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In Montmartre is a colorful history of the birth of modernist art as it arose from one of the most astonishing collections of artistic talent ever assembled. It begins in October 1900, as a teenage Pablo Picasso, eager for fame and fortune, first makes his way up the hillside of Paris' famous windmill-topped district. Over the next decade, among the studios, salons, cafés, dance halls, and galleries of Montmartre, the young Spaniard joins 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.
Sue Roe has blended exceptional scholarship with graceful prose to write this 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 movements like fauvism, cubism, and futurism and reconstructs the stories behind immortal paintings by Picasso and Matisse. Relating the colorful lives and complicated relationships of this dramatic bohemian scene, Roe illuminates the excitement of the moment when these bold experiments in artistic representation and performance began to take shape.
A thrilling account, In Montmartre captures an extraordinary group on the cusp of fame and immortality. Through their stories, Roe brings to life one of the key moments in the history of art.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By MakesArt on 07-08-18
Skillfully balanced, Entertaining, Informative
To capture the story of the culture and artistic community in Montmartre, (and that greater region), during that period, with all the well-known historical characters, is a monumentally intimidating task. Sue Roe deserves praise for just taking on the task. But then she delivers this work which is successful in so many more ways than I expected.
The Author does a wonderful job of not only taking us into the history of the events of the period but also escorts us through in a way that allows is, with a touch of imagination, to experience it for ourselves. But then, to top that off, she really captures the essences of and takes us to excellent understandings of the minds and motivations of such big characters as Picasso, Matisse, Gertrude Stein, Fernande Olivier, Braque, and so many more. BUT WAIT, she then gets around all the misinformation and hype that exists (and there's a lot) about what motivated Matisse, Picasso, Braque and others and about what they were trying to accomplish. She brings readers to a much more accurate understanding of this uniquely transformational period in Western art history.
Very well done.
"I have created cubism!"...
... is something no one ever said!