With this widely acclaimed work, Fried revised the way in which eighteenth-century French painting and criticism were viewed and understood.
"A reinterpretation supported by immense learning and by a series of brilliantly perceptive readings of paintings and criticism alike. . . . An exhilarating book."—John Barrell, London Review of Books
Chiefly concerned with policy rather than practice. Focus is on the reigns of two prominent rulers of the 18th century, Frederick the Great of Prussia and Maria Theresa of Austria, each of whom attempted to make elementary education compulsory. **** Cited in BCL3. Reprint of the U. of California Press edition of 1980. With this work, Fried (humanities, Johns Hopkins) revised the way in which 18th c. French painting and criticism were viewed and understood. On considering paintings from 1753 to 1781 and the comments of a number of critics, particularly Diderot, Fried discovered a new emphasis in the art of the time, not subject matter but values and effects, especially the effect of absorption--the human figure engrossed in an activity as if in denial of an audience--and its implications. Deserves better than acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)