The Judgment of Paris

Author: Ross King
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 9780307374967
Release Date: 2012-01-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The fascinating new book by the author of Brunelleschi’s Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling: a saga of artistic rivalry and cultural upheaval in the decade leading to the birth of Impressionism. If there were two men who were absolutely central to artistic life in France in the second half of the nineteenth century, they were Edouard Manet and Ernest Meissonier. While the former has been labelled the “Father of Impressionism” and is today a household name, the latter has sunk into obscurity. It is difficult now to believe that in 1864, when this story begins, it was Meissonier who was considered the greatest French artist alive and who received astronomical sums for his work, while Manet was derided for his messy paintings of ordinary people and had great difficulty getting any of his work accepted at the all-important annual Paris Salon. Manet and Meissonier were the Mozart and Salieri of their day, one a dangerous challenge to the establishment, the other beloved by rulers and the public alike for his painstakingly meticulous oil paintings of historical subjects. Out of the fascinating story of their parallel careers, Ross King creates a lens through which to view the political tensions that dogged Louis-Napoleon during the Second Empire, his ignominious downfall, and the bloody Paris Commune of 1871. At the same time, King paints a wonderfully detailed and vivid portrait of life in an era of radical social change: on the streets of Paris, at the new seaside resorts of Boulogne and Trouville, and at the race courses and picnic spots where the new bourgeoisie relaxed. When Manet painted Dejeuner sur l’herbe or Olympia, he shocked not only with his casual brushstrokes (described by some as applied by a ‘floor mop’) but with his subject matter: top-hatted white-collar workers (and their mistresses) were not considered suitable subjects for ‘Art’. Ross King shows how, benign as they might seem today, these paintings changed the course of history. The struggle between Meissonier and Manet to see their paintings achieve pride of place at the Salon was not just about artistic competitiveness, it was about how to see the world. Full of fantastic tidbits of information (such as the use of carrier pigeons and hot-air balloons during the siege of Paris), and a colourful cast of characters that includes Baudelaire, Courbet, and Zola, with walk-on parts for Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Cezanne, The Judgment of Paris casts new light on the birth of Impressionism and takes us to the heart of a time in which the modern French identity was being forged. From the Hardcover edition.

The Judgment of Paris

Author: Ross King
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 0802718418
Release Date: 2009-05-26
Genre: History

With a novelist's skill and the insight of an historian, bestselling author Ross King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and the rivalry between Meissonier and Manet. The Judgment of Paris chronicles the dramatic decade between two famous exhibitions-the scandalous Salon des Refuses in 1863 and the first Impressionist showing in 1874-set against the rise and dramatic fall of Napoleon III and the Second Empire after the Franco-Prussian War. A tale of many artists, it revolves around the lives of two, described as "the two poles of art"-Ernest Meissonier, the most famous and successful painter of the 19th century, hailed for his precision and devotion to history; and Edouard Manet, reviled in his time, who nonetheless heralded the most radical change in the history of art since the Renaissance. Out of the fascinating story of their parallel lives, illuminated by their legendary supporters and critics-Zola, Delacroix, Courbet, Baudelaire, Whistler, Monet, Hugo, Degas, and many more-Ross King shows that their contest was not just about Art, it was about competing visions of a rapidly changing world.

The Judgment of Paris

Author: Ross King
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802715166
Release Date: 2007-01-03
Genre: Art

Chronicles the origins of Impressionism against the backdrop of the artistic and cultural events of the nineteenth century as exemplified in the work of two artists--Ernest Meissonier and Edouard Manet.

Mad Enchantment

Author: Ross King
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781632860149
Release Date: 2016-09-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

From bestselling author Ross King, a brilliant portrait of the legendary artist and the story of his most memorable achievement. Claude Monet is perhaps the world's most beloved artist, and among all his creations, the paintings of the water lilies in his garden at Giverny are most famous. Monet intended the water lilies to provide "an asylum of peaceful meditation." Yet, as Ross King reveals in his magisterial chronicle of both artist and masterpiece, these beautiful canvases belie the intense frustration Monet experienced in trying to capture the fugitive effects of light, water, and color. They also reflect the terrible personal torments Monet suffered in the last dozen years of his life. Mad Enchantment tells the full story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came ever closer to Paris and Giverny and a new generation of younger artists, led by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, were challenging the achievements of Impressionism. By early 1914, French newspapers were reporting that Monet, by then seventy-three, had retired his brushes. He had lost his beloved wife, Alice, and his eldest son, Jean. His famously acute vision--what Paul Cezanne called "the most prodigious eye in the history of painting†?--was threatened by cataracts. And yet, despite ill health, self-doubt, and advancing age, Monet began painting again on a more ambitious scale than ever before. Linking great artistic achievement to the personal and historical dramas unfolding around it, Ross King presents the most intimate and revealing portrait of an iconic figure in world culture.

Defiant Spirits

Author: Ross King
Publisher: D & M Publishers
ISBN: 1553658078
Release Date: 2010-09-25
Genre: Art

Beginning in 1912, Defiant Spirits traces the artistic development of Tom Thomson and the future members of the Group of Seven, Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley, over a dozen years in Canadian history. Working in an eclectic and sometimes controversial blend of modernist styles, they produced what an English critic celebrated in the 1920s as the “most vital group of paintings” of the 20th century. Inspired by Cézanne, Van Gogh and other modernist artists, they tried to interpret the Ontario landscape in light of the strategies of the international avant-garde. Based after 1914 in the purpose-built Studio Building for Canadian Art, the young artists embarked on what Lawren Harris called “an all-engrossing adventure”: travelling north into the anadian Shield and forging a style of painting appropriate to what they regarded as the unique features of Canada’s northern landscape. Rigorously researched and drawn from archival documents and letters, Defiant Spirits constitutes a “group biography,” reconstructing the men’s aspirations, frustrations and achievements. It details not only the lives of Tom Thomson and the members of the Group of Seven but also the political and social history of Canada

Leonardo and the Last Supper

Author: Ross King
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9780747599470
Release Date: 2012-01-01
Genre: Art, Renaissance

Milan, 1496 and forty-four-year-old Leonardo da Vinci has a reputation for taking on commissions and failing to complete them. He is in a state of professional uncertainty and financial difficulty. For eighteen months he has been painting murals in both the Sforza Castle in Milan and the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The latter project will become the Last Supper, a complex mural that took a full three years to complete on a surface fifteen feet high by twenty feet wide. Not only had he never attempted a painting of such size, but he had no experience whatsoever in painting in the physically demanding medium of fresco.For more than five centuries the Last Supper has been an artistic, religious and cultural icon. The art historian Kenneth Clark has called it 'the keystone of European art', and for a century after its creation it was regarded as nothing less than a miraculous image. Even today, according to Clark, we regard the painting as 'more a work of nature than a work of man'. And yet there is a very human story behind this artistic 'miracle', which was created against the backdrop of momentous events both in Milan and in the life of Leonardo himself.In Leonardo and the Last Supper, Ross King tells the complete story of this creation of this mural: the adversities suffered by the artist during its execution; the experimental techniques he employed; the models for Christ and the Apostles that he used; and the numerous personalities involved - everyone from the Leonardo's young assistants to Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan who commissioned the work. Ross King's new book is both a record of Leonardo da Vinci's last five years in Milan and a 'biography' of one of the most famous works of art ever painted.

Michelangelo and the Pope s Ceiling

Author: Ross King
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781632861955
Release Date: 2014-10-14
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel in Rome. Despite having completed his masterful statue David four years earlier, he had little experience as a painter, even less working in the delicate medium of fresco, and none with challenging curved surfaces such as the Sistine ceiling's vaults. The temperamental Michelangelo was himself reluctant: He stormed away from Rome, incurring Julius's wrath, before he was eventually persuaded to begin. Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling recounts the fascinating story of the four extraordinary years he spent laboring over the twelve thousand square feet of the vast ceiling, while war and the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. A panorama of illustrious figures intersected during this time-the brilliant young painter Raphael, with whom Michelangelo formed a rivalry; the fiery preacher Girolamo Savonarola and the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus; a youthful Martin Luther, who made his only trip to Rome at this time and was disgusted by the corruption all around him. Ross King blends these figures into a magnificent tapestry of day-to-day life on the ingenious Sistine scaffolding and outside in the upheaval of early-sixteenth-century Italy, while also offering uncommon insight into the connection between art and history.

Ex Libris

Author: Ross King
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448189601
Release Date: 2013-06-30
Genre: Fiction

Responding to a cryptic summons to a remote country house, London bookseller Isaac Inchbold finds himself responsible for restoring a magnificent library pillaged during the English Civil War, and in the process slipping from the surface of 1660s London into an underworld of spies and smugglers, ciphers and forgeries. As he assembles the fragments of a complex historical mystery, Inchbold learns how Sir Ambrose Plessington, founder of the library, escaped from Bohemia on the eve of the Thirty Years War with plunder from the Imperial Library. Inchbold's hunt for one of these stolen volumes - a lost Hermetic text - soon casts him into an elaborate intrigue; his fortunes hang on the discovery of the missing manuscript but his search reveals that the elusive volume is not what it seems and that he has been made an unwitting player in a treacherous game.

The Private Lives of the Impressionists

Author: Sue Roe
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061978968
Release Date: 2009-10-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Though they were often ridiculed or ignored by their contemporaries, today astonishing sums are paid for their paintings. Their dazzling works are familiar to even the most casual art lovers—but how well does the world know the Impressionists as people? Sue Roe's colorful, lively, poignant, and superbly researched biography, The Private Lives of the Impressionists, follows an extraordinary group of artists into their Paris studios, down the rural lanes of Montmartre, and into the rowdy riverside bars of a city undergoing monumental change. Vivid and unforgettable, it casts a brilliant, revealing light on this unparalleled society of genius colleagues who lived and worked together for twenty years and transformed the art world forever with their breathtaking depictions of ordinary life.

Domino

Author: Ross King
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781446466681
Release Date: 2011-04-30
Genre: Fiction

By the author of the acclaimed Brunelleschi's Dome. After meeting the mysterious and beautiful Lady Beauclair at a society ball, George Cautley, a hapless young artist adrift in the gilded world of 1770s London, paints her portrait. She, in turn, tells him the scandalous story of Tristano, a castrato singer in Handel's opera company fifty years before. But Cautley also meets the eminent painter Sir Endymion Starker that same evening and his mistress, Eleanora, who has another tragic tale to tell, one that will have George unwittingly re-enacting the fate of Tristano...

Growing Up with the Impressionists

Author: Julie Manet
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 9781786721921
Release Date: 2017-08-24
Genre: Art

Julie Manet, the niece of Eugène Manet and the most famous female Impressionist artist, Berthe Morisot, was born in Paris on 14th November 1878 into a wealthy and cultured milieu at the height of the Impressionist era. Many young girls still confide their inner thoughts to diaries and it is hardly surprising that, with her mother giving all her encouragement, Julie would prove to be no exception to the rule. At the age of ten, Julie began writing her “memoirs” but it wasn’t until August 1893, at fourteen, that Julie began her diary in earnest: no neat leather-bound volume with lock and key but just untidy notes scribbled in old exercise books, often in pencil, the presentation as spontaneous as its contents. Her extraordinary diary – newly translated here by an expert of Impressionism, reveals a vivid depiction of a vital period in France’s cultural history seen through the youthful and precocious eyes of the youngest member of what was surely the most prominent artistic families of the time.

Edouard Manet

Author: Beth Archer Brombert
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226075443
Release Date: 1997-11-24
Genre: Art

"Richly detailed and informative, (this biography) exposes the character of an artist who maintained a sharply defined duality between his public and private personas" ("Philadelphia Inquirer" and "grants us a far deeper understanding of why (Manet's) paintings outraged so many of his peers" ("Booklist", starred review). 70 halftones.

Impressionism

Author: Robert L. Herbert
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300050837
Release Date: 1988
Genre: Art

Examines the use of cafes, opera houses, dance halls, theaters, racetracks, and the seaside in impressionist French paintings

Olympia

Author: Otto Friedrich
Publisher: Touchstone Books
ISBN: UVA:X006075332
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Art

In a delightfully different account of art and politics during the Second Empire, Friedrich sketches a landscape that encompasses Napoleon III, Flaubert, Wagner, Proust, Degas, Zola, Monet, Hugo, Manet, and many others, both famous and infamous. Photographs.

Brunelleschi s Dome

Author: Ross King
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781620401934
Release Date: 2013-08-13
Genre: Architecture

Describes how a fifteenth-century goldsmith and clockmaker, Filippo Brunelleschi, came up with a unique design for the dome to crown Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, in a dramatic study set against the turbulent backdrop of Renaissance Italy.