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Michèle Hannoosh,
Jules Michelet: Writing Art and History in Nineteenth-Century France.
University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2019.
248 pp.; 31 b&w illus.; bibliography; index.
$94.95 (hardcover)
ISBN: 978–0–271–08356–8

In 1845, Jules Michelet (1798–1874), planning his famous book Le Peuple (The People, 1846), wrote in his journal that he had sought inspiration not in archives or texts but in art works:

Instead of the Institute, I went, with Le Peuple in mind, to the Louvre. Saw my Dutch painters again. In the French, little or nothing of the people. It is as though [the people] were not born progressively, but all at once, with the Revolution. Philippe de Champaigne and the others are bourgeois. Valentin is a little gentleman. Poussin and Claude were made “noble” by Italy. Ferocious emergence of the people in the Raft. How noble they are, after the Revolution and the Empire, gesturing to the future! (121).

His 1846 lectures at the Collège de France on the living ideals of the French Revolution, national spirit, and the people, were filled with references to Géricault, “our eminently national artist and the foremost French painter” (141).

Michelet, a prolific Liberal and Romantic historian, is best known today for his history of France from the Middle Ages to modern times, published in seventeen volumes between 1833 and 1867.‍[1] Political favor during the July Monarchy allowed his influence to permeate French institutions.‍[2] In 1830 he was named head of the historical section of the Archives Royales (earlier and later the Archives Nationales). In 1838 he was elected to the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques and appointed to the chair of History and Moral Philosophy at the Collège de France; his lectures were published on the days they were delivered. But the political turbulence in 1848 that eventually led to the rise of Louis-Napoléon damaged Michelet’s career. Already in December 31, 1847, the Ministry of Public Instruction had suspended his course. Although he resumed it in March 1848, it was suspended again in 1851, and he was officially removed from his position in 1852. After the loss of his position at the Collège de France, and paying the costs of publication of his multi-volume history of the French Revolution himself, he began to publish works on natural science for the lay audience, including L’Oiseau (1856), L’Insecte (1857), L’Amour (1858), La Femme (1860), and La Mer (1861).‍[3] Throughout his life he kept a journal which ran to thousands of pages.

In Jules Michelet. Writing Art and History in Nineteenth-Century France, Michèle Hannoosh demonstrates the profound importance that the visual arts had for Michelet’s innovative conception of history and his historiographic methodology:

[A]n experience of the visual arts, along with its interpretation and elaboration in writing, accompanies, and often is at the origin of, Michelet’s most important and original historical concepts, and it allows us to see these concepts in their greatest depth and complexity. In the main periods that, for him, marked out the course of France’s history—the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, and the Revolution, with the long, dark interlude of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century wars of religion between the latter two—works of art were crucial to his understanding of their dominant ideas: the gothic, the Renaissance, civil war, nation, and the people (3).

Like many of his colleagues who had survived history as it was made during the French Revolution and the Empire, Michelet saw the task of the modern historian as that of preserving “the vital chain that, from a past seemingly dead, carries the life force toward the future” (16–7).‍[4] He heard the voices of the past weeping and lamenting, imploring him to speak for them, as he recorded in an entry in his journal in 1842:

Let there be someone who knows us better than we ourselves did, someone to whom God may have given a heart and an ear to hear, from the depths of the earth, our poor feeble voice and our faint breathing, someone who loves the dead, someone who discovers and tells them the very words that they never spoke [. . .] who can inform them of what their words and their actions, which they did not understand, meant. [Y]ou must hear the words that were never said, which remained deep in their hearts (delve into your own, they are there); you must make the silences of history speak, those terrible pauses in which history no longer says anything and which are actually its most tragic tones. Only then will the dead resign themselves to the grave (25).

Michelet described his methodological approach as “resurrection,” establishing a direct and personal connection with the past in what he called a “violent moral chemistry [. . .] in which my individual passions become general ones, my general feelings become personal passions, my people become me, my self returns to bring different peoples to life” (30). In such an endeavor, art works were uniquely valuable. Art works were able, Michelet insisted, to reveal the very essence of the past: “One thing cannot lie: art. While science can prune and neuter itself, and literature can turn a different face and pretend, art, in a period that is morally ugly, is itself decidedly ugly too” (158).

Michelet urged that art, history, and the historian’s ability to comprehend and reveal the past should be integrated in a functional relationship. Studying art works would permit the historian to deduce the cultural institutions which had influenced the art work’s forms, technical aspects, and expressive power. In an 1842 lecture to his students at the Collège de France Michelet said:

I would like to enter with you into an understanding of art and of human activity, to see how each, in its various manifestations, has influenced the other. That is, when I analyze a statue, I will show the part that religion or the laws of the society had in it; and when I analyze a set of laws, I will say [. . .] how the idea of the beautiful, of genius, and of art current at the time affected not just its form but its content (3).

Given Michelet’s political views, he was particularly interested in a history that revealed the essence of the past not evident in texts, since they were dependent on the permission of those in power (monarchy or clergy). The French people’s emerging sense of the nation could not be found in the archives of the Institut. In the visual arts, Hannoosh explains, Michelet found the “witness to a history that had frequently gone unnoticed and untold; it expressed key ideas standing behind events; it stated concepts that would come to fruition in history only later; in its power to attract and enchant, it paradoxically brought out the truth” (3).

Furthermore, Michelet appreciated that art work revealed not only the past but the unique perspective of the artist-creator, just as a portrait reveals the artist who painted it as well as the sitter: “There is no portrait so exact, so consistent with the model, that does not have something of the artist” (35). As the art work reveals the past, in Michelet’s view, it impresses and transforms the modern spectator, and thus he felt that his history should also impress and transform the reader. Since art works had this potent effect on Michelet’s senses, emotions, and intellect, he himself was scrupulously attentive to the qualities of the work and rendered his responses to it as dynamically and eloquently as possible so that the reader, unable to see the work while reading Michelet’s text, could also enter into the dialogue which he is having with the subject and with the artist’s rendition of the subject. Michelet’s writing is passionate, performative, verbally ornate, and temporally fluid. Not only does he repeatedly summon the voices of the dead and converse with them, he makes the art works themselves come to life and enter into dialogue with him, changing his viewpoint in the process.

The performative aspect of Michelet’s lyrical, stylized prose was recognized in his own day, as Hannoosh points out:

Many of his contemporaries found it at best distracting, at worst disturbing, even sadistic in the pleasure with which it “painted” the violent or disreputable moments, forces, characters, and motivations that it described: reviewing the Guerres de religion volume in 1856, Athanase Coquerel fils criticized “that excessive color and movement, even in subjects that are terrifying or shocking, which make these violent pages resemble a little too much certain paintings by M. Delacroix” (7).

Hannoosh illuminates how Michelet’s responses to art works, his close and sensitive scrutiny and repeated viewings, were expressed through multiple textual sources to evoke a dynamic living past. She documents the status of the visual works as he saw them, and she analyses his rhapsodic and complex written historical texts. This is the achievement of Michèle Hannoosh: she allows us to see the mind of an innovative and lyrical historian, responding to the world, considering its deeper meaning, forging a way for contemporaries to grasp the “living chain” with the past.

In Jules Michelet. Writing Art and History in Nineteenth-Century France, Hannoosh returns to the original sources and traces with meticulous care the development of Michelet’s concepts throughout decades, referring to his journal, correspondence, notes for lectures for his course at the Collège de France, published lectures, diaries of students who attended the lectures, chapters in the Histoire de France, and other major works such as Le Peuple. Let us consider one example: Michelet’s discussion of Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa (1818–19) in a lecture delivered February 12, 1846, at the Collège de France in a series devoted to “Nationality.” Hannoosh scrutinizes the original notes for the 1846 lectures and compares them with published records. This famous essay, one which was repeatedly republished, was best known through a version published in 1896 that compiled notes and fragments from several years in which Michelet’s ideas were in flux; it was not based on a finished text from the hand of Michelet.‍[5] She returns to the manuscript notes themselves in the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris and follows Michelet’s evolving conception through his lecture notes and his journal entries. She documents his viewing of art works in public collections and temporary exhibitions, pointing out his different responses as he viewed the same works across decades. When she assesses the significance of Géricault’s art for Michelet’s conception of “the people,” she points out the importance of the historian’s visit to the exhibition at the Bazar Bonne-Nouvelle in 1846, his frustration that the Raft of the Medusa and its preparatory sketches were not included, and his seeking them out in the Louvre (133–34). She notes that when in 1862 and 1864 Chesneau published Michelet’s undelivered lecture on Géricault (entitled “Fraternity”) of January 13, 1848 (cancelled because of his suspension from the Collège de France), he cut out a page and a half of the intended lecture.‍[6] Her reconstruction of Michelet’s evolving theories demonstrates the same scholarly rigor that permeated her two-volume edition of Delacroix’s Journal, which similarly portrayed the artist’s thoughts as they evolved throughout his life and placed them in relation to myriad sources, including passages from other works that he copied into his journal.‍[7]

Art works were the conduit for Michelet to enter the past even as a young child; his visit to Alexandre Lenoir’s Musée des Monuments Français was a foundational experience. Two lectures for the Collège de France centered on this memory, and he referred to it at least three times in his published writings: “My strongest childhood impression [. . .] is of the Musée des monuments français, which was so regrettably dismantled. It is there, and nowhere else, that I first had a vivid impression of history. I filled those tombs with my imagination, I felt the presence of the dead through the marble statues, and it was not without terror that I entered the low-vaulted rooms where Dagobert, Chilpéric and Frédégonde slumbered” (1).‍[8]

In her introduction and first chapter Hannoosh explains Michelet’s evolving historiographic methods and the essential place that art works held in it. Succeeding chapters demonstrate Michelet’s approach in action as he assesses the Gothic through the cathedrals of Reims and Strasbourg, the Northern Renaissance through such works as Dürer’s Melencolia I (1514), the French Wars of Religion through the ballroom at Fontainebleau and sculptures by Goujon and Pilon, and the Empire and the Restoration through works by Géricault.

Michelet’s first major piece of art writing, a “tour de force” (47), was published in 1833 in his discussion of the Gothic for the Histoire de France. Michelet personifies Gothic architecture as a lovely woman, describing its evolution from its earlier “austere beauty of virginity” (51) when it was an emblem of the people’s faith, to its aging and emaciated second age, allied with monarchy and clerical bureaucracy:

delightfully coquettish in its finery . . . more and more ornate and triumphant, as the pain grew within. However hard you try, suffering beauty, the bracelet hangs loosely on a withered arm . . . . Art sank more deeply every day into this emaciated state. It laid into the stone, blamed it for that life that was drying up; it hollowed it, excavated it, thinned it down, refined it. Architecture became the sister of scholasticism (51).

In chapter 3, Hannoosh discusses Michelet’s view of the Renaissance in northern Europe. He dedicated a chapter of the Histoire de France (published in 1855) to Dürer’s copper engraving Melencolia I, the personification of the genius of the Renaissance, the “angel of science and art” (86). As Michelet engages in a dialogue with the somber figure, we begin to understand why in his view the Renaissance is emblematic of the realization that knowledge brings with it a recognition of its limits:

Oh, son of the light, how sad you are! . . . and disheartening! . . . For my part, I had thought that enlightenment was joyous! “What, so you don’t see!” he would say if he could speak, if from the depths of the copper-plate he could turn toward me, “don’t you see this ill-hewn block, so irregular in form, which divine geometry will not restore to the prismatic state of crystals? Prismatic it was, regular, harmonious. What did I do? Without achieving art, I shattered nature.” [. . .] The infinite that he pursues, the light that he adores, is that which is in the depths of his being. That is what doubles his fist and wrinkles his brow, that is what leaves him unconsoled. That is why his laurel crown weighs him down, and all his instruments, the tools of his work, seem to him only burdens, obstacles . . . . Oh! We have amassed too much, we succumb under our powers. He is a prisoner of the clutter of learning. His laboratory is terrible to behold. How would he escape it? How, if he should have the misfortune to want just to stand up, could he do so? He would have to smash the roof with his brow. [. . .] . . . And the wings! That’s the most terrible! . . . Oh, to feel you have wings and never to fly . . . Prometheus was spared that torment” (87).

As Hannoosh points out:

This text is typical of Michelet’s art-writing. He inserts himself into the narrative, converses with the angel, relates its experience to him, and his readers’ own. The text is punctuated by interjections and interpellations, vocatives and apostrophe. The multiple verb tenses blur the boundary between past and present. The third-person narration gives way to dialogue, the dialogue returns to the third-person, and this slides almost imperceptibly into the collective first-person plural—“Oh! We have amassed too much, we succumb under our powers” [. . .] Moreover, the image speaks for itself, contradicting the historian’s mistaken presuppositions [. . .] The historian thus becomes like the angel, aware of the limitations of knowledge that knowledge has laid bare, an image of melancholia himself (87–8).

For Michelet, Hannoosh argues, the Northern Renaissance is imbued with “the melancholy of solitude that is the reverse side of heroic individualism; the suffering of the scholar, the scientist, the philosopher, aware of the limitations of knowledge that knowledge itself has laid bare [. . .] Michelet’s Renaissance will be forever deferred until the advent of a ‘people’ to generalize the efforts of the ‘bold precursors’ who, failing that, remain ‘individual, isolated, impotent’: ‘the people who can sustain them have not yet been born.’” (88–9).

In chapter 4, Hannoosh analyses Michelet’s characterization of the period of the Wars of Religion through art works that appear at first to celebrate court beauties such as Diane de Poitiers but actually lay bare the disastrous enchantment she designed to keep a weak king from impeding the rise of reactionary Catholicism, enabling Protestant persecution and the massacres of Saint Bartholomew’s Day in 1572. Michelet saw repeatedly Germain Pilon’s The Three Fates (1586, Musée National de la Renaissance, Écouen) after it entered the Musée de Cluny in 1845.‍[9] He considered the Fate Atropos to be a portrait of Diane de Poitiers, and the sculpture revealed to him the amorality of mother and daughters, Diane’s “violent disdain for humanity,” her “avid egotism,” and her orgasmic pleasure in condemning to death:

A violent disdain for humanity is in this sculpture (cruel! deep!). The books of our destiny are on the ground, under the young Fates who are trampling them. [. . .] Smiling, they play their carefree game of spinning; gaily they deliver us to death (110).

She looks neither at the thread that she is given, nor at her who gives it, nor at the instrument of death. You would think she was indifferent. Pass behind, her poised foot shows the appalling pleasure that she takes in squeezing the cutter (112).

Religious persecution requires expiation, and that is what Michelet sees in Pilon’s funerary monument for Valentine Balbiani (1574), wife of Chancellor René de Birague who had been advisor to Charles IX at the time of the massacre of Saint Bartholomew’s Day.‍[10] Pilon had sculpted each detail until the dress:

was in some ways exterminated by the chisel. And for that, it was necessary that it no longer be a woman. He did the body in bas-relief as it would be a month, perhaps, after death, a half-masculine corpse, drearily austere and sexless [. . .] Still it was not enough. Under the woman, the dead body, worms . . . Under that, what? Nothingness (117).

Enough, cruel artist! Enough, spare her! Pity for Woman and Beauty! . . . No, he is implacable . . . Woman, that fatal queen of the sixteenth century, who so raised and spoiled that child, will have to endure this expiation. Let Death reign, and may it be known through all the senses! Woman or corpse, he pursues her to her final humiliation, makes her nauseating (119).

Chapter 5 centers on Géricault, whose works and career were of central importance for Michelet during the 1840s. In this decade, his history of the French nation reached the modern era, he published Le Peuple, and he began his history of the French Revolution. It was Géricault, Michelet believed, whose style, subject matter, and career revealed the emergence of the French people and the modern French nation. Michelet sought an art expressing the living ideals of the French Revolution. In his view David’s “generalization” and imitation of the antique, his “lack of respect” for “specificity” and “individuality,” were the painterly equivalent of the Reign of Terror, a kind of “tyranny” (138). But in Géricault’s Charging Chasseur (1812, Musée du Louvre, Paris), Wounded Cuirassier (1814, Musée du Louvre, Paris) and especially The Raft of the Medusa (Musée du Louvre, Paris), Michelet saw the qualities that he “associated with the people—simplicity, youth, strength, generosity, inspiration and instinct, the source of life and regeneration—and that ground the national values of liberty, equality, fraternity, justice and right” (124).

Michelet prepared three lectures on nationality to be delivered at the Collège de France in February 1846, a month after the publication of Le Peuple. In preparation he attempted, unsuccessfully, to see once again the Charging Chasseur and Wounded Cuirassier at the Palais Royal. He also went to the Louvre to consult drawings and to the exhibition of the Société des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Architects, et Graveurs at the Bazar Bonne-Nouvelle, where David’s Marat was on view but where Géricault was represented by paintings of horses, A Charge of Cuirassiers (1812, Wallace Collection, London), and other lesser works. Michelet complained: “They are exhibiting David’s strong works, but Géricault’s weak ones, [. . .] Géricault is buried. Medusa, invisible and [paintings] at the Palais Royal invisible. [. . .] where are the preparatory works for the Medusa?” (134).

The 1846 lectures were integrated into Michelet’s Histoire de la révolution française, which began to appear in 1847. Unfortunately, the third lecture in the series (February 12, 1846), devoted to Géricault, only survives as undated notes, although a summary of the lecture was published at the time.‍[11] His last significant discussion of Géricault occurred in his aforementioned undelivered lecture of January 13, 1848. Michelet urged his students to dedicate themselves to preserving the ideals that had been embodied in the art of Géricault. They should not be discouraged by the artist’s life cut short, his frailty, his lack of a responsive audience in 1824. “May that great man serve us by his life and his death; let us not give in, as he did, to discouragement. We must descend gentlemen, more than he did, into the underworld, to penetrate and traverse the immense depths of society instead of staying at the surface” (146–47).‍[12]

Political events in 1848 and thereafter required that Michelet reconsider his views on the persistence of the French Revolution’s ideals and the significance of Géricault, whom he did not mention in later volumes of the Histoire de la révolution française (1852–53), nor in any other works from the latter part of his career. As Hannoosh notes:

Géricault’s absence from Michelet’s later work is significant: Géricault represented an ambiguity about the people and the nation that Michelet continued to feel deeply, but which, faced with the coup d’état of 1851 and especially the Franco-Prussian War and Commune of 1870–71, he could not allow himself to accept. Géricault’s images persisted vaguely in Michelet’s language, but as generalized metaphors; the ambiguities of the original works had to be suppressed, lest the historian, like the painter himself, lose faith in “the people” and in “France” (125).

Art historians perusing this fascinating and enlightening book will wish that the visual presentation was adequate to Michelet’s rhapsodic responses. The illustrations (unfortunately in black and white, which muffles the visual impact of the paintings) are there to support Michelet’s exegesis; they include a detail of the clenched toes of Atropos in Pilon’s Three Fates. Color illustrations of nineteenth-century visual reconstructions of the display as he saw them, such as Vauzelle’s or Brès’s illustrations of the Musée des Monuments Français, for example, or web links to color images of the original works, would support his passionate texts.‍[13] There is exciting work being done now on digital reconstruction of exhibitions which inspired influential writers.‍[14]

When Michelet visited Strasbourg Cathedral in 1842, his written response describes the sun illuminating stained glass and causing the edifice to come to life, addressing all the senses of the viewer:

Let a ray of sun strike it, and all the stained glass windows light up, all the little figures on the south side quiver and awaken, their little voices harmonize with the great voices of the great figures in the windows on the north side; then the whole church sings, the angels on the pillar sound the trumpet [. . .] architectural music, regular and prismatic (58).

That sensitivity to original art, that passionate response, is what we as art historians share with Michelet. In this book Hannoosh reveals a brilliant mind using art to invent a way of writing history, inspiring the discipline of art history itself, inspiring us to continue to build the “cathedral of knowledge” as both meticulous scholarship and profound love of art.‍[15]

Beth S. Wright
Distinguished University Professor of Art History, the University of Texas at Arlington

All translations are by Michèle Hannoosh unless otherwise noted. She provides the full French text for all her translations in the notes to the book.

[1] His history first described France from the death of Charlemagne up to the Hundred Years War and the consolidation of royal power under Charles VII and Louis XI (1833–44). Then he offered a history of the French Revolution (1845–53), before publishing a history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (1855–67) and beginning a modern history (Histoire du XIXe siècle), left incomplete at the end of his life and ending at the battle of Waterloo. See Jules Michelet, Œuvres complètes, ed. Paul Viallaneix and Robert Casanova, Edward Kaplan, Bernard Leuillot, et al. 21 vols. (Paris: Flammarion, 1971–87; vols. 11–5 and 19 not published); Jules Michelet, Histoire de la Révolution française (1847–1853), ed. Gérard Walter, 2 vols. (Paris: Gallimard, 1952).

[2] In 1828 he became tutor to Louise-Marie-Thérèse de Berry, granddaughter of Charles X, and professor of history and philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieur (1828–29). After the July Revolution in 1830, he was appointed tutor to the fifth child of Louis-Philippe, Clémentine, whom he taught until 1843. On Michelet’s career see Ceri Crossley, French Historians and Romanticism. Thierry, Guizot, The Sant-Simonians, Quinet, Michelet (New York: Routledge, 1993), chapter 6 “Jules Michelet (1798–1874): History as Resurrection,” 183–250; Roland Barthes, Michelet [1954], trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1987).

[3] Pim den Boer, History as a Profession. The Study of History in France, 1818–1914, trans. Arnold J. Pomerans (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987), 115, cited T. Zeldin, France, 1848–1945, 2 vols., (Oxford University Press, 1973–7), 2:386–87.

[4] Michelet, Journal, 2: 126, entry for September 2, 1850, Hannoosh 173n68. I have written on this impact in historical representation as well as historiography. See Beth S. Wright, Painting and History during the French Restoration. Abandoned by the Past (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), chapter 1 “Imagining the Past in 1827. A Note on Methodology” (1–14) and chapter 2 “‘Everything is Optical’: The Revolution in Historical Narration and the Dilemma of Historical Painting” (15–30).

[5] “Michelet’s discussion of Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa [. . .] is the best known of all his writings on art. This is somewhat ironic, since the standard text, published in 1896 by an anonymous editor (probably Athénaïs Michelet), is a compilation, freely amended, expanded, and made deceptively continuous, of a series of fragmentary, discontinuous, and heterogeneous lecture notes from 1846, into which elements of a later lecture have been integrated. Although this has remained the text of reference, it is not, as it stands, Michelet’s own work. More important, it obscures the nature, evolution, and varying contexts of his remarks.” (Hannoosh, 121 and Hannoosh 200n2: “David- Géricault. Souvenirs du Collège de France (1846),” Revue des deux mondes LXVIe année, 4e période, tome 138, 1896, 241–62. The text has been reprinted as Géricault (Caen: L’Échoppe, 1991). See Éric Fauquet, “Le Géricault de Michelet,” in Géricault, ed. Régis Michel, 2 vols. (Paris: La Documentation française, 1996), 2:761–75: Bruno Chenique, “Le Radeau de la Méduse et l’idéologie du seul but de l’art,” La Tribune de l’art, April 21, 2003, n.p., ‘The first semester of 1848 lectures, originally published weekly as Cours professé au Collège de France (1847––1848) (Paris: Chamerot, 1848) was republished after Michelet’s death as L’Étudiant (Paris: Calmann Levy, 1877). (Hannoosh in the volume under review here, 200n4).

[6] Although Michelet’s scheduled lecture on Géricault was not delivered, it was published as a pamphlet on January 13, 1848, and the pamphlet was reprinted by Ernest Chesneau, Les Artistes du XIXe siècle. Les chefs d’école (Paris: Didier, 1862), 393–98 and reprinted by Chesneau in 1864 as an appendix. But, as Hannoosh notes, the text was not complete; Chesneau suppressed the last page and a half (209n145).

[7] Michèle Hannoosh, ed., Eugène Delacroix: Journal. Nouvelle édition intégrale établie par Michèle Hannoosh, 2 vols. (Paris: José Corti, 2009).

[8] Jules Michelet, Le Peuple [1846 ed. xxvi], Le Peuple, ed. Paul Viallaneix (Paris: Flammarion, 1974), 67–68. See Jules Michelet, Cours au Collège de France (1838–1851), ed. Paul Viallaneix with Oscar A. Haac and Irène Tieder, 2 vols., 1:519–22, December 29, 1842; Michelet, Cours au Collège de France, 1: 523–27, January 5, 1843; Michelet, Histoire de la Révolution française, 1:539; Michelet, Histoire du XIXe siècle, in Œuvres complètes, 21:130–31. Michelet’s discussion of the tomb of Valentina Balbiani (see below) was part of his published lecture in 1843. See Hannoosh, Jules Michelet, 197n59, “Jour, I:498, 29 December 1842: ‘Leçon sur le Musée des monuments français, sur Valentina Balbiano (sic).’” Camillo Cavour, who attended the lecture, confirmed Michelet’s diary entry that it took place on December 29, 1842. Cavour also summarizes the lecture: Michelet discussed the Musée des Monuments Français, the tomb of Valentina, and her husband’s role in the Saint-Barthélémy (Camillo Cavour, Diari 1833–1856, ed. Alfono Bogge, 2 vols. (Rome: Ministero per i beni culturali ambimentali, Ufficio centrale per I beni archivistici, 1991), 2:611). See Hannoosh, Jules Michelet, 197n59.

[9] Pilon’s sculpture was commissioned in 1586 by Nicolas Fumée, bishop of Beauvais, for his garden in Gentilly. In the nineteenth century, the sculpture was acquired by Achille Devéria. In 1845 it entered the Musée Cluny.

[10] Valentine Birague’s funerary monument in the Birague chapel at Sainte-Catherine-du-Val-des-Écoliers, Paris, was broken up in 1783 and combined with her husband’s funerary monument (also by Pilon) in the same chapel. Fragments of it, recomposed by Lenoir, entered the Musée des Monuments Français in 1794, where Michelet saw it as a boy, and then the Louvre in 1816. Part of the monument was sent to Versailles in 1837, and returned to the Louvre in 1847, where it was reunited with what remained of the rest. Michelet studied the part that was in the Galerie des Sculptures in Versailles (the statue of Valentine reading) on October 2, 1842 (Journal, 1:480) and discussed it in his lecture at the Collège de France of December 29, 1842. Hannoosh, Jules Michelet, 113n57–59.

[11] Claude Chavigny, “Collège de France: Histoire nationale; M. Michelet,” Écho de la litéerature et des beaux-arts (April 30, 1846): 115.

[12] Hannoosh, Jules Michelet, 209n138. Chesneau “cut the text off at ‘ne cédons pas, comme lui, au découragement,’ thus excising the call to action of the last page and a half” (Hannoosh, Jules Michelet, 209n145).

[13] See Vues pittoresques et perspectives des salles du Musée des Monuments français . . . gravées par MM. Réville et de Lavallée d’après les dessins de M. Vauzelle (Paris: Didot, 1816) and Jean-Pierre Brès, Souvenirs du musée des monuments français (Paris: Brès and Carilian Goeuty, 1821), which was reviewed by Niquevert in the Journal des Artistes 1:6 (February 11, 1827): 82–86. Hannoosh cites the sumptuously illustrated catalog by Geneviève Bresc-Bautier and Béatrice de Chancel-Bardelot, Un Musée Révolutionnaire. Le Musée des Monuments français d’Alexandre Lenoir (Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2016). Valérie Montalbetti’s essay, “Alexandre Lenoir, Jean Goujon et la création d’un imaginaire artistique national,” 334–46, which discusses Jean Goujon’s Diane d’Anet in depth, provides contemporary visual responses such as Antoine Mongin’s gouache Tombeau de Diane de Poitiers dans le jardin Elysée (ca.1808; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille), illustrated p. 342, fig. 114.

[14] Janine Barchas, “Digitally Reconstructing the Reynolds Retrospective Attended by Jane Austen in 1813: A Report on E-Work-in-Progress,” ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640–1830, 2:1 (March 2012), Article 13. See Scholar Commons University of South Florida; doi:10.5038/2157-7129.2.1.12.

[15] “. . . on a visit to Limoges in 1835, he compares his historical project to the building of the gothic cathedral . . . ‘May we, too, build the cathedral, not one of stone but one of knowledge’” (159–60). As Hannoosh notes, citing Lucien Febvre’s Michelet et la Renaissance (Paris: Flammarion, 1992) among other works, Jakob Burckhardt’s The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860) is profoundly indebted to Michelet’s views. She also signals the work of Walter Pater and John Addington Symonds, to which I would add John Ruskin.