Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Judgment of Paris

Whew, this one slowed me down a little so I have not posted in a while.  It's a very well researched and well written account of the beginnings of Impressionism.  I marked a lot of pages with flags so I could look up the works of art on the internet.  I want to see where some of them live now.

Manet sure did not do well during his lifetime.  I was feeling bad for him when I was halfway through the book and he had still not sold anything.  Then I learned that he lived on a fairly big allowance from his mother.  If you were lucky enough to have purchased one of his works after his death you made a good investment.  And, yes, MAnet and MOnet become friends later in life.  Hope I did not spoil anything for you.

I loved picturing the artists delivering their works to the Salon for judging.  Of course there was no FedEx so they had to push and pull their pieces down the streets of Paris.  I enjoyed this book.  The author documented his research but also included comments in his own voice to keep it interesting.  Parts of it were funny.  Parts were not - such as the invasion by the Prussians.  The fact that so much art has survived wars is amazing.

P. and I are going to Paris in a few weeks so that was one reason why I picked this one up to read.  I want to see if I can see any of the works in person.  The Chicago Art Institute also has an iPad app for their Impressionism collection which was a good resource while reading this book.  I plan to check out the Art Institute after vacation to look at the works with a new perspective.

In sadder news, P. and I lost our favorite reading companion last week.  We miss you Candy.  Thank you for warming our laps and our hearts.

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