CONF Apr 5, 2021

Session at AAH Annual Conference 21 (online, 14 Apr 21)

Online, Apr 14, 2021
Registration deadline: Apr 13, 2021

Patricia Smyth

‘Theatre, Art and Visual Culture in the 19th Century’
Session at the Association for Art History annual conference 2021

Convened on behalf of the three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project, ‘Theatre and Visual Culture in the Long 19th Century’, this session seeks to create cross-disciplinary dialogue between scholars of art history, visual culture and theatre history. The 19th century is known as a period of blurred boundaries between previously distinct media, as evidenced by the growing importance of spectacle in stage productions, the circulation of images and motifs between media, and also by the frequent application of the term ‘theatrical’ to a certain type of narrative painting. This trans-medial visual culture operated through a range of new technologies, from printing methods such as lithography, to optical toys and spectacular entertainments such as the panorama and the diorama, the visual effects of which were also attempted on stage. In looking laterally across media (and disciplinary) boundaries, we hope to offer new insights into contemporary debates about spectatorship, cultural legitimacy, popular taste, and the relationship between high art and entertainment.


The Tableau of the Féerie and Romantic Visual Aesthetics: From the drama of human intrigue to the pre-eminence of sensation and wonder
Marika Takanishi Knowles (University of St Andrews)

Art, Spectacle and Control: Copyright and visual culture in the 19th century
Elena Cooper (CREATe, University of Glasgow)

Paul Delaroche’s Assassination of the Duc de Guise and the mise en scène of Romantic Drama
Patricia Smyth (University of Warwick)

Before and After the Duel: Delaroche in the genealogy of Gérôme’s Duel after the Masquerade
Stephen Bann (University of Bristol)

Time and Again: Staging Pompeii in 19th-century London
Sophie Thomas (Ryerson University)

Panoramic Spectacle of History in Contemporary Museum Practices: Yadegar Assisi’s Pergamon Panorama under the light of Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Jean-Léon Gérôme
Gülru Çakmak (University of Massachusetts)

Session convened by the ‘Theatre and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century’ team: Jim Davis, Kate Holmes, Kate Newey, and Patricia Smyth.

For abstracts, please visit the AAH website,,-art,-and-visual-culture/. For the programme, For tickets and online booking,

CONF: Session at AAH Annual Conference 21 (online, 14 Apr 21). In:, Apr 5, 2021 (accessed Apr 21, 2021), <>.