French Painting

Charles F. Stuckey, Editor Hugh Lauter Levin Associates $85 (0p) ISBN 978-0-88363-591-9
Stuckey examines French art on a continuum, from the prehistoric Lascaux cave paintings of potent bulls and horses to Yves Klein's phosphorescent People Begin to Fly (1961) as a meditation on what it means to be human. The Fontainebleau court's fascination with witty paganism, the bohemian influence of Caravaggio, Jacques- Louis David's demotion of the gods to insincere adolescents, Gericault's exaltation of Everyman and Watteau's ``imaginary journalistic rendition of modern life'' set the stage for later developments by artists who sought to paint in an essentially French spirit (Renoir, Dufy) and those who tried to develop universal visual languages (Manet, Duchamp). This magnificent, large-format survey weds 31 thoughtful essays to 300 color plates, superb both in quality and in selection. While Stuckey, a curator at Chicago's Art Institute, includes many non-French artists working in France, his album radiates a discernible French spirit. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-88363-973-3
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