There are two characters in this novel who are consumed by their Work, the writer Pierre Sandoz and the painter Claude Lantier.
The book conveys quite well what it must have been for them all struggling to get a toehold and make an impression on the Paris art scene.
Zola fans will find it a valuable read, as will anyone interested in the art world of turn-of-the-century (last century, that is) France.
"The Masterpiece" is itself a masterpiece from Emile Zola about the utter anguish of an artist over the gap between life and art. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wordsworth
I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I hated all the characters, but if treated as a Greek tragedy, it all made perfect sense. Read morePublished 8 months ago by AGGIE L. FOSTER
Not my favorite among Zola's amazing series, but among the best. But five stars for this (and other) Oxford edition, with its scholarly introductory notes and unobtrusive text... Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by A. W. Moats
Interesting historically. The artist in the story is a combination of Manet, Monet, and Cezanne.Published on November 15, 2009 by Susan Marx
I would say that this is the novel, par excellence, of the tortured artist, except for the fact that it is not. Read morePublished on October 2, 2009 by Daniel Myers
An easy and enjoyable read. Vividly evokes the atmosphere of late-19th century bohemia in Paris,Published on March 8, 2007 by K. Zimmer
Given that Zola lived through the whole period of when the Impressionists turned the Salon's on their heads this is almost a biographical piece. Read morePublished on January 10, 2007 by Brian Asquith
It is an interesting study of the painter's tormented soul. It is hardly the heredity that made Claude Launtier the way he was, because we know from the novel "l'Assomoir/the Drum... Read morePublished on January 7, 2007 by myshiak