0069 In the Artist's Studio with L'Illustration

  • Rachel Esner (Author)
    Art History Institute, University of Amsterdam

    Rachel Esner is Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. She studied at Columbia University, City University of New York and the Universität Hamburg, Germany, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre allemande d'histoire de l'art in Paris. Dr. Esner is a specialist in French art of the late nineteenth century and in art criticism, with a particular interest in the history of reception and the formation of the image of the artist in modernism. She has published in Romantisme, Quarante-Huit/Quatorze, The Van Gogh Museum Journal, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, and Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, as well as numerous anthologies and exhibition catalogues. In 2010 she published an anthology on the reception of Vincent van Gogh: Vincent Everywhere. Van Gogh's (Inter)National Identities (Amsterdam University Press). She is currently preparing an edited volume entitled Hiding Making – Showing Creation. The Studio from Turner to Tacita Dean, to be published by Amsterdam University Press in 2013, as well as a book on the media image of the artist in the nineteenth century.

Identifiers (Article)


This article explores the two series of visits to the artist's studio that appeared in the famed French illustrated magazine L'Illustration in the 1850s and in 1886. An in-depth examination of both the texts and images reveals the verbal and visual tropes used to characterize the artists and their spaces, linking these to broader notions of "the artist" – his moral characteristics, behaviors, and artistic practice – as well as to the politics of the art world and the (bourgeois) ideology of L'Illustration. The aim is to uncover not only the language but also the mechanics of the "mediatization" of the image of the artist in this crucial period.


artist's studio, illustrated press, French art, nineteenth-century art