meaning of the apparent allegory. No explanation had been offered and no easily legible meaning could be read. Critics were thrown into subjective response. "Ancient Vision" with its dreamy antiquity and "Christian Inspiration" with its busy monastic scene were exhibited in the Salon of 1886. Shaw found conservative critics more friendly to the Christian cloister, its hierarchical, purposeful and masculine mode, its religious base. On the other hand, republicans saw themselves challenged to recapture the sense of peace and plenitude caught by Ancient Vision. And so political visions were argued through preferences in taste. The other murals that Shaw considers are "The Sorbonne," installed in the Grand Amphithéâtre de la Sorbonne in 1889, and "Summer" (1891) and "Winter" (1892) painted for the Salon du Zodiaque in the Hôtel de Ville of Paris. While the works were valued by conservative critics, they often mystified them. Shaw argues that these allegories evoked reflections or subjective dream states supportive of the republican agenda. The new Sorbonne buildings and the mural reflected the secular ideals of those who were building the Third Republic, ideals which needed to be distinguished from those of the school's medieval origin as a theological college. "Summer" and
Nineteenth Century French Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 3, 2004
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