Chapter 5. Michel Foucault and the Point of Painting

  1. Dana Arnold Professor of Architectural History
  1. Catherine M. Soussloff Professor Head

Published Online: 18 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324716.ch5

Art History

Art History

How to Cite

Soussloff, C. M. (2010) Michel Foucault and the Point of Painting, in Art History (ed D. Arnold), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324716.ch5

Editor Information

  1. University of Southampton UK

Author Information

  1. Department of Art History, Visual Arts, and Theory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 14 MAY 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444333596

Online ISBN: 9781444324716



  • Michel Foucault and point of painting;
  • Foucault's essays on painting - taking up relation of painting to knowledge (savoir);
  • seriousness of Foucault's address - to painting, in its specificity and its cumulative effect;
  • Foucault's essays on painting - relation of painting to knowledge (savoir);
  • Foucault's understanding of painting - how knowledge is communicated;
  • historical method and realism in painting;
  • Foucault's repeated defence of The Order of Things - resting on his understanding of its place as a ‘history of discourse’;
  • pleasure (plaisir) in painting - by Foucault, commonplace in art theory;
  • Foucault and French art history;
  • Foucault's essays on painting - understand Foucalt's times, intellectual biography, and his considerable influences


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Painting in History

  • Painting as Knowledge

  • Historical Method and Realism in Painting

  • Painting's Pleasures

  • Foucault and French Art History

  • Foucault on Painting and the Disciplines