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Cézanne: A life Paperback – 3 Oct 2013
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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)
A brave new life of Cézanne ... much of this new material successfully illuminates Cézanne's inner life. An important book (Sunday Times)
Enlightening . . . Accomplished and subtle (Michael Prodger Mail on Sunday)
This is a great book - possibly the best - on one of the most respected impressionists (Bookseller)
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)
A magisterial biography (Jonathan Lopez Wall Street Journal)
A new view of an old subject ... an impressive achievement (Christian House Independent on Sunday)
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)
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)
An enchanting literary exercise... exquisite in style... romantic, intense, affectionate and occasionally wry... a masterpiece. (Brian Sewell Evening Standard)
A remarkable biography of the cultural icon, Paul CézanneSee all Product description
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'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.
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.
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