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The Judgment of Paris

The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism
King, Ross, 1962- (Book - 2006 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Judgment of Paris
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Baker & Taylor
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.

McMillan Palgrave
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, Impressionism would reorder both history and culture as it resonated 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 competing visions of a rapidly changing world.

With a novelist's skill and the insight of an historian, King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and a revolutionary movement had the power to electrify and divide a nation.



Book News
Of course you know the art of Meissonier. He was one of the most successful artists in the 19th century, a master of realism and detail.... You say you do not remember him? So do you remember Manet? King focuses on the turmoil between the Salon des Refusés of 1863 and the first Impressionist showing of 1874, a period which began with the elegant Napoleon III and ended without him after his fall in the Franco-Prussian War. Manet and Meissonier may have been marginally interested in the fate of the third Napoleon, but they were definitely interested in each other, their rivalry in how they saw their world, and how the ranks of their friends and enemies grew and changed. King also provides color pictures of the art in question, probably one of the few times you will see the work of Meissonier outside of a very quiet corner of a museum. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Holtzbrinck
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, Impressionism would reorder both history and culture as it resonated 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 competing visions of a rapidly changing world.

With a novelist’s skill and the insight of an historian, King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and a revolutionary movement had the power to electrify and divide a nation.



Baker
& Taylor

The critically acclaimed author of Brunelleschi's Dome 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, the most successful artist of his era, and Edouard Manet, reviled in his time but who heralded a radical change in the history of art. 125,000 first printing.

Authors: King, Ross, 1962-
Statement of Responsibility: Ross King
Title: The judgment of Paris
the revolutionary decade that gave the world Impressionism
Publisher: New York : Walker & Co. : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck, 2006
Characteristics: xiii, 448 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [423]-435) and index
Subject Headings: Manet, Edouard, 1832-1883 Criticism and interpretation Meissonier, Jean Louis Ernest, 1815-1891 Criticism and interpretation Painting, French 19th century Impressionism (Art) France Art and society France Paris History 19th century
Topical Term: Painting, French
Impressionism (Art)
Art and society
LCCN: 2005031089
ISBN: 0802714668
Research Call Number: JQZ 12-1199
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This book was returned last week

If you like art, history and travel then Ross King has it all wrapped up in one volume. This book transports you to France in the late 19th century and to the art and artists that gave rise to impressionism. Fascinating, compeling. I suggest you also take out an art book on the period with lots of plates so you can see the paintings about which he writes!

"The Paris art world went from celebrating large historical canvases in shades of brown and gray to those featuring riots of color in the decade that King covers so well. Sample factoid: Manet couldn't give away his paintings (any one of which will now cost you in excess of $45 million)."
Top Ten Books of 2010: John McFarland, reviewer

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