David to Delacroix: The Rise of Romantic Mythology

By Dorothy Johnson | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

This book developed from the Bettie Allison Rand Lectures that I gave at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in fall 2008. It is always a great pleasure to present ideas before an intelligent and attentive audience on a subject that is dear to one’s heart and about which one has been meditating for many years. For this privilege I wish to thank Mary Sheriff, whose kind invitation to give the Rand Lectures led to this book. Her generous and enthusiastic support over many years has been invaluable. In particular, her many superb publications on women in French art and culture and other germane matters on the eighteenth century were essential to my thinking about women in myth. I would also like to thank Mary Sheriff and Keith Luria for their generous hospitality during my stay in Chapel Hill. I am very grateful to the faculty and students of the Art and Art History Department at the University of North Carolina, as well as to friends and colleagues, who gave me such a warm reception there. Their questions inspired me to see pertinent issues from new perspectives. It was a delight to meet Bill Rand, whose generosity funds the Rand Lecture Series in honor and memory of his wife, Bettie Allison Rand. I particularly enjoyed our conversations about mythological subjects in art.

This book owes its beginnings to Jacques de Caso, teacher and friend, who first suggested that I write on mythology, when he, as all good mentors do, offered unstinting encouragement. Over the entire course of my career, I have had many enlightening conversations with him on myth, in which he generously shared his incomparable knowledge and insights. It is a great pleasure to express my gratitude. I owe a great debt to Christopher M. S. Johns and Beth Wright, two superb scholars and colleagues, who read the manuscript in its entirety and made apposite suggestions and comments. A book that has been meditated on over such a long time naturally incurs many debts. I would like to thank the many friends and colleagues who have benefited this book in various and innumerable ways: Mark Antliff, Sylvain Bellenger, David Carrier, Elisabeth Fraser, Gudrun Gersmann, Stéphane Guégan, Martial Guédron, Basil Guy, Bar-

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