The long 19th century was marked by a shift from an «old regime» of the media to a new system of public communication. New techniques of (re)production of images played a key role in this process. Did such circulation of mass-produced images change political practices and popular attitudes toward the public sphere? How can historians investigate the 19th-century relationships between visual, material, and political culture? Three major scholars present different case studies from across the continent. Rolf Reichardt investigates the international spread of the powerful new iconic vocabulary created by the French Revolution throughout the 19th century. Enrico Francia presents the most significant results of a research project on the production and uses of patriotic objects during the Italian Risorgimento. Eva Giloi discusses how mass-produced portraits changed the parameters within which people experienced authority in the German Empire.
Keywords: 19th century, Europe, Material culture, Visual culture, Politicisation