Communal Luxury and the Universal Republic in the Designs and Pedagogy of Lucien Henry

The Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The French Australian Review, 2019, 67 pp. 5 - 25
Issue Date:
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Lucien Henry, Paris Communard and Australian artist, has been described by art historians as the most productive and influential artist working in Sydney from 1879 to 1891. He was hailed one of the first artists to advocate a national art through his use of motifs, symbols and patterns found in the local fauna and flora. Meanwhile, some studies on the Paris Commune refer to the continuing influence of the Communards who, following the popular uprising, worked on projects in various parts of the world and continued the legacy of the Commune. This paper examines some of the ideology and designs of Henry, notably through the letters and articles written by the artist in journals and letters during his period in Australia to argue that Henry’s artistic and teaching practices in Australia represent the ontology of transculturation as a result of his experience in France during the Paris Commune.
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