Art Nouveau

Parkstone International
2
Free sample

Ever since its triumph at the Paris Universal Exposition, Art Nouveau has continued to inspire artists. The movement offered an artistic response to the industrial revolution and the creative vacuum left in its wake, exerting a huge impact on the decorative arts. Art Nouveau spans all forms of expression – including design, painting and architecture – and covers artists such as Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Antoni Gaudí, Jan Toorop, and William Morris.
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About the author

Henri Cazalis (Jean Lahor) was a French doctor born in Cormeilles-en-Parisis in 1840. Cazalis was a symbolist poet and published under the pseudonyms Jean Caselli and Jean Lahor for many of his collections of poems and letters, including "The Illusion."

Along with Sully Prudhomme (awarded the first Nobel Prize for Literature), Cazalis founded" The Society for the Protection of Landscapes and Aesthetics in France "which aims to protect the landscapes and heritage of the land to ensure a better quality of life in France. The society is still active today. Cazalis also corresponded with French poet and art critic, Stephane Mallarme.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Parkstone International
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Published on
Jan 7, 2014
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Pages
318
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ISBN
9781781609330
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / European
Art / General
Art / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Once the State-run Salon in Paris closed, an array of independent Salons mushroomed starting with the French Artists Salon and Women’s Salon in 1881 followed by the Independent Artists’ Salon, National Salon of Fine Arts and Autumn Salon. Offering an unparalleled choice of art identities and alliances, together with undreamed-of opportunities for sales, commissions, prizes and art criticism, these great Salons guaranteed the centripetal and centrifugal power of Paris as the “modern art centre”. Lured by the prospect of being exhibited annually in Salons the size of Biennales today, a huge number and national diversity of artists, from the Australian Rupert Bunny to the Spaniards Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris, flocked to Paris.

Yet by no means were these Salons equal in power, nor did they work consensually to forge this “modern art centre”. Formed on the basis of their different cultural politics, constantly they rivalled one another for State acquisitions and commissions, exhibition places and spaces, awards, and every other means of enhancing their legitimacy. By no means were the avant-garde salons those that most succeeded. Instead, as this culturo-political history demonstrates, the French Artists’ and National Fine Art Salons were the most successful, with the genderist French Artists' Salon being the most powerful and “official”. Despite the renown today of Neo-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Fauvism, Cubism and Orphism, the most powerful artists in this “modern art centre” were not Sonia Delaunay, Émile Gallé, Paul Signac, Henri Matisse or even Picasso but such Academicians as Léon Bonnat, William Bouguereau, Fernand Cormon, Edouard Detaille, Gabriel Ferrier, Jean-Paul Laurens, Luc-Oliver Merson and Aimé Morot, who exhibited at the “official” Salon supported by the machinery of the State.

In its exposure of the rivalry, conflict and struggle between the Salons and their artists, this is an unprecedented history of dissension. It also exposes how, just below the welcoming internationalist veneer of this “modern art centre”, intense persecutionist paranoia lay festering. Whenever France’s “civilizing mission” seemed culturally, commercially or colonially threatened, it erupted in waves of nationalist xenophobia turning artistic rivalry into bitter enmity. In exposing how rivals became transmuted into conspirators, ultimately this book reveals a paradox resonant in histories that celebrate the international triumph of French modern art: that this magnetic “centre”, which began by welcoming international modernists, ended by attacking them for undermining its cultural supremacy, contaminating its “civilizing mission” and politically persecuting the very modernist culture for which it has received historical renown.

The spellbinding story, part fairy tale, part suspense, of Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, one of the most emblematic portraits of its time; of the beautiful, seductive Viennese Jewish salon hostess who sat for it; the notorious artist who painted it; the now vanished turn-of-the-century Vienna that shaped it; and the strange twisted fate that befell it.
 
The Lady in Gold, considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one of the twentieth century’s most recognizable paintings, made headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135 million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of his time, completed the society portrait.
 
Anne-Marie O’Connor, writer for The Washington Post, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, tells the galvanizing story of the Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer, sugar-beet baron.
 
The Bloch-Bauers were art patrons, and Adele herself was considered a rebel of fin de siècle Vienna (she wanted to be educated, a notion considered “degenerate” in a society that believed women being out in the world went against their feminine “nature”). The author describes how Adele inspired the portrait and how Klimt made more than a hundred sketches of her—simple pencil drawings on thin manila paper.
 
And O’Connor writes of Klimt himself, son of a failed gold engraver, shunned by arts bureaucrats, called an artistic heretic in his time, a genius in ours.
 
She writes of the Nazis confiscating the portrait of Adele from the Bloch-Bauers’ grand palais; of the Austrian government putting the painting on display, stripping Adele’s Jewish surname from it so that no clues to her identity (nor any hint of her Jewish origins) would be revealed. Nazi officials called the painting, The Lady in Gold and proudly exhibited it in Vienna’s Baroque Belvedere Palace, consecrated in the 1930s as a Nazi institution.
 
The author writes of the painting, inspired by the Byzantine mosaics Klimt had studied in Italy, with their exotic symbols and swirls, the subject an idol in a golden shrine.
 
We see how, sixty years after it was stolen by the Nazis, the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer became the subject of a decade-long litigation between the Austrian government and the Bloch-Bauer heirs, how and why the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, and how the Court’s decision had profound ramifications in the art world.
 
A riveting social history; an illuminating and haunting look at turn-of-the-century Vienna; a brilliant portrait of the evolution of a painter; a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart of it, the Lady in Gold—the shimmering painting, and its equally irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined.
Told with consummate skill by the writer of the bestselling, award-winning A Civil Action, The Lost Painting is a remarkable synthesis of history and detective story. 

An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries.

The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons. Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power. He rose from obscurity to fame and wealth, but success didn’t alter his violent temperament. His rage finally led him to commit murder, forcing him to flee Rome a hunted man. He died young, alone, and under strange circumstances.

Caravaggio scholars estimate that between sixty and eighty of his works are in existence today. Many others–no one knows the precise number–have been lost to time. Somewhere, surely, a masterpiece lies forgotten in a storeroom, or in a small parish church, or hanging above a fireplace, mistaken for a mere copy.

Prizewinning author Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding journey to discover the long-lost painting known as The Taking of Christ–its mysterious fate and the circumstances of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles across a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the painting across a continent and hundreds of years of history. But it is not until she meets Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer working in Ireland, that she finally manages to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle.

Praise for The Lost Painting

“Jonathan Harr has gone to the trouble of writing what will probably be a bestseller . . . rich and wonderful. . . . In truth, the book reads better than a thriller. . . . If you're a sucker for Rome, and for dusk . . . [you'll] enjoy Harr's more clearly reported details about life in the city.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Jonathan Harr has taken the story of the lost painting, and woven from it a deeply moving narrative about history, art and taste—and about the greed, envy, covetousness and professional jealousy of people who fall prey to obsession. It is as perfect a work of narrative nonfiction as you could ever hope to read.”—The Economist
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