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Manet: Portraying Life Hardcover – 28 Jan 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Royal Academy of Arts, London (28 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905711743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905711741
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 2.5 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By W. BUTLER on 9 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover
With only one Amazon US review perhaps I should have guessed there would be nothing remarkable about this catalogue - and on flipping through its pages one is immediately aware 80% of the reproductions are disturbingly flat - almost as if the (Belgian) printer had run short of ink. In many cases blood seems to have been drained from the faces of Manet's sitters. Particularly ironic as the title of the exhibition is "Portraying Life".

Naturally this is more obvious in his best known masterpieces which one can compare with copies in 3 Musee D'Orsay catalogs from 1998, 2001 and 2011. To prove the point I'll upload some side-by-side comparisons to show how French publishers go to a lot of trouble and expense to ensure "their Manet" is accurately reproduced whereas sadly it appears no one on the Royal Academy team shared the same sense of responsibility.

The catalogue's designer must also be held partly to blame. Is there some unwritten rule saying large paintings have to spread across 2 pages - making it impossible to enjoy the full composition? Especially as the bigger they get the weaker the imprint. Why too include several full-page enlargements if they only repeat the same inaccurate flesh tints of the small version? Paradoxically not one close-up of Manet's pioneering brushwork is included - despite this being a key element which made his early work so controversial and "moderne". And still remains modern 150 years later.

Lastly, were some paintings computer "enhanced"? For instance the R.A. shows Victorine Meurent's bonnet in "The Railway" as uniformly sharp. But the cover of a 1998 Musee D'Orsay catalogue indicates it was very loosely painted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the catalogue for an exhibition, "Manet: Portraying Life" that was held at the Toledo Museum of Art and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 2012-13. It was one of the latter year's `blockbuster' exhibitions in London. It has been said that most of the artist's paintings are portraits since he required a model to work from. The resulting figures were then positioned on the canvas within background landscapes and settings envisaged by the artist so as to produce a work that may be erroneously identified as a genre painting.

After a Foreword, Sponsor's Preface and Acknowledgements, six essays address the artist, his time and his influences: "Manet: Portraying Life. Themes and Variations", by MaryAnne Stevens, "Théophile Gautier, Militant of Modernity", Stéphane Guégan, "Manet at the Intersection of Portraits and Personalities", Carol M. Armstrong, "'L'Esprit de l'atelier': Manet's Late Portraits of Women, 1878-1883", Leah Lehmbeck, "Manet and Renoir: An Unexamined Dialogue", Colin R. Bailey and "Manet and Hals: Two Geniuses, One Vision", Lawrence W. Nichols.

The catalogue of 62 works is divided into five sections on "The Artist and His Family", "Artists", "Men of Letters and Figures of the Stage", "The Status Portrait" and "Models", each being introduced by MaryAnne Stevens. The illustrated Chronology was developed by Sarah Lea and MaryAnne Stevens and Leah Lehmbeck produced the Catalogue Entries. The book ends with a Bibliography, List of Lenders to the Exhibition and an Index. In all, the book includes 88 figures, including a number of photographs of the artist. I share the opinion of an earlier reviewer that reproducing larger paintings over facing pages does not enhance appreciation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Freelancer Frank on 13 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book about Manet's relationship with the Parisian Modernism of the late 1800's. It illustrates how his hallmark deployment of the enigmatic is prompted by his deliberate mixing of genre types and his deployment of modern symbols such as fashion, music and industry (informed by the work of his colleague Baudelaire). The book is also very illuminating on the influence of photography on Manet's work and his relationships with his models. It is a catalog of an exhibition that ran at the Royal Academy in London and is somewhat marred by over-exposed reproductions. There is, however, a lot to learn here.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is totally riveting if you are interested in art at all. I had just been to the Exhibition held at the Royal academy, but could not carry the book home as it was too heavy! Amazon was selling it cheaper too!! I would recommend this to any art lover, I am a member of NADFAS which is a national art appreciation society and when I get a moment at the next meeting (one a month) I shall ask around to see if others went to the exhibition and indeed would like a 'coffee' table book which is so fantastic, the pictures and the text just perfect.
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0 of 15 people found the following review helpful By CENTRAL LONDON MAN on 29 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
IF U ARE ONE OF THE PROVINCIAL MAINSTREAM UP FOR THE DAY U WILL FEEL AT HOME AT THIS V BUSY EXHIBITION.IF YOU ARE A SOPHISTICATED LONDONER I WOULD GIVE IT A MISS
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