The Body of Raphælle Peale: Still Life and Selfhood, 1812-1824 (Ahmanson Murphy Fine Arts Imprint) 1st Edition

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520224988
ISBN-10: 0520224981
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The meticulous food still lifes of Raphaelle Peale positively sizzle with subliminal sexuality in Nemerov's deeply psychological analysis. Highly recommended." -- Minneapolis Star-Tribune

From the Inside Flap

"This book is mind-blowing. Nemerov is a groundbreaking thinker in his field."—John Wilmerding, Princeton University

"This is a book for all serious Americanists."—Jay Fliegelman, author of Declaring Independence

"Each haunting and delicately wrought canvas expands as Nemerov writes about it, so that his interpretive work both mirrors and supplements the wondrous intensity of the paintings themselves."—Ellen Handler Spitz, Museums of the Mind

"Underneath their apparent simplicity, Raphaelle Peale's still lifes glow mysteriously in the dark light of their making. Peale transformed the common items of the early-nineteenth-century kitchen and market into explorations of the American unconscious. Now, writing as coolly and lucidly as Peale painted, Alexander Nemerov has unpeeled those still lifes in a tour de force of formalistic analysis. Through close interrogation of these small, hermetic images, Nemerov's book reveals the whole world of early America, in the process bringing us as close as possible to the genius of Raphaelle Peale."—David C. Ward, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

"This is a dazzling study, lively and imaginative, of an important body of work. Nemerov's novel arguments regarding still life in general and Raphaelle Peale in particular reveal much about the art, the man, and the times. It is a thoughtful and provocative book, certain to generate interest and debate. "—Charles C. Eldredge, Hall Distinguished Professor of American Art and Culture, University of Kansas

"A triumph of interpretation! Not since Michael Fried's groundbreaking account of Thomas Eakins has a critic so reimagined the very terms by which we see painting. Nemerov's account singlehandedly catapults a painter we had previously considered to be interesting, but minor, into the forefront of discussions about American art during the early National Period. The Body of Raphaelle Peale will no doubt spark the beginning of an exciting revival of scholarship in American Romantic painting."—Bryan J. Wolf, author of Romantic Re-Vision
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Product Details

  • Series: Ahmanson Murphy Fine Arts Imprint
  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520224981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520224988
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,323,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A fresh look at Peale and his inner soul. Very well written, if not altogether watertight research. A wonderful Christmas gift that makes art history as readable as a novel. I keep re-reading sections, and the more I do the more I like it. At first I hated it, but this book really grows on you. At least it grew on me. It's questionable as history (I'm a decorative art specialist, not an 'paintings' art historian per se) but maybe we need this sort of approach now and again to get the big picture re: this wonderful 'body' of evidence that has been left behind by Raphaelle Peale. Never has such a book made me so angry with its fluffyness, yet so facsinated and so involved me with the prose. Hard to put down. This sort of thing is just really captivating. My initial and admittedly agressively vile reaction notwistanding, this is something historians will be talking about for some time to come. Nemerov is indeed brilliant. I don't agree with him, or do I? I can't decide exactly if I do or not. I just started going to school for my masters degree in art history in new england and we had to read this for a class. It was argued over quite a bit.
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By Carmen on November 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book in perfect condition
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Alexander Nemerov's prose in this book is as rich and layered as Raphaelle Peale's paintings. It's almost as if he creates a work of art to attempt to explain other works of art. His approach seems intensely personal. I had no idea that he is Howard Nemerov's son, but you can definately tell that he knows how to write. I loved the book. I don't know if I agree with what he says, especially since other still-life painters produced similar works who didn't necessarily have problems with their fathers...but it's lovely reading for any art lover, especially those who are into american still-life painting. I'd put Nemerov right up there with Robert Hughes and Sister Wendy.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H on September 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
i came across this fabulous book in one of my art history classes and i immediately fell in love with it. art history can, more often times than not, be extremely dry in its scholarly interpretation but Nemerov does an excellent job of leaving this assumption behind. he has entered a world of still life that conveys a deep and tormented view of its artist; one where Peale struggles with his own feelings of failure and death. Mr. Nemerov has given art history a treasure that will no doubt inspire, and hopefully, trigger a new outlook in art history interpretation. i thank him for his incredible insight. this was a great pleasure!
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