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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cezannian Revolution
At times I seemed to lose my way in this book. That might have been due to my lack of attention, but some sections read like little discrete essays and these sometimes seemed to derail the narrative of Cezanne's life. The section on pages 328 to 330, for example, is like a small essay on Cezanne's relationship with trees. However, this is a small criticism. As W.H...
Published 20 months ago by Riverman

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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cezanne is in there somewhere
Reading this book, if you have the courage to get through the 373 pages of text (out of a total of 490) you will learn quite a lot about Emile Zola, Baudelaire, Mirbeau, Flaubert, Rilke, Kafka, Stendhal, even Virgil, to name but a few,but not very much about Cezanne - what it does tell you about him is buried in a mass of almost unreadable text. There's not much comment...
Published 16 months ago by Good book


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cezannian Revolution, 21 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Hardcover)
At times I seemed to lose my way in this book. That might have been due to my lack of attention, but some sections read like little discrete essays and these sometimes seemed to derail the narrative of Cezanne's life. The section on pages 328 to 330, for example, is like a small essay on Cezanne's relationship with trees. However, this is a small criticism. As W.H. Auden observed, a shilling life will give you the facts and Alex Danchev's marvellous biography will give you far more than that. His motivation for writing the book appears to have been a burning desire to understand Cezanne's genius, and I doubt that there is a better reason for doing so. Towards the end of the book, and following a fascinating account of a meeting between two young artists and Cezanne in 1906, at the end of his life - a meeting that resulted in a remarkable series of photographs of Cezanne painting the Mont Saint-Victoire and which are reproduced in the book - he gets to the heart of the matter:

'At the core of the Cezannian revolution is a decisive shift in the emphasis of observation, from a description of the thing apprehended to the process of apprehension itself. Cezanne insisted that he painted things as they are, for what they are, as he saw them. The issue is what he saw - how he saw.'

Drawing extensively on the reactions of Cezanne's contemporaries and those who have ever since tried to understand his significance, Alex Danchev has, to my mind, written a profound and moving biography, and one that is worthy of its subject.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Hardcover)
This life of Cezanne is well researched and makes alternative arguments about Cezanne which are enlightening. He comes across as a highly sensitive human being even though an very unusual one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this so much. Almost like rubbing shoulders with this man... And feeling a sense of empathy for him! Such is the power of this writer!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cezanne, 17 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Paperback)
An informative book about Cezanne with useful information about his paintings, his life and work. The illustrations were a helpful addition for anyone studying Cezanne.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, 18 May 2013
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Mr. Richard G. S. Simon "richard" (edinburgh Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Hardcover)
I learnt an awful lot about this great artist, especially interested in his lifelong friendship with Zola.. Wonderfully illustrated unlike so many biographies of artists nowadays.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful new Life, 13 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Paperback)
We'll - I didn't think we needed another biography of Cezanne - but Danchev's books shows us we do! It's wonderful - very illuminating, clear-headed and richly informative. Well worth reading!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cezanne is in there somewhere, 23 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Hardcover)
Reading this book, if you have the courage to get through the 373 pages of text (out of a total of 490) you will learn quite a lot about Emile Zola, Baudelaire, Mirbeau, Flaubert, Rilke, Kafka, Stendhal, even Virgil, to name but a few,but not very much about Cezanne - what it does tell you about him is buried in a mass of almost unreadable text. There's not much comment about the technical aspect of Cezanne's work, but then that's hardly surprising in a book written by a professor of international relations. The author uses this 'Life' to tell us, among other irrelevancies, all about the Drefus Affair, taking the opportunity to tell us that Renoir and Degas were anti-Semitic, though Pissarro, who was a friend of both, makes no mention of it in his published letters to his son Lucien. A far better introduction to Cezanne than this pretentious volume can be obtained from Catherine Dean's book 'Cezanne' and the one by Roberta Bernabei, both of which I would recommend. The one star awarded is for the illustrations, which are generally very good.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its full of good research, but needs more emphasis on art criteria, 20 Jan 2013
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Theodore Matoff (Bushey Heath north of London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Hardcover)
While it is interesting to know of Cezannes early school life, perhaps there could have been more discussion abou this early pictures and what he thought or was aiming for in his early work. What was the principle influence on his first pictures?

T Matoff
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good study of his life, 1 May 2013
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Hardcover)
I bought this book to look at his paintings but not a lot in this book. I've only read a chapter but find it very interesting. Written very eloquently and an indepth view of his life. Good for someone studying.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CEZANNE A LIFE, 24 Dec 2012
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Mr. E. Way - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cézanne: A life (Hardcover)
MY SON WAS DELIGHTED BY THIS BOOK AND RATES IT AN EXCELLENT ADDITION TO HIS LIBRARY OF IMPRESSIONIST ART-HE THOUGHT DANCHEV CAPTURED THE SPIRIT AND ATMOSPHERE 100%
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Cézanne: A life
Cézanne: A life by Alex Danchev (Paperback - 3 Oct 2013)
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