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The Myth of the Renaissance in Nineteenth-Century Writing$
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J. B. Bullen

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128885.001.0001

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The Renaissance among the French Romantics

The Renaissance among the French Romantics

(p.59) 4 The Renaissance among the French Romantics
The Myth of the Renaissance in Nineteenth-Century Writing


Oxford University Press

In its early phases, the Renaissance was intimately dependent on the discovery of the Middle Ages. An understanding of what constituted the ‘medieval’ was crucial to the emergence of the Renaissance. The Gothic Revival fuelled the study of European medievalism and it was in the studies of medieval architecture that the myth of the Renaissance began to take shape. This process began in France, and particularly amongst the French Romantic writers from whom it was brought into England by the passionate polemicists of the English Gothic Revival. French historiography was very active in the 1820s, but the idea flickers and dies in François Guizot. The myth of the Renaissance was developed in the French literature of architecture. However, French Romanticism which had so taken to the aesthetics of medievalism persistently devalued the Italian Renaissance.

Keywords:   Renaissance, France, historiography, Romanticism, medievalism, Middle Ages, architecture, myth, French literature

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