A Traveller's History of Paris


Robert Cole - 1994
    It is a wonderful place to visit and to live in. Packed with fact, anecdote, and insight, A Traveller's History of Paris offers a complete history of Paris and the people who have shaped its destiny, from its earliest settlement as the Roman village of Lutetia Parisiorum with a few hundred inhabitants, to 20 centuries later when Paris is a city of well over two million--nearly one-fifth of the population of France. This handy paperback is fully indexed and includes a Chronology of Major Events, as well as sections on Notre-Dame and historic churches, Modernism, parks, bridges, cemeteries, museums and galleries, the Metro, and the environs. Illustrated with line drawings and historical maps, this is an invaluable book for all visitors to read and enjoy.

The Louvre


Alexandra Bonfante-Warren - 2000
    Here are tomb paintings and sarcophagi from the Valley of the Kings, devotional altarpieces expressing the religious fervor of the Middle Ages, and masterpieces by Giotto, Raphael, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Rubens, Delacroix, David, Vermeer, and Ingres.The Louvre also contains photos and historical drawings of the architectural development of the fortress-turned-palace-turned-museum, as well as an engaging account of French history that helped form one of the most spectacular collections in the world.

The History of Western Art


Peter Whitfield - 2011
    What is art? Why do we value images of saints, kings, goddesses, battles, landscapes or cities from eras of history utterly remote from ourselves? This history of art shows how painters, sculptors and architects have expressed the belief-systems of their age; religious, political and aesthetic.

Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society


Robert L. Herbert - 1988
     In this classic of art history, both art and history are triumphantly reborn.”—Robert Rosenblum, New York UniversityThis remarkable book will transform the way we look at Impressionist art.  The culmination of twenty years of research by a preeminent scholar in the field, it fundamentally revises the conventional view of the Impressionist movement and shows for the first time how it was fully integrated into the social and cultural life of the times. Robert L. Herbert explores the themes of leisure and entertainment that dominated the great years of Impressionist painting between 1865 and 1885.  Cafes, opera houses, dance halls, theaters, racetracks, and vacations by the sea were the central subjects of the majority of these paintings, and Herbert relates these pursuits to the transformation of Paris under the Second Empire.Sumptuously illustrated with many of the most beautiful Impressionist images, both familiar and unfamiliar, this book presents provocative new interpretations of a wide range of famous masterpieces.  Artists are seen to be active participants in, as well as objective witnesses to, contemporary life, and there are many profound insights into the social and cultural upheaval of the times.“A social history of Impressionist art that is truly about the art, informed by a penetrating analysis of the ways in which its pictorial structure and qualities communicate its social content.  Herbert brings that society to life, but above all he makes some of the most familiar and frequently discussed works in the history of art come wonderfully and vividly to life again.”—Theodore Reff, Columbia UniversityRobert L. Herbert is Robert Lehman Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. He is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on nineteenth-century French art.

Art Through the Ages, Study Guide


Helen Gardner - 1986
    It focuses on critical analysis of the subject through a workbook section and self-quizzes along with prompts to explore the chapter's images and topics through the ArtStudy 2.0 CD-ROM, Web Site, and WebTutor? supplements.

A Basic History of Art


H.W. Janson - 1981
    Focusing on art before 1520, this edition organizes the material chronologically. It now incorporates considerable new material on the history of music and theatre, and updates scholarship on ancient art.

Modigliani: A Life


Meryle Secrest - 2011
    . . have different rights, different values than do ordinary people because we have different needs which put us . . . above their moral standards.” —ModiglianiAmedeo (“Beloved of God”) Modigliani was considered to be the quintessential bohemian artist, his legend almost as infamous as Van Gogh’s. In Modigliani’s time, his work was seen as an oddity: contemporary with the Cubists but not part of their movement. His work was a link between such portraitists as Whistler, Sargent, and Toulouse-Lautrec and that of the Art Deco painters of the 1920s as well as the new approaches of Gauguin, Cézanne, and Picasso.Jean Cocteau called Modigliani “our aristocrat” and said, “There was something like a curse on this very noble boy. He was beautiful. Alcohol and misfortune took their toll on him.”In this major new biography, Meryle Secrest, one of our most admired biographers—whose work has been called “enthralling” (The Wall Street Journal); “rich in detail, scrupulously researched, and sympathetically written” (The New York Review of Books) —now gives us a fully realized portrait of one of the twentieth century’s master painters and sculptors: his upbringing, a Sephardic Jew from an impoverished but genteel Italian family; his going to Paris to make his fortune; his striking good looks (“How beautiful he was, my god how beautiful,” said one of his models) . . . his training as an artist . . .and his influences, including the Italian Renaissance, particularly the art of Botticelli; Nietzsche’s theories of the artist as Übermensch, divinely endowed, divinely inspired; the monochromatic backgrounds of Van Gogh and Cézanne; the work of the Romanian sculptor Brancusi; and the primitive sculptures of Africa and Oceania with their simplified, masklike triangular faces, elongated silhouettes, puckered lips, low foreheads, and heads on exaggeratedly long necks. We see the ways in which Modigliani’s long-kept-secret illness from tuberculosis (it almost killed him as a young man) affected his work and his attitude toward life ; how consumption caused him to embrace fatalism and idealism, creativity and death; and how he used alcohol and opium with laudanum as an antispasmodic to hide the symptoms of the disease and how, because of it, he came to be seen as a dissolute alcoholic.And throughout, we see the Paris that Modigliani lived in, a city in dynamic flux where art was still a noble cause; how Modigliani became part of a life in the streets and a world of art and artists then in a transforming revolution; Monet, Cézanne, Degas, Renoir, et al.—and others more radical—Matisse, Derain, etc., all living within blocks of one another.Secrest’s book, written with unprecedented access to letters, diaries, and photographs never before seen, is an extraordinary revelation of a life lived in art . . . Here is Modigliani, the man and the artist, seemingly shy, delicate, a man on a desperate mission, masquerading as an alcoholic, cheating death again and again, and calculating what he had to do in order to go on working and concealing his secret for however much time remained . . .

The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History


Robin Givhan - 2015
    Who better than Robin Givhan to tell this captivating story?" - Diane von FurstenbergOn November 28, 1973, the world's social elite gathered at the Palace of Versailles for an international fashion show. By the time the curtain came down on the evening's spectacle, history had been made and the industry had been forever transformed. This is that story.Conceived as a fund-raiser for the restoration of King Louis XIV's palace, in the late fall of 1973, five top American designers faced off against five top French designers in an over-the-top runway extravaganza. An audience filled with celebrities and international jet-setters, including Princess Grace of Monaco, the Duchess of Windsor, Paloma Picasso, and Andy Warhol, were treated to an opulent performance featuring Liza Minnelli, Josephine Baker, and Rudolph Nureyev. What they saw would forever alter the history of fashion.The Americans at the Battle of Versailles- Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston, and Stephen Burrows - showed their work against the five French designers considered the best in the world - Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan of Christian Dior. Plagued by in-fighting, outsized egos, shoestring budgets, and innumerable technical difficulties, the American contingent had little chance of meeting the European's exquisite and refined standards. But against all odds, the American energy and the domination by the fearless models (ten of whom, in a groundbreaking move, were African American) sent the audience reeling. By the end of the evening, the Americans had officially taken their place on the world's stage, prompting a major shift in the way race, gender, sexuality, and economics would be treated in fashion for decades to come. As the curtain came down on The Battle of Versailles, American fashion was born; no longer would the world look to Europe to determine the stylistic trends of the day, from here forward, American sensibility and taste would command the world's attention.Pulitzer-Prize winning fashion journalist Robin Givhan offers a lively and meticulously well-researched account of this unique event. The Battle of Versailles is a sharp, engaging cultural history; this intimate examination of a single moment shows us how the world of fashion as we know it came to be.

Degas


Bernd Growe - 1992
    Inspiration, spontaneity, temperament are unknown to me. One has to do the same subject ten times, even a hundred times over. In art, nothing should look like chance, not even movement." Edgar Degas In terms of both theme and technique, the key to understanding the early work of Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is classical painting. Although he was eventually associated with the Impressionists and even participated in their joint exhibitions, Degas never adopted a purely Impressionist approach. Degas's work, reflecting an extremely personal and psychological perspective, emphasizes the scenic or concentrates on the detail. Thus, Degas's painting is often discussed with reference to the rise of short-exposure photography. Thematically, nature proved less interesting to the artist than the life and inhabitants of the modern metropolis. Degas primarily sought his motifs in ballet salons, at the race track or circus, or in bedrooms - but dancers always remained his favorite theme. About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Art Series features:a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance a concise biography approximately 100 colour illustrations with explanatory captions

Legion of the Lost: The True Experience of an American in the French Foreign Legion


Jaime Salazar - 2005
    Made up completely of volunteers, the Legion gives men a new lease on life - and a chance to test their limits both physically and mentally. In 1999, the Legion was just what American Jaime Salazar was looking for ..." "The son of underpaid Mexican immigrants, Jaime found himself on the corporate fast track after graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. But at twenty-three, he was already disillusioned with what life had to offer him: a luxury car, a corporate expense account, a future sitting behind a desk." "Always fascinated with the Legion, he decided to join up while on a trip to Europe. Giving up his identity and five years of his life, he was a misfit American in a rag-tag group of recruits - men from homelands without proper armies, men on the run from their pasts, men without hope - in the Legion's notoriously brutal training regime." From the harrowing physical rigors of basic training to his posting in the 2e REG outside of the tiny village of Saint Christol, from his fierce competitiveness and pride to his ultimate disillusionment with the Legion and dramatic desertion, this is the story of one man's quest for honor and sacrifice. Legion of the Lost is a compelling firsthand account of the contemporary French Foreign Legion, sure to dispel myths while at the same time add to the legend of the finest trained army of mercenaries the world has ever seen.

Versailles: A History


Robert B. Abrams - 2017
    Here is the dramatic - and tragic - story of Versailles and the men and women who made it their home.

Toulouse-Lautrec: A Life


Julia Frey - 1994
    Debauched aristocrat, cabaret painter, accidental dwarf? Julia Frey's definitive, superbly researched biography strips away the myth of Toulouse-Lautrec to reveal the tortured man beneath. This is a remarkable and compelling portrait, featuring 135 photos and illustrations.

Art History, Volume II [with CD-ROM]


Marilyn Stokstad - 1995
    The essays, which pay special attention to the context of each artwork, are accompanied by nearly 2,000 illustrations. With a glossary of essential art terms, a special techniques section, and the inclusion of architectural drawings and plans, Stokstad's Art History is an exemplary reference for students and professionals alike.

Gothic Art: Glorious Visions


Michael Camille - 1996
    In this radical reappraisal of Gothic art in Europe, the word "Gothic" describes not only an art style but a changing concept of space, time, and society - a new kind of perception, both visual and spiritual, in which light is of central importance. Camille shows us how the art of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was seen in its own time and explores the way vision itself was understood. In this age of glorious painting, magnificent, intricate architecture and sculpture, and jewellike manuscript illumination, art was an expression of religious passion and earthly power, of public and private wealth; of science and learning. The new vision led to an explosion of brilliant images but had its grim side, rarely noticed by art history: the distorted representation of "others" like Jews, heretics, and lepers; a new vision not only of the marvelous, but also of the grotesque.

Toulouse-Lautrec


Matthias Arnold - 1990
    This physically handicapped scion of the old French nobility was fascinated by life around Montmartre, whose cafes, cabarets, dance halls, and bordellos presented him with the theatre of life. More than any other artist, Toulouse-Lautrec captured the belle epoque's pursuit of fleeting pleasure: directly and without flattery, his paintings, lithographs, and posters offer a masterly and timeless image of the age.