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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully evocative
I'm not an art historian or critic and therefore can't comment on every aspect of the book's content as some reviewers in the media have done. It hasn't detracted from my enjoyment of the book that Sue Roe has based it on secondary sources only; in fact the skill with which she has done this actually increases my admiration of her abilities. The fact that her thesis may...
Published 1 month ago by D. P. Mankin

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressions of painters in Paris
A lively and readable account (though sometimes a little gushing), competently collaged from already available sources. Lack of sound Art historical knowledge and understanding are not a barrier to enjoying this book, but I'd be fascinated to know who 'commonly believes' that Modernism began in the 1920s with the Charleston etc - a preposterous assertion!
Sue Roe...
Published 1 month ago by JK Ward


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully evocative, 3 Aug 2014
By 
D. P. Mankin (Ceredigion, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris, 1900-1910 (Kindle Edition)
I'm not an art historian or critic and therefore can't comment on every aspect of the book's content as some reviewers in the media have done. It hasn't detracted from my enjoyment of the book that Sue Roe has based it on secondary sources only; in fact the skill with which she has done this actually increases my admiration of her abilities. The fact that her thesis may be a bit wobbly hasn't impacted on my enjoyment either (perhaps critics are overly pedantic at times). The book delivers on several fronts: impressive knowledge of existing sources; fluently written; and wonderfully evocative of the period. For instance, this description of Montmartre: "a hill top village with squat crumbling houses, vineyards and squares bordered with chestnut trees, the outlooks plunging down into the mists of Paris, where life was lived slowly and quietly, like going back in time". She is excellent at describing the artists and their lives. The book leaves a lingering sense of the social milieu and the importance of collaboration - as well as rivalry - in the creation of art. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That "great artistic cauldron" brought to life, 4 Sep 2014
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Ralph Blumenau (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris, 1900-1910 (Kindle Edition)
Montmartre was an astonishing place between 1900 and 1910, “the great artistic cauldron ... where artists and bohemians of all ages and nationalities converged”, and Susan Rowe describes it vividly, with all its cafés, bars and studios, where so many of the young French artists of the time congregated and all knew each other: Picasso and Matisse (conscious rivals), Derain, Vlaminck, Modigliani, Utrillo, Van Dongen, Braque, Marie Laurencin, Henri Rousseau, Juan Gris, all of whom we follow in greater or lesser detail in this book, both in their daily lives, their affaires and their art. Several of them belonged to what Roe calls “la bande Picasso” at the Bateau-Lavoir, the large ramshackle building in which several artists had their studios at that time. That decade saw one form of art succeeding another with great rapidity: Pointillism, Fauvism, the influence of African art and the different varieties of Cubism. Enormously important was the shrewd art dealer Ambroise Vollard who bought and promoted these avant-garde artists; so was the American art collector Leo Stein, whose sister Gertrude figured so much in Picasso’s life and to whose literary innovations Sue Rowe devotes a few pages. Other art dealers (Kahnweiler, Uhde) and patrons (Shchukine) also figure prominently.

We see particularly Picasso and Matisse starting the period very poor and ending it famous and prosperous. Striking also is the contrast between the robust Picasso and the sensitive and easily depressed Matisse. The other character of comes very much alive in the book is Picasso’s partner Fernande Ollivier.

There is also a lot about the early cinema, the ballet, fashion designers - about everything that contributed - mostly centrally, but sometimes more marginally - to the atmosphere of Montmartre.

In 1911 there was a lot of rebuilding and demolition up on Montmartre, the latter including several of its windmills. The centre of artistic life moved from Montmartre to Montparnasse, on the Left Bank (south of the river). What was left of the former became a tourist attraction, and the serious painters were replaced by the amateurs who set up their easels on the Place du Tertre. So this is where Sue Roe’s book ends.

A small niggle: in the Kindle edition, quotations which are footnoted at the end of the book, instead of having superscipt numbers referring to the sources at the end of the book, are either partially or wholly underlined, a very unusual and quite irritating device. But that apart, I found the book very interesting and hugely informative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully evocative, 21 Aug 2014
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This review is from: In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris, 1900-1910 (Kindle Edition)
A few minutes hearing this as book of the week on Radio 4 and I'd downloaded a copy so that I could read along - more or less. Highly evocative of the era, an insight into Picasso that is brought to life and in my case supported by visits to all the places mentioned.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressions of painters in Paris, 11 Aug 2014
A lively and readable account (though sometimes a little gushing), competently collaged from already available sources. Lack of sound Art historical knowledge and understanding are not a barrier to enjoying this book, but I'd be fascinated to know who 'commonly believes' that Modernism began in the 1920s with the Charleston etc - a preposterous assertion!
Sue Roe ably communicates her love of this period and offers hours of reading pleasure even if there are no scholarly or helpful insights.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lucidly written in short pithy chapters each concentrating on only ..., 12 Sep 2014
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M. WYNNE-ELLIS (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
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Lucidly written in short pithy chapters each concentrating on only one or two of the characters in the study, this was a lovely read. The background has been well researched and given an authentic, realistic touch that makes the book even more believable. A well-argued thesis that I fully endorse. M
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5.0 out of 5 stars Felt engaged throughout - for me the imagery and unexpected ..., 14 Sep 2014
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Felt engaged throughout - for me the imagery and unexpected details and commentary on Paris and the artists lifted the book out of the ordinary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Aug 2014
A very good and interesting book. Looks very stylish and sees the artist through another light
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It would have been good to follow up the dramatic personae into the next ..., 25 Aug 2014
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This review is from: In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris, 1900-1910 (Kindle Edition)
Very interesting material. It would have been good to follow up the dramatic personae into the next decade including the Great War; perhaps the author has already done this?
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing but authority undermined by mistakes which should have been ..., 12 Aug 2014
Amusing but authority undermined by mistakes which should have been edited out ('haute' Montmartre should be 'haut' and Casagemas's paramour was Germaine not Gabrielle) - and that's only in the first few pages.
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