Painting History, Manufacturing Excess: How the Artistic Configures the Political

  • Paco Barragán
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Educational Futures book series (PSEF)


The chapter outlines how, before the twentieth century, history painting portrayed the history of mankind and its excesses on a grand scale, showcasing great heroes and spectacular events. In the twentieth century, history painting disappeared and its function as chronicler of society was taken over by other media, such as photography, film, video, installation and even television, among others. Like painting before them, these new media reveal the complex relationship between the artistic and the political spheres. The visual arts, and in particular their educational components, are able to make visible ideas, conflicts and utopias that did not exist by creating mental images that indirectly affect political action. But painting has now returned under a new guise, and its role as the mediator of excess seems once again to be iconic.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paco Barragán
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SalamancaMadridSpain

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