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The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism
by Ross King
From the acclaimed author of the bestsellers Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling.
While the Civil War raged in America, another very different revolution was beginning to take shape across the Atlantic, in the studios of Paris: The artists who would make Impressionism the most popular art form in history were showing their first paintings amidst scorn and derision from the French artistic establishment. Indeed, no artistic movement has ever been, at its inception, quite so controversial. The drama of its birth, played out on canvas, would at times resemble a battlefield; and, as Ross King reveals, it would reorder both history and culture, and resonate around the world.
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 how to see the world. With a novelist's skill and the perception of an historian, King recallsa seminal period when artistic expression had the power to electrify and divide a nation.
Paperback 448 pages - 6" x 9" - (12/06)
ZR4668 The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade T $16.95