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Les peintres écossais et la reconstitution de l’histoire de l’Écosse durant la première moitié du xixe siècle

Abstract : From the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was a renewal of interest in national history in Scotland. Throughout the previous century, the history of Scotland had been somewhat neglected but it was rediscovered and reconsidered by historians, painters and Walter Scott. The reconstruction of history contributed to the development of the Scottish identity which was defined after the Napoleonic wars. Paintings made during the first half of the nineteenth century contributed to the creation of historical myths which partly ensured the originality and the coherence of the Scottish pro-unionist identity. These myths presented Scotland as a distinct and equal partner to England within Great Britain; they also asserted the Scottish population’s loyalty to the Union of the Parliaments. This article aims to underline the part played by Scottish painters in the reconstruction of the history of Scotland and in the constitution of the national identity. Through the study of a number of history paintings, we shall try to explain the reasons why artists were particularly interested in four highly symbolic periods of the Scottish history and in historic figures such as Mary Stuart and John Knox. We shall see that paintings representing major events in the Scottish and British histories were faithful mirrors of the pro-unionist national identity.
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Marion Amblard. Les peintres écossais et la reconstitution de l’histoire de l’Écosse durant la première moitié du xixe siècle. Etudes écossaises, ELLUG, 2012, Empire — Recherches en cours, pp.69-82. ⟨hal-01848062⟩

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