Allégorie de la charité dans la peinture et le roman français du XIXe siècle: charité d’Esmeralda dans Notre-Dame de Paris de Victor Hugo

While Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris takes place in medieval Paris, some of his characters are in many ways more representative of the author’s nineteenth-century French society. Written on the eve of the July Monarchy, this novel differs markedly from other French contemporary literary works, such as Balzac’s, that try to represent as realistically as possible the major cultural change experienced in France at the time between, on the one hand, traditional Christian charity models and, on the other hand, certain forms of philanthropy based on social justice principles brought about by the new regime. While Hugo’s male characters are not unlike those of his peers, his representation of female figures of charity is unique. This article studies the ways the novelist portrays charity and female charitable characters through the prism of allegory twenty years before the allegory of charity became a prevalent topic in French painting. (In French)

Sylvie Goutas
Volume 46.1–2