The Judgment of Paris

  • by Ross King
  • Narrated by Tristan Layton
  • 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

While the Civil War raged in America, another very different revolution was beginning to take shape across the Atlantic, in the studios of Paris. The artists who would make Impressionism the most popular art form in history were showing their first paintings amid scorn and derision from the French artistic establishment. Indeed, no artistic movement has ever been, at its inception, quite so controversial. The drama of its birth, played out on canvas, would at times resemble a battlefield. With a novelist's skill and the insight of a historian, Ross King reveals how Impressionism would reorder both history and culture as it resonated around the world.A tale of many artists, The Judgment of Paris revolves around the lives of two, described as "the two poles of art": Ernest Meissonier, the most famous and successful painter of the 19th century, hailed for his precision and devotion to history; and Edouard Manet, reviled in his time, who nonetheless heralded the most radical change in the history of art since the Renaissance. Out of the most fascinating story of their parallel lives, illuminated by their legendary supporters and critics, King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and a revolutionary art movement had the power to electrify and divide a nation.

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What the Critics Say

"King is a master at linking pivotal moments in art history to epic rivalries....Supremely engaging and illuminating." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A marvelous book

Is this book for you? Yes, if you are an artist or have an interest in European cultural history.

Ross King certainly made an entire era come alive for me. It was fascinating to learn about the emotions and politics behind so many great paintings. Above all else, the author showed me how culture shapes our understanding of beauty and artistic achievement.

Additionally, the reader of this book gave an animated and engaging performance.

Highly recommended.
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- Stephen

Try this!

This was my first experience with Ross King, and after "Judgment of Paris" I am hungry to read more of his work. I thought it was a very enjoyable and entertaining "listen". Unlike some of the previous reviewers, I don't speak French, and so, was not disturbed by the reader's poor pronunciation. I listened to most of the book at my computer, which allowed me to search the web for most of the pictures mentioned in the story. This capability made the book an interesting interactive experience. All in all it was a great audio experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in art, art history, or just a good story.
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- Robert

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2006
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio