freud’s attic”, 175.

[xxviii] Walkerdine, Daddy’s Girl, 140.

[xxix] Thomas, “Impressionist Dolls”, 109.

[xxx] Susan P. Casteras, “Winged fantasies: constructions of childhood, innocence, adolescence, and sexuality in Victorian fairy painting” in Picturing Children: Constructions of childhood between Rousseau and Freud, ed. Marilyn R. Brown. (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2002), 129.

[xxxi] Ibid, 127.

[xxxii] Ibid, 130.

[xxxiii] Ibid, 132.

[xxxiv] Ibid, 131.

[xxxv] Walkerdine, Daddy’s Girl, 9.

[xxxvi] Iain Mclean. Classics of Social Choice. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995), 52.

[xxxvii] Diane Waggoner, “Photographing childhood – Lewis Carroll and Alice” in Picturing Children: Constructions of childhood between Rousseau and Freud, ed. Marilyn R. Brown. (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2002), 152.

[xxxviii] Ibid, 158.

[xxxix] Ibid, 153.

[xl] Carol Mavor, “Introduction: the unmaking of children” in Picturing Children: Constructions of childhood between Rousseau and Freud, ed. Marilyn R. Brown. (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2002), 27.

[xli] Holland, Picturing Childhood, 180.

 

Bibliography

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Fortescue, William. The Third Republic in France 1870-1940: Conflicts and Continuities. London: Routledge, 2000.

Heywood, Colin. Growing Up in France: From the Ancien Régime to the Third Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

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King, Constance Eileen. Jumeau. Atiglen: Schiffer Publishing, 1983.

Mclean, Iain. Classics of Social Choice. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995.

‘The National Gallery’. www.nationalgallery.org.uk (accessed 1st March 2016).

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