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Edouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226075440
ISBN-10: 0226075443
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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.
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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: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,595,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By gaston magrinat on 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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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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Format: Paperback
One of the best artist biographies I have read. Meticulously researched and clearly presented, the book is especially valuable for the analyses of the paintings, which contain many insights. True, the illustrations are in black and white, but one can't rely on 3"x5" reproductions for much anyway, whether in color or not. In the main, they serve their purpose.
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