From Charity to Bienfaisance: Picturing Good Deeds in Late Eighteenth-Century France

Barker, Emma (2010). From Charity to Bienfaisance: Picturing Good Deeds in Late Eighteenth-Century France. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 33(3) pp. 285–311.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-0208.2009.00185.x

Abstract

This article explores the proliferation of engraved images of good deeds on behalf of the poor in late eighteenth-century France. This phenomenon testifies to the vogue for bienfaisance, a newly coined term that played a central role in the moral and social discourse of the period. The aim here is to demonstrate how such images at once exemplified the humanitarian and utilitarian ideals of bienfaisance and contributed to their exploitation by the wealthy and powerful for purposes of self-legitimation. Among the examples discussed are images celebrating the bienfaisance of Mme Necker, Beaumarchais, Louis XVI and the duc d'Orléans.

Viewing alternatives

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations