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History painting

LC control no.sh2008007183
LC classificationND1440
Topical headingHistory painting
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See alsoPainting
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Scope noteHere are entered works on narrative painting that depicts several figures enacting a scene usually drawn from classical history or mythology, or from the Bible.
Found inWork cat.: Barry, James. An account of a series of pictures, in the great room of the Society of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, at the Adelphi, 1783: p. 40-41 (series of six pictures: Story of Orpheus; Harvest home, or Thanksgiving to Ceres and Bacchus; Victors at Olympia; Navigation, or the Triumph of the Thames; Distribution of premiums in the Society of Arts, &c.; Elizium, or the State of final retribution; three of these subjects are poetical, and the others historical)
Oxford art online WWW home page, Sept. 10, 2008 (History painting: the depiction of several persons engaged in an important or memorable action, usually taken from a written source; derives from Leon Battista Alberti's use of the word "historia" in 1435 to describe a narrative picture with many figures; in the academic doctrines of the 17th and 18th centuries, the action depicted might equally be one of factual record or of fable; thus defined, history painting could include religious themes, or depictions of momentous recent events, but the term was most frequently associated with Classical subject matter; in the late 18th century, history painters started to include many aspects of genre; much 19th-century history painting deals with "history" in the modern sense, that is, with the exploration of the past for its own particular qualities)
Oxford companion to western art WWW home page, Jan. 8, 2010 (History painting is a form of narrative painting depicting several figures enacting a scene normally drawn from classical history or mythology, or from the Bible. Its special position from the early Renaissance to the 19th century stemmed directly from the generally dominant aesthetic doctrine that the highest aim of painting was to discover and represent perfect forms of the human passions and intellect.)
Concise Oxford dictionary of art terms WWW home page, Jan. 8, 2010 (History painting: Painting in which the subject-matter is taken from classical, mythological, or biblical history.)