Cloth $60.00 ISBN: 9780226116389 Published December 2008
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9780226211558 Will Publish October 2014

The Triumph of Pleasure

Louis XIV and the Politics of Spectacle

Georgia J. Cowart

Georgia J. Cowart

336 pages | 8 color plates, 8 halftones, 4 line drawings, 16 musical examples, 3 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2008
Cloth $60.00 ISBN: 9780226116389 Published December 2008
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9780226211558 Will Publish October 2014
Prominent components of Louis XIV’s propaganda, the arts of spectacle also became sources of a potent resistance to the monarchy in late seventeenth-century France. With a particular focus on the court ballet, comedy-ballet, opera, and opera-ballet, Georgia Cowart tells the long-neglected story of how the festive arts deployed an intricate network of subversive satire to undermine the rhetoric of sovereign authority.
        With bold revisionist strokes, Cowart traces this strain of artistic dissent through the comedy-ballets of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Molière, the late operatic works of Lully and the operas of his sons, the opera-ballets of André Campra and his contemporaries, and the related imagery of Antoine Watteau’s well-known painting The Pilgrimage to Cythera. She contends that through a variety of means, including the parody of old-fashioned court entertainments, these works reclaimed traditional allegories for new ideological aims, setting the tone for the Enlightenment. Looking at all these festive arts from the perspective of spectacle as it emerged from the court into the Parisian public sphere, Cowart ultimately situates the ballet and related genres as the missing link between an imagery of propaganda and an imagery of political protest.
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into th efield of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into the field of seventeenth-century studies."
Times Literary Supplement
"One of the great strengths of Cowart's book is precisely its chronological scope. . . . Cowart's reach, combined with her considerable erudition and meticulous scholarship, allows her to make some very suggestive parallels between works that might otherwise have passed unnoticed."
Anne Hogan | Times Higher Education Supplement
"Cowart details the ideological intricacies embedded within and across a wide range of performance modes. . . . [Her] elegant prose and nuanced observations will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in cultural history and the arts."
French Studies
"Cowart's study is of impressive scope and offers a rich synthesis that draws on a breadth of scholarship by musicologists, art historians, literary historians/theorists, and dance specialists. Her cross-disciplinary approach yields important insights into the field of seventeenth-century studies."
Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments

Introduction

The Prerogative of Pleasure

1 * Muses of Pleasure

Louis XIV’s Early Court Ballet, 1651–1661

 

2 * Muses of Power

Louis XIV’s Late Court Ballet, 1661–1669

 

3 * Muses of Satire

Le bourgeois gentilhomme & the Utopia of Theater

 

4 * Tragic Interlude

Reversals at the Paris Opéra, 1671–1697

 

5 * Sappho, Cythera & the Triumph of Love

The Ballet at the Paris Opéra, 1700–1713

 

6 * Carnival, Commedia dell’arte & the Triumph of Folly

The Ballet at the Paris Opéra, 1699–1718

 

7 * Watteau’s Cythera, the Opéra-Ballet & the Staging of Pleasure

Bibliography Index

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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