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Hilary Robinson: Professorial Inaugural Lecture
10 December 2013

Hilary Robinson

Professorial Inaugural Lecture

Pleasure, Painting, Politics: the Three Graces - or - Why I Like Adélaïde Labille-Guiard’s Self-Portrait with Two Pupils


Tuesday 10 December 2013

4.30pm Hatchcroft Building, Room H116

RSVP A&DSLO@mdx.ac.uk

I am not now, nor have I ever been, an Art Historian

At some time in the 1990s, probably at the time of the College Art Association’s annual conference (which means it was probably February in 1994 or 1997, when the conference was in New York), I saw for the first time Adélaïde Labille Guiard’s Self Portrait with Two Pupils, Mademoiselle Marie Gabrielle Capet (1761–1818) and Mademoiselle Carreaux de Rosemond (died 1788), painted in 1785.

I might not remember the year clearly, but I remember the effect very well: I liked it, a lot. I was drawn to it, intrigued by it and also interested in my strong response to it. So I determined to find out more about it. It turned out that no one had written much on this painting, so, like a detective, I started to research, to find out about the artist and to construct the narrative of the painting’s history.

This lecture is the story that I constructed an is also the story of why I do what I do.