In art, as in every field, the 19th century was a period of experimentation: in which artists divined and portrayed the crucial connections between seeing and knowing, vision and society, explored the links between perception and history. Today, this legacy has been obscured by revisionism's that have changed art history. This book embraces the "new" methods while recovering the vitality, salience and subversiveness of the era's best art. This volume suggests that 19th-century art remains compelling today because its critical insights have rarely been surpassed. It will be of interest not just to the specialist, but to anyone fascinated by this unique period.