Sunday, April 29, 2018
In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art Paperback – April 19, 2016 by Sue Roe (Penguin Books)
A lively and deeply researched group biography of the vibrant figures who invented modernist art in bohemian Paris at the dawn of the twentieth century
When the young Pablo Picasso first arrived in Paris in 1900, the most progressive young artists all lived and worked in the seedy hillside quarter of Montmartre, in the shade of the old windmills. Over the next decade, among the studios, salons, cafés, dance halls, and galleries of Montmartre, the young Spaniard joined the likes of Henri Matisse, André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Georges Braque, Amedeo Modigliani, Constantin Brancusi, Gertrude Stein, and many more in revolutionizing artistic expression.
Blending exceptional scholarship with graceful prose, Sue Roe paints a remarkable group portrait of the men and women who profoundly changed the arts of painting, sculpture, dance, music, literature, and fashion. She describes the origins of such movements as Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism, and reconstructs the stories behind immortal paintings by Picasso and Matisse. She shows how daily life in Montmartre—which brought artists together with acrobats and dancers, prostitutes and clowns—provided an essential cauldron for artistic experimentation and for the colorful relationships, friendships, loyalties, and feuds that gave rise to some of the most pathbreaking and lasting works of the twentieth century.
In Montmartre is a thrilling account of an extraordinary group of artists on the cusp of fame and immortality that brings vividly to life one of the key moments in the history of modern art.