Art of the Defeat provides an unflinching look at the art scene in France during the German occupation. Beginning with Adolf Hitler's staging of the armistice at Rethondes, the book offers a survey of Nazi and Vichy artistic policies, key events and organizations, and individual acts of collaboration and resistance. Examined in the text are the demonization of foreigners and modernists, the looting of state museums and Jewish collections, the glorification
of Philippe Pétain and French national identity, and the official junket by French artists to Germany. The narrative is grounded by archival research and discussion of works by Gérard Ambroselli, Jean Bazaine, Arno Breker, François Cogné, Aristide Maillol, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and dozens of other artists and artisans. The sum is a pioneering exposé of the deployment of art to hold darkness at bay.
Laurence Bertrand Dorléac is a professeur des universités and a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. Jane Marie Todd is the translator of over forty scholarly books. Serge Guilbaut is a professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.