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“Quelques misérables places à remplir”Locating Shaped Painting in Eighteenth-Century France

David Pullins

Published online:

30 Dec 2017



This article addresses in depth for the first time the irregularly shaped canvases known as tableaux chantournés (cut-out paintings) that were produced in vast numbers by leading academicians between the 1730s and 1750s and occupy a tenuous place between fine and applied or decorative arts. Through an examination of the term’s first uses in regard to painting and eighteenth-century critics’ responses to these works, tableaux chantournés are positioned as a means of rethinking the extraction of painting from a richer visual field and the relationship of this medium-specific agenda to the historiography of the rococo.

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