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Download The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism, by Ross King
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,885 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ross King Narrator: Tristan Layton Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 amid 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. With a novelist's skill and the insight of a historian, Ross King reveals how Impressionism would reorder both history and culture as it resonated around the world.

A tale of many artists, The Judgment of Paris revolves around the lives of two, described as the two poles of art: Ernest Meissonier, the most famous and successful painter of the nineteenth 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 most fascinating story of their parallel lives, illuminated by their legendary supporters and critics, King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and a revolutionary art movement had the power to electrify and divide a nation.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cdoming3 | 2/16/2014

    " Not for the light reader. It's heavy, tremendously detailed - but WOW. The Parisians ate all of the animals in the Paris zoo because they were starving. Even the elephants. This was in the 1870's.... This is not what the book is about - but it's one of those details thats tickes with you. It's a rich, educational experience of the historical and artistic events that lead to the impressionistic movement in art. Fascinating. Thos e that will enjoy it know exactly who you are. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lynne | 2/13/2014

    " Well written and believable. I had no idea the tough conditions artist lived in and how historical events constricted their works acceptance into the art world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Robert Boyd | 2/13/2014

    " Stirring and dramatic. The book tells the story of a sea-change in art by concentrating on two painters, Manet and Messonier. If you've never heard of Meissonier, don't worry--few have. He was the most successful French painter in the second half of the 19th century, but his reputation collapsed almost instantly after his death. But choosing these two artists to focus on doesn't take away from the other artists whose stories intersect in the Paris of the 1960s. Courbet is an especially appealing character, as are Gerome and Cabanel, as are the members of the new generation--Whistler, Degas, Monet, Morisot, etc. (Even some elderly old masters make appearances--Ingres and Delacroix.) But perhaps the best part of the book is its explication of the importance and complex politics of the Salon, the biannual then annual art competition held in Paris where the best of the best was chosen first by a jury then by public opinion. The establishment of the Salon des Refuses by the emperor, Louis Napoleon himself, is but one surprise in the book. Of course, economics and international politics play a part--culminating in the Franco-Prussian war (which ends the 2nd empire) and the crushing of the Paris Commune. This book had a novelistic momentum. The birth of modernism turns out to be a very complex human story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jacki | 2/11/2014

    " I loved this book. It chronicles two artist's lives- Messioner and Manet, in the 1860's. It provides all the cultural, political, personal and artistic background to their paintings, and the whole Impressionism movement. You see everyone's personalities and shortcomings, and even better, the author actually makes one understand the french-prussian war (I'm not a war history person, so that was good). Anyone who loves Art history, humanities, or this time period, a great read. "

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