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Edouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat [Paperback]

by Beth Archer Brombert
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 24, 1997 0226075443 978-0226075440 1
"Manet comes alive in [Brombert's] pages. . . . At times her biography reads like a substantial and detailed 19th-century novel. . . . Brombert's Edouard Manet gives us not only a portrait of a complex artist but, in its authority and its range, a portrait of an age as well."--James R. Mellow, New York Times Book Review

"One of the pleasures of reading her is to follow the way she weaves life, art and history into a smooth tapestry. The art emerges from the life, and in the broadest possible context: in terms of its creator's life and concerns and in terns of its historical and cultural setting."--Eric Gibson, The Washington Times Books

"Richly detailed and informative . . . [this biography] exposes the character of an artist who maintained a sharply defined duality between his public and private personas."--Edward J. Sozanski, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Brombert's reading of important canvasses . . . shine, as do her accounts of the changing social and political environment in which Manet worked. . . . Well researched, complexly conceived, and clearly written."--Kirkus Reviews

"Brilliant . . . [this book] grants us a far deeper understanding of why [Manet's] paintings outraged so many of his peers, and why these same masterpieces resonate so richly in our psyches a century later."--Booklist, starred review

Frequently Bought Together

Edouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat + Manet's 'Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe' (Masterpieces of Western Painting) + Twelve (12) Views of Manet's Bar
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edouard Manet (1832-1883), whose paintings depict noncommunication between intimates, unspoken secrets and the pretense of bourgeois propriety, led a life of camouflage and deception, according to this compelling, if often conjectural, biography. When the French painter turned 20, his 22-year-old mistress, Dutch piano teacher Suzanne Leenhoff, gave birth to a son whom she named Leon-Edouard Koella. Throughout her life, Leenhoff bizarrely insisted that Leon was her brother; she and Manet (who lived with Leon and his mistress) married in 1863, and the painter became the boy's godfather, yet Brombert builds a plausible case that Leon was actually Manet's unacknowledged biological son. She is less convincing in arguing that Manet and his sister-in-law, painter Berthe Morisot, held mutual unfulfilled romantic longings for each other, or that Manet, often criticized as a neutral, apolitical observer, was in fact a "political animal" with center/left sympathies. Even so, her startling, intimate biography brilliantly links Manet's complex personality and hidden personal life to his art. Brombert is author of Christina: Portrait of a Princess and translator of Francis Ponge. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is the first full-length biography of painter Edouard Manet in English since the translation of Henri Perruchot's Manet in 1962. Manet's importance to the development of art, both as an early, if reluctant, leader of the impressionist movement and his interactions with a wide range of writers, most importantly Zola and Baudelaire, are explored in great detail here. Brombert, a cultural historian, provides extensive information about Manet's world and the importance of 19th-century Paris to the formation of Manet's personal and artistic life. Unfortunately, Brombert's telling of Manet's life is often slow-moving and chronologically confusing. Manet's paintings and his relationship with his sister-in-law Berthe Morisot are examined with a piercing Freudian eye, sometimes to the detriment of a careful art-historical analysis as is provided in works like Harry Rand's Manet's Contemplation at the Gare Saint-Lazare (Univ. of California, 1987). Recommended with reservations for most collections.?Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington,
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (November 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226075443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226075440
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for Manet lovers!!! September 25, 2001
Format:Paperback
Beth Archer Brombert's Edouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat is a must-have for anyone who loves 19th century art, especially that of the great Manet. Brombert has clearly done her research; not only does she critically examine the works of past art historians, she also analyses primary documents. Brombert writes well, clean and concise. The book is fresh and intriguing. I am a graduate student working on Manet's art and this book was a delight to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and informative February 9, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really liked the book and how it was written. The author gives the reader a lot of information and understanding of Manet, his family and the other artists of the times. I ratred it at 4 stars as I thought there were, at times, almost too much time given to other topics ie. the Franco Prussian war. Of course this was an important influence on Paris and its inhabitants, but perhaps too much space and time given to this subject.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good bio with qualifications August 29, 2012
Format:Hardcover
This mis- titled opus is a well written double biography, first and foremost of the Parisian Belle Epoch with the life and oeuvre of Manet's as a parallel companion.
A long list of minor and major players of the artistic and literary life of France in the last 3 decades of the XIX th century unfolds in little installments that are mini biographies of most of the people that came in contact with Manet. These are found throughout the book, and frequently interrupts the narrative of the life of the man the title claims to be the main subject.
Manet's life is subdivided into the "life" and "Paintings" parts. A necessary device to bring to life the man behind the paintings, but this is done in a way that, in my opinion does not do justice to the artist.
If Manet was an innovator, and there is no question he was, he was almost single handedly responsible for the introduction of natural light into paintings and all reproductions in this book are in black and white!
Not a single color reproduction is seen.
In my view this is a serious drawback but a more serious one is the author's description of many paintings which are not found in the reproductions.
Another bothersome, at least for me, tendency is Madame Brombert's exhausting and amateurist psychiatric interpretations of Manet's subjects and the objects added to the paintings. The actual technic and color renditions take second or third fiddle to the descriptions.
But to be fair, some of these are very good and do add to the anjoyment of the piece in question. Her description of the sentiments behind "a Bar at the Folies Bergere" are indeed very well done.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Edouard Manet Fan October 9, 2002
Format:Hardcover
In my opinion...one of the best books written on Edouard Manet. Well researched and enjoyable to read. Any Manet reader cannot pass this book up!!
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3 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hype September 9, 2002
By argeioi
Format:Hardcover
a disappointing read.
if you like speculation unsupported by the facts, then this is the book for you.
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