FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Cézanne: A life has been added to your Basket

Dispatch to:
To see addresses, please
Or
Please enter a valid UK postcode.
Or
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by happyfish63
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Cézanne: A life Hardcover – 18 Oct 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£30.00
£30.00 £13.15
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
£30.00 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special offers and product promotions


Frequently bought together

  • Cézanne: A life
  • +
  • Paul Cézanne: Drawings and Watercolours
Total price: £49.95
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; Main edition (18 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846681650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846681653
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

This is the best account of [Cézanne's] astonishing career and Danchev responds to the challenge with great sensitivity and genuine brio. This is a book which will survive the test of time. (John Golding CBE, Emeritus Professor of the Royal Academy)

A brave new life of Cézanne. . . Danchev's masterstroke is to use literature rather than art as his point of entry . . . Adds an important tranche of material to the Cezanne biography . . . much of this new material successfully illuminates Cezanne's inner life. An important book. (Waldemar Januszczak Sunday Times)

This is a great book - possibly the best - on one of the most respected impressionists. (Bookseller)

Alex Danchev compellingly guides us through Paul Cezanne's much mythologized life from his over-bearing father and early days in the South, as a school friend of Emile Zola, to his position as one of the revered creators of modern painting. The development of Cezanne's thinking and the construction of his paintings are explored alongside his complex relationship with other painters and the Parisian art establishment. Danchev has a great ability to weave his research and analysis into a compelling narrative: understanding what was required for Cezanne to make art modern. (Sandy Nairne, National Portrait Gallery)

A fantastically multidimensional Cézanne. . . . reads much like . . . one of Paul Cézanne's paintings . . . Mr. Danchev's portrait of Cezanne's life is heavy, thick with deceptively simple detail, and unendingly rich in offering context and detail for the reader to make sense of what contexts surrounded Cézanne, how Cezanne understood himself, and how the surrounding artistic milieu and climate informed Cezanne's paintings . . . Cezanne, A Life is a compelling and well-written biography of an enduring, enigmatic and complex figure in the changing world of turn-of-the-20th-century modernist art. (Dr Lydia Pyne New York Journal of Books 2012-10-16)

Original, engaging and highly persuasive . . . his prose is witty, mobile and sensitive (Julian Bell Guardian 2012-10-20)

Danchev introduces a fresh tone into the debates about this artist . . . a stimulating tapestry of ideas . . . More ambitious, more brilliant and more discursive, it has a lively, consistently interrogative authorial voice; it draws upon a rich hinterland of cultural knowledge; it makes interventions into the massive historiography on Cézanne, challenging some scholars, affirming others. It repeatedly dazzles . . . the reach of this book is unlikely ever be surpassed in the search for Cézanne. Danchev is not only a formidable historian; he is also closely attentive to the dynamics in any relationship . . . This book, which makes a major contribution to our understanding of this haunting figure, is enhanced by three fat wads of colour reproductions and made more seductive by the photographs of artists that infiltrate the text. (Frances Spalding Independent 2012-10-27)

Richly documented. . . its rewards are many . . . Danchev's biography has a lightness as it avoids academic jargon and journeys into Cézanne's work with admirers who devoted serious thought to it. (David D'Arcy San Francisco Chronicle 2012-11-05)

Mr Danchev's exhaustive research, not least of Zola's novels, provides a much fuller explanation of the man, which helps elucidate the art . . . many will be enthralled, inspired and perhaps even comforted by this book (John McEwan Country Life 2012-11-14)

Enlightening . . . Accomplished and subtle (Michael Prodger Mail on Sunday 2012-11-18)

It would be virtually impossible for anyone now to get back behind the wrong eyes, and the great strength of Alex Danchev's book is that it doesn't try. This is a biography for an age that takes Cézanne's supreme clarity, balance and pictorial logic for granted. Far from putting him back in the context he came from, it explores his relations with a world he shaped. Its cultural references range from Socrates to Wallace Stevens, Kafka to Beckett, Chaplin to Woody Allen . . . moving (Hilary Spurling Daily Telegraph 2012-11-17)

A perceptive judge of pictures as well as a skilled narrator, Mr. Danchev excels at dissecting Cézanne's idiosyncratic, analytical approach to the depiction of nature, which eventually paved the way for the innovations of Cubism and modernist abstraction. Abundant color plates and exhaustive documentation round out this magisterial biography. (Jonathan Lopez Wall Street Journal 2012-11-16)

Triumphant (Peter Conrad Observer 2012-12-02)

FT Art Books of the Year: The most engrossing biography of an artist that I have read for years. With lightness of touch, depth of thought, a vast cultural hinterland and an assured understanding of painting, Danchev marvellously brings to life Cézanne the man, as well as the pioneering artist called "the father of us all" by Picasso. (Jackie Wullschlager FT 2012-12-01)

Marvellous (Frank Whitford Sunday Times 2012-12-02)

Art Books of Year: Notable among recent studies of arists (Michael Prodger Guardian 2012-12-01)

A new view of an old subject ... an impressive achievement (Christian House Independent on Sunday 2012-12-02)

Danchev's parameters are the work, the principles, the life, the art, the viewer, the reader. He writes as if he doesn't really need the century of critics, academics and theorists who have previously explained the painter ... Danchev's self-confidence is evident, and fully justified (TLS)

An enchanting literary exercise... exquisite in style... romantic, intense, affectionate and occasionally wry... a masterpiece. (Brian Sewell Evening Standard 2012-12-20)

Superb (Michael Prodger Standpoint 2012-12-01)

Danchev's Cézanne has... virtues of imaginative sympathy, independence of mind, and wide scholarship. He writes as if Cézanne's life and character are as immediately present before him as is the art (Julian Barnes TLS 2012-12-21)

Engaging and well-researched (Frederick Brown LRB 2013-03-21)

Magisterial ... Thanks to this wholly engrossing - and liberating - new life of the artist, we are made to feel closer to him than ever before. (Richard Verdi Burlington Magazine 2013-03-01)

...serious, learned, and far-ranging (Australian Book Review 2013-03-01)

Book Description

A remarkable new biography of a cultural icon

See all Product description

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as easy a read as I thought it was going to be. Cezanne's life was not filled with fascinating incident. He lived almost exclusively an inner life, unlike some of those who followed him such as Picasso or Matisse. A biographer is obliged to flesh out the story with the lives of those who meant most to his subject. So what we have is a lot of Emil Zola, Cezanne's great childhood friend, in existential musings. This is not uninteresting but Danchev does draw it out a little too much. Where the author scores heavily is in his writing about Cezanne's progress as a painter and in discussing the paintings themselves. despite the longueurs, this is a worthwhile read.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I gave up on this ramshackle biography fifty pages from the end. I believe I did well to get so far.
There's too much talk around the artist and too little about him. Also an excess of scholarly name dropping
and unnecessary, lengthy quotations.
For someone coming to the artist for the first time this is not the book. My personal favourite is John Rewald,s, the first I read,
and possible the best at creating a convincing portrait of the great man.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Tam on 17 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse