The Painter's Eye: Notes and Essays on the Pictorial Arts

The Painter's Eye: Notes and Essays on the Pictorial Arts

by Henry James, John L. Sweeney
     
 

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Between 1868 and 1897 Henry James wrote a number of short essays and reviews of artists and art collections; these essays were published in magazines such as Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Weekly and in newspapers such as the New York Tribune. They included James’s comments on Ruskin, Turner, Whistler, Sargent, and the Impressionists

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Overview

Between 1868 and 1897 Henry James wrote a number of short essays and reviews of artists and art collections; these essays were published in magazines such as Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Weekly and in newspapers such as the New York Tribune. They included James’s comments on Ruskin, Turner, Whistler, Sargent, and the Impressionists, among many others. Thirty of these essays were collected and first published in a modern edition in 1956, accompanied by John Sweeney’s introduction, which sketches James’s interest in the visual arts over a period of years, focusing on the ways in which painting and painters entered his work as subjects.
     Susan Griffin’s new forward places James’s observations in a contemporary context. Some of the novelist’s judgements will seem wrong to today’s readers: he was critical of the Impressionists, for example. But all of these essays bear the stamp of James’s critical intelligence, and they tell us a great deal about his development as a writer during those years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Art criticism was probably never better written in English than when James wrote it. Even when you disagree with James, it’s a pleasure to see how beautifully he phrases what he judges so badly. . . . James believed that the important thing for an art critic was to record his own impressions with as much freshness and wit as possible. He does this in the pieces in The Painter’s Eye.”—Joseph Wiesenfarth, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Not only does James’s status as one of the premier perceivers of the Victorian period give this edition importance, but the art that he is writing about is now receiving more sympathetic scrutiny from historians and critics. The criticism is written with force and delicacy, and is intriguingly laced with the occasional gossip of the art monde.”—William Veeder, University of Chicago

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299122805
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
09/01/1989
Pages:
312

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