In the astute and often satirical Tableau de Paris (1781-88), Louis-Sébastien Mercier writes about the emergence of an unusual literary genre: the hairdresser's manifesto. In the eighteenth century, multiple texts boldly claimed hair dressing's status as a liberal art, on par with the fine arts of poetry, painting, and sculp ture. With the rise of the celebrity hairdresser, among them Legros de Rumigny and Autié Léonard, a new notion of the individual hairdresser as a creator and artist developed from 1760 to 1780 through the adop tion and manipulation of aesthetic theories. By examining this thriving literary genre, this article traces the extent to which classical mimesis and the contemporaneous paragone debates of the second half of the century-which deliberated the relative merits of sculp ture and painting-breached the walls of the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture to inform a wide range of artistic and artisanal production in France.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory