A sparkling biography of the poet and artist Edward Lear by the award-winning biographer Jenny Uglow
Edward Lear, the renowned English artist, musician, author, and poet, lived a vivid, fascinating life, but confessed, "I hardly enjoy any one thing on earth while it is present." He was a man in a hurry, "running about on railroads" from London to country estates and boarding steamships to Italy, Corfu, India, and Palestine. He is still loved for his "nonsenses," from startling, joyous limericks to great love poems like "The Owl and the Pussy Cat" and "The Dong with a Luminous Nose," and he is famous, too, for his brilliant natural history paintings, landscapes, and travel writing. But although Lear belongs solidly to the age of Darwin and Dickens--he gave Queen Victoria drawing lessons, and his many friends included Tennyson and the Pre-Raphaelite painters--his genius for the absurd and his dazzling wordplay make him a very modern spirit. He speaks to us today.
Lear was a man of great simplicity and charm--children adored him--yet his humor masked epilepsy, depression, and loneliness. Jenny Uglow's beautifully illustrated biography, full of the color of the age, brings us his swooping moods, passionate friendships, and restless travels. Above all, Mr. Lear shows how this uniquely gifted man lived all his life on the boundaries of rules and structures, disciplines and desires--an exile of the heart.
This book explores van Gogh's and Gauguin's conviction that the purpose of visual art in human culture is to communicate a spiritual understanding of existence comparable to the wisdom contained in the metaphors and parables of myths, religions, and literature. Monographic studies in the book, which entail many new interpretations of van Gogh's and Gauguin's imagery, reveal the ways in which their ideas and the specific events of their personal lives shaped their creation of meaningful symbolic motifs.
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.
Although nineteenth-century American landscapes typically were painted from a high vantage point, looking down from above, southern landscapes that featured plantations diverged from this convention in telling ways. Portraits of planters' landholdings were often depicted from a point below the plantation house, a perspective that directs the viewer's gaze upward and, as John Vlach observes, echoes the deference and respect the planter class assumed was its due. Moreover, Vlach notes, slaves were rarely represented in plantation paintings made before the Civil War, although it was slave labor that powered the plantation system. After the war and the abolition of slavery, he argues, a wistful revisionism seems to have restored these people--still toiling in the service of the masters--to the landscapes they had created and on which they were so cruelly mistreated.
This richly illustrated book explores the statements of power and ironic evasions encoded in plantation landscapes, focusing on six artists whose collective body of work spans the period between 1800 and 1935 and documents plantations across the South, from Maryland to Louisiana: Francis Guy, Charles Fraser, Adrien Persac, Currier & Ives chief artist Fanny Palmer, William Aiken Walker, and Alice Ravenel Huger Smith.
The first book highlighting the historical roots and contemporary implications of the silhouette as an American art formBefore the advent of photography in 1839, Americans were consumed by the fashion for silhouette portraits. Economical in every sense, the small, stark profiles cost far less than oil paintings and could be made in minutes. Black Out, the first major publication to focus on the development of silhouettes, gathers leading experts to shed light on the surprisingly complex historical, political, and social underpinnings of this ostensibly simple art form. In its examination of portraits by acclaimed silhouettists, such as Auguste Edouart and William Bache, this richly illustrated volume explores likenesses of everyone from presidents and celebrities to everyday citizens and enslaved people. Ultimately, the book reveals how silhouettes registered the paradoxes of the unstable young nation, roiling with tensions over slavery and political independence. Primarily tracing the rise of the silhouette in the decades leading up to the Civil War, Black Out also considers the ubiquity of the genre today, particularly in contemporary art. Using silhouettes to address such themes as race, identity, and the notion of the digital self, the four featured living artists--Kara Walker, Kristi Malakoff, Kumi Yamashita, and Camille Utterback--all take the silhouette to unique and fascinating new heights. Presenting the distinctly American story behind silhouettes, Black Out vividly delves into the historical roots and contemporary interpretations of this evocative, ever popular form of portraiture. Published in association with the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
This catalogue accompanies the first exhibition dedicated to landscapes by the Symbolists, the innovative movement whose artists took imaginative and emotional approaches to painting and embraced themes like music, nationalism, science, and modernity. The book focuses on major artists of the avant-garde such as Gauguin, van Gogh, Munch, Mondrian, and Kandinsky, and also showcases other inventive artists from throughout Europe such as Hammershoi, Hodler, Khnopff, and Gallen-Kallela, who are set alongside the visionary British artistry of Crane, Leighton, Watts, and Millais. The works illustrated here offer a range of poetic and suggestive interpretations of nature from the period 1880-1910, with essays by acknowledged experts in the field providing a new chapter in the history of landscape painting.
Since the early nineteenth century, the bohemian has been the protagonist of the story the West has wanted to hear about its artists-a story of genius, glamour, and doom. The bohemian takes on many guises: the artist dying in poverty like Modigliani or an outrageous entertainer like Josephine Baker. Elizabeth Wilson's enjoyable book is a quest for the many shifting meanings that constitute the bohemian and bohemia.
She tells unforgettable stories of the artists, intellectuals, radicals, and hangers-on who populated the salons, bars, and cafs of Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, including Djuna Barnes, Juliette Greco, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Amiri Baraka, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock. Bohemians also follows the women who contributed to the myth, including the wives and mistresses, the muses, lesbians, and independent artists. Wilson explores the bohemians' eccentric use of dress, the role of sex and erotic love, the bohemian search for excess, and the intransigent politics of many.
As a new millennium begins, Wilson shows how notions of bohemianism remain at the core of heated cultural debates about the role of art and artists in an increasingly commodified and technological world.
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827--1875) was an extraordinarily gifted sculptor--the greatest in 19th-century France before Rodin--and embodied the emotionally charged artistic climate of his era. The passionate Carpeaux comes alive in this handsome new publication. Carpeaux's wrenching representations of human forms, shown in beautiful color details and illustrations, echo his turbulent personal life, fraught with episodes of violence and fatal illness.The book covers the entire span of Carpeaux's career, and includes the masterpiece Ugolino and His Sons, newly discovered drawings, and a number of rarely seen or studied works. Previously unpublished letters between Carpeaux and his family and friends, a wealth of archival material, and the most detailed chronology of the artist's life ever published make this book the definitive resource on the artist and his creations.