Journal Article

Parvenu or honnête homme

Denise Amy Baxter

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 273-289
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhm037
Parvenu or honnête homme

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The collecting practices of Germain-Louis de Chauvelin demonstrate the complex negotiations by which the self was represented in early-eighteenth-century France. An ambitious man, Chauvelin rose to the positions of Keeper of the Seals (1727) and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1733), prior to his fall from political grace and exile (1737). Chauvelin's collection allows for an examination of the ways in which the cultivation of what might be termed a modern sensibility might, in Paris in the 1720–30s, earn for its practitioners the label of either honnête homme or parvenu, or, in the case of Chauvelin's own precarious career, both.

Journal Article.  12368 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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