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Kuhn, Lea (2021): Painting Historicity: William Dunlap's Engagement with the Circumstances of Time and Place. In: Art History, Vol. 45, No. 1: 102-

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Through a case study of the paintings and writings of William Dunlap, a well-known figure in early Republican art discourse in the United States, this essay argues for a re-evaluation of art-historical thinking at the turn of the nineteenth century. I assert that Dunlap, both as painter and writer, develops an important explanatory model for the local art production of his time. Following from his strongly contextual notion of artistic production, he defines the artwork primarily as a 'historical document'. On the basis of Dunlap's original, relativist conception of art, the essay proposes a reassessment of the relevance of his paintings as well as a new perspective on one of the key texts of art historiography from the early United States. By closely analysing Dunlap's hitherto neglected self-portraits, this essay makes a case for the epistemic role that painting played in the development of art-historical narratives around 1800.

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