Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Valerie Mainz

Senior Lecturer

0113 34 35264

BA, Birkbeck College, University of London PhD, University College, University of London

18th Century French art and the French Revolution; history and its images.

Research Interests

I have made a particular study of the art and culture of the French Revolution. I have curated two major exhibitions, L’Image du Travail et la Révolution française at the Museum of the French Revolution, Vizille, France in 1999 and, with Dr Richard Williams, Paper, Stone, Flesh and Blood: Transforming Views of Sculpture in French Revolutionary Prints, at the Henry Moore Institute Leeds in 2006. My research interests also focus in on the interfaces between history and history painting, the guises of prints and caricatures, academic art theory, the representation of the Jew in the Early Modern period and issues of reception and dissemination.  I am currently co-editing with Professor Laura Malosetti (University of San Martin, Buenos Aires) and with Professor Griselda Pollock (Leeds) a collection of articles on art, science and portraiture for I B Tauris; and with Professor Russell Goulbourne (King’s College, London) and Dr Emma Stafford (Leeds) a collection of articles for a volume entitled ‘The Exemplary Hercules’ (Brill). I am also developing the potential of the Pencheon Collection of French Revolutionary material located in Special Collections, Brotherton Library, University of Leeds.


My teaching is mainly about the art, culture and heritage of the French Revolution. I teach ‘Assessing the French Revolution’ at both undergraduate and MA levels. I have also devised and teach the BA module ‘Art, Power and Portraiture’, covering the grand manner portrait tradition of Western Europe c. 1550-1800. I contribute to level 1 survey courses and supervise third year and MA dissertations.


I sit on the School’s Research Committee as the representative for the study of the history of art.

I am the School’s library representative.



  • Mainz V (2016) Days of Glory? Imaging Military Recruitment and the French Revolution. Springer.

  • Simon Burrows, Jonathan Conlin, Russell Goulbourne and Valerie Ma (2010) The Chevalier d'Eon and his Worlds. Gender, Espionage and Politics in the Eighteenth Century. London and New York: Continuumbooks.

  • Mainz VS, Williams R (2006) Sensing Sculpture at the time of the French Revolution. 51. Henry Moore Institute.

  • Mainz VS, Pollock G (2000) Work and the Image. Ashgate.

  • Mainz V (1999) L'Image du Travail et la Revolution francaise. Vizille: Musee de la Revolution francaise.

  • Mainz V (1998) Women at Work, Men in Labour: Work and Image in the French Revolution. Leeds: The University Gallery, Leeds.

Journal articles

  • Mainz VS (2017) “Satire, prints and theatricality in the French Revolution. By Claire Trévien.”, French Studies. 71.4: 579-580.
    DOI: 10.1093/fs/knx169, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/119529/

  • Mainz VS (2017) “Nationalizing France's Army: Foreign, Black, and Jewish Troops in the French Military, 1715-1831. By Christopher J. Tozzi.”, French Studies. 71.4: 574-575.
    DOI: 10.1093/fs/knx162, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/119528/

  • Mainz V (2016) “The Inequalities of Infamy”, Oxford Art Journal Scott K (eds.). 39.2: 217-227.
    DOI: 10.1093/oxartj/kcw010, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/100366/

  • Mainz VS (2014) “The politics of the Provisional: art and ephemera in revolutionary France”, French Studies. 68.4: 550-551.
    DOI: 10.1093/fs/knu186, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/81044/

  • Mainz VS (2012) “Gloire, subversively in 'The Saint-Aubin Livre de caricatures: Drawing satire in eighteenth-century Paris”, SVEC Jones C; Carey J; Richardson E (eds.). 2012/06: 151-177.

  • Mainz VS (2006) “Review of 'Obstinate Hebrews: Representations of Jews in France 1715-1815'”, Jewish Culture and History. 8.3: 120-123.

  • Mainz V (1998) “Watteau as an Avant-Garde Painter: The Enaction of the Fete Galante”, Interfaces: Image, Texte, Langage. 7.14: 65-79.

  • Mainz VS (1996) “David's 'Les Sabines' and the Colouring of History Painting, post-Thermidor.”, Interfaces (Dijon). 10: 45-59.

  • Mainz VS (1995) “The Sacrifice of Eleazar: Catholic History Paintings of Jewish Law at the time of the French Revolution”, Interfaces: Image, Texte, Langage. 4.7: 27-46.


  • Mainz VS (2016) “Deflecting the Fire of Eighteenth-Century French Battle Painting”, In: Kuijpers E; van der Haven C (eds.) Battlefield Emotions 1500-1800 Practices, Experience, Imagination. Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 229-247

  • Zurian FA (2015) INTRODUCTION. 1-1

  • Mainz V (2010) “The Chevalier d'Eon and his Several Identities”, In: Burrows S; Conlin J; Goulbourne R; Mainz V (eds.) The Chevalier d'Eon and his Worlds: Gender, Espionage and Politics in the Eighteenth Century. Bodmin and King's Lynn: Continuum. 113-132

  • Mainz VS (2007) “History: Re-viewing the French Revolution”, In: Pollock G (eds.) Conceptual Odysseys: Passages to Cultural Analysis. I B Taurus. 1-29

  • Mainz VS (2006) “Bringing the hemlock up: Jacques-Louis David's Socrates and the Inventions of History”, In: Trapp M (eds.) Socrates, from antiquity to the Enlightenment. Publications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College, London. Ashgate. 249-275

  • Mainz VS (2005) “Time and the Resemblance of Reality”, In: Pochat G; Wagner B (eds.) Erzaehlte Zeit und Gedaechtnis. 29/30. Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch Gras. Akademische Druck - u. Verlagsanstalt Graz/Austria. 93-100

  • Mainz VS (2005) “Devolvera la Cicuta: El Socrates de Jacques-Louis David y la invencion de la historia”, In: Siracusano G (eds.) Original-Copia...Original?. Jornadas CAIA, Centro Argentino de Investigadores de Arte. CAIA. 284-291

  • Mainz VS (2005) “The Charging of Caricature and the Taking up of Arms before Varennes”, In: Reichardt R; Schmidt R; Thamer H-U (eds.) Symbolische Politik und politische Zeichensysteme im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolutionen (1789-1848). Rhema Verlag. 83-99

  • Mainz VS (2000) “Aux Armes et aux Arts! Blacksmiths at the National Convention.”, In: Mainz VS; Pollock GFS (eds.) Work and the Image Volume 1: Work, Craft and Labour: Visual Representations in Changing Histories.. Ashgate Press, London. 35-52

  • Mainz VS (2000) “Landscape as a genre”, In: Sturgis A; Clayson H (eds.) Understanding Paintings. Mitchell Beazley. 164-191

  • Mainz VS (1996) “The Picturing of Jews in History (From Napoleon to Poussin, but then not back again)”, In: Worton M (eds.) Paragraph - Visual Narrative. Edinburgh University Press. 205-219


  • Mainz VS Paper, Stone, Flesh and Blood: Transforming views of sculpture in French Revolutionary Prints.

  • Mainz VS Women at Work, Men in Labour: Work and Image in the French Revolution..

  • Mainz VS L'Image du Travail et la Révolution Française.

Scholarly editions

  • Mainz VS (2016) Days of Glory? Imaging military recruitment and the French Revolution. Palgrave Macmillan. (Submitted)

Research Projects & Grants

Society for the Study of French History, 2017 Grant towards the Pencheon Workshop

Leverhulme Research Fellowship Award, 2008

British Academy Conference Travel Grant to Argentina, 2005

AHRB Small Grant in the Creative and Performing Arts, 2004

Award from the Musee de la Revolution francaise, Vizille to curate the exhibition ‘L’Image du Travail et la Revolution francaise, 1999


Research Centres & Groups

Centre for the Comparative History of Print (Centre CHoP): Member of Executive Committee and Strand Leader – Print, Knowledge and Power

White Rose Studentship Network: ‘Beyond Charlie: Anticlericalism and Freedom of the Press’ (PI Professor Mary Vincent, University of Sheffield)

18th Century Studies Seminar Committee Member

External Appointments

WROCAH Heritage and Material Culture Cluster Committee Member

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Stephanie Williams, ‘The role of the graphic press as a means of political communication and the importance of political humour, obscenity and the “freedom to offend”.  Co-supervisor with Dr Geoffrey Cubitt, History Department, University of York

I am willing to supervise PhDs on the following topics:

  • Art, culture and heritage of the French Revolution
  • Academic art theory
  • Exhibitions
  • French painting and sculpture c. 1600-1820
  • Portraiture
  • Prints and caricatures
  • The representation of minorities in the Early Modern period
  • Issues of reception and relationships between the verbal and the visual

PhD Thesis

History, History Painting and Concepts of gloire in the Life and Work of Jacques-Louis David, University College, University of London, 1992

The thesis demonstrates how Jacques-Louis David successfully manipulated the art of history painting  so as to establish his own gloire.

Professional Practice

See publications

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