Posted in Art History Articles Impressionism

Edouard Manet and Impressionism

“Concision in art is a necessity and an elegance. The verbose painter bores: who will get rid of all these trimmings?” – Edouard Manet Edouard Manet is sometimes grouped in with the Impressionists of the late nineteenth century art movement, however he was more of a forerunner. Being a decade older than Claude Monet and his contemporaries, Manet’s style did set the tone for the change overcoming the art scene in Paris and with his friend Degas began the shift from Realism to Impressionism. The term Impressionism was coined by a critic who realized the group of artists mostly turned away by the Salon de Paris had in fact founded an emerging new style. Those who were not accepted by the Salon, which was the…

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Posted in 19th Century Art History Reviews

review: The Subject of a Portrait

The Subject of a Portrait by John Harvey In the mid-nineteenth century, art critic John Ruskin and his wife, Euphemia (Effie), left their London home bound for a summer in Scotland. Their traveling companions were a set of brothers, one of which was the famous artist John Everette Millais who was to paint John’s portrait in the Highlands. During the first few weeks Everette meticulously painted the background inch-by-inch in his exacting manner, while getting to know his patron’s lady. John often left them to their own devices, choosing to frequent the hotel library, composing lectures and reviews while his presence wasn’t required for the painting. During this time, Effie shared with Everette the true nature of her marriage: after 5 years, it was still…

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Posted in 15th Century Art History Reviews

review: Signora da Vinci

Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell First of all, I have to say it – this is my favorite Robin Maxwell novel! Yes, even more than O, Juliet I’m afraid! I’m so glad to have saved this one for last, and though I was on a tight schedule to get it read, I savored it for 2 more days than I had to. I planned to get it read by December 31st, so that it would be on my 2009 list, but I couldn’t rush it. I read it slowly and deliberately and finished it up on January 2nd. Back in 2002, when I worked for Borders, the company was preparing a huge campaign to promote The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and asked…

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Posted in 20th Century Art History Belle Époque Reviews

review: Madame Picasso

Madame Picasso by Anne Girard At the close of the opulent Belle Époque era in Paris, Eva Gouel makes her debut as a seamstress/designer at the glamorous cabaret Moulin Rouge, where she first spots Pablo Picasso in the audience. Another meeting at an art exhibit furthers their acquaintance, and they begin a tête-à-tête that blossoms into a deep and inescapable devotion. It is a struggle for Eva to accept love from a man she so revers, and she constantly questions his sincerity, for she feels less than confidant trying to fill the goddess-like shoes of Picasso’s last love, Fernande Olivier. This insecurity, coupled with the cold reception from many of the Montmartre set of artists and poets, flaws Eva’s happiness, but Picasso’s creativity flourishes under…

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