The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism by Ross King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a terrific representation of the story of the Salon of mid-to-late 19th c. Paris, starring Messonier, Manet, Baudelaire, Nadar, Napolean III, Pissaro, et al. King interweaves remarkable overarching observations about culture, society and aesthetics with fascinating factoids about the artists and other cultural innovations. It's a strong audiobook presentation, a smooth listen. To be honest, I did not know that one of Manet's great, technical innovations was the white ground for oil paintings, rather than the darker grounds used since the Renaissance. I also did not quite realize the central role Pissaro played as an organizer of collective exhibitions and more than Monet. Saxophone invented in 1840?!
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