Paul Legrand’s 1897 submission…
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Wed, 02/02/2022 – 14:08
Paul Legrand’s 1897 submission to the annual Salon de Paris is laden with allusions to triumphs of the French government. Boys on a break from newly mandated free schooling gaze at a kiosk covered in prints and illustrated newspapers (indications of a free press). Among them is a reproduction of Jean-Baptiste Édouard Detaille’s painting Le rêve (The Dream), which depicts soldiers dreaming of France’s past military glories. These youngsters seem to be envisioning their futures defending their country, but can also be seen as stand-ins for early cinema audiences, already familiar with a range of visual media, their multiple messages, and their various forms of replication and distribution.