A Century of Artist Letters: Notes to Family, Friends, and Dealers 1855-1968

A Century of Artist Letters: Notes to Family, Friends, and Dealers 1855-1968

by Jacqueline Albert Simon
     
 
"This personal and engaging book reproduces over 100 letters from the most famous 19th and 20th century painters in Paris between 1855 and 1968. Among the artists are Claude Monet, August Renoir, Edouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, and Mary Cassatt. With each letter is an exact transcription (all but two of the letters were originally written in French) and then an English

Overview

"This personal and engaging book reproduces over 100 letters from the most famous 19th and 20th century painters in Paris between 1855 and 1968. Among the artists are Claude Monet, August Renoir, Edouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, and Mary Cassatt. With each letter is an exact transcription (all but two of the letters were originally written in French) and then an English translation. The text of the book explores each writers' relationships with the recipients and with other artists they mention, and a precise examination of each artists's place in the history of art. The artists write of their anxieties about work, health, finances, and their future plans. For example, Pierre Bonnard, at eighteen, writes a long letter to his father explaining why he has transferred from art school to law school. An anguished Emile Bernard describes to art critic Albert Aurier, as Paul Gauguin recounted it to him, the night Vincent vanGogh cut off his own ear. Also featured are a work of art by each artist and their portrait, selfportrait, or photograph. Additionally, each letter has been briefly analyzed by a graphologist (handwriting expert), providing another insight to the human side of great talent. The letters have been selected from the collection of Pierre F. Simon, which is now in the archives of the New York Public Library."

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This impressive work illustrates the historical record left by letters, which can be regarded as relics of the past. Using their expertise (Simon is U.S. bureau chief and associate editor of the French review Politique Internationale, and Rosenfeld is the author of 19 books on art and cultural history), the authors analyze over 50 letters written by 40 of the most famous 19th- and 20th-century artists, including Renoir, Gauguin, Monet, and Picasso. Selected from a larger collection found in the New York Public Library archives and arranged by artist, the letters reveal many aspects of an artist's world (an especially poignant letter describes Van Gogh's ear cutting, for example). Each letter segment begins with an image of the original document, followed by a transcription of its contents and an English translation (all but two letters are in French). In each section, the letters precede any background information, thus allowing readers to make their own initial judgments about the letter or its writer. Portraits or photos of the artists and their artwork complement each section. Also included is a useful analysis from a handwriting expert. Highly recommended for academic libraries and larger public libraries that support art history and French disciplines.-Erica Swenson Danowitz, American Univ. Lib., Washington, DC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780764319341
Publisher:
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Publication date:
01/28/2004
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 12.28(h) x 1.05(d)

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