Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

Bloomsbury USA - His famously acute vision--what Paul Cezanne called “the most prodigious eye in the history of painting”--was threatened by cataracts. By early 1914, french newspapers were reporting that Monet, by then seventy-three, had retired his brushes. Mad enchantment tells the full story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came ever closer to Paris and Giverny and a new generation of younger artists, led by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, were challenging the achievements of Impressionism.

. And yet, despite ill health, and advancing age, self-doubt, Monet began painting again on a more ambitious scale than ever before. Monet intended the water lilies to provide "an asylum of peaceful meditation. Yet, water, as well as a 16-pg color insert belie the intense frustration Monet experienced in trying to capture the fugitive effects of light, as Ross King reveals in his magisterial chronicle of both artist and masterpiece, these beautiful canvases featured in black and white images throughout, and color.

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies - Linking great artistic achievement to the personal and historical dramas unfolding around it, Ross King presents the most intimate and revealing portrait of an iconic figure in world culture. From bestselling author Ross King, a brilliant portrait of the legendary artist and the story of his most memorable achievement.

Claude monet is perhaps the world's most beloved artist, and among all his creations, the paintings of the water lilies in his garden at Giverny are most famous. They also reflect the terrible personal torments Monet suffered in the last dozen years of his life. He had lost his beloved wife, Alice, and his eldest son, Jean.





Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Bloomsbury USA - A panorama of illustrious figures intersected during this time-the brilliant young painter Raphael, with whom Michelangelo formed a rivalry; the fiery preacher Girolamo Savonarola and the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus; a youthful Martin Luther, who made his only trip to Rome at this time and was disgusted by the corruption all around him.

Ross king blends these figures into a magnificent tapestry of day-to-day life on the ingenious Sistine scaffolding and outside in the upheaval of early-sixteenth-century Italy, while also offering uncommon insight into the connection between art and history. Despite having completed his masterful statue David four years earlier, he had little experience as a painter, even less working in the delicate medium of fresco, and none with challenging curved surfaces such as the Sistine ceiling's vaults.

The temperamental michelangelo was himself reluctant: He stormed away from Rome, incurring Julius's wrath, before he was eventually persuaded to begin. Michelangelo and the pope's ceiling recounts the fascinating story of the four extraordinary years he spent laboring over the twelve thousand square feet of the vast ceiling, while war and the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him.

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling - . From the acclaimed author of brunelleschi's dome and Leonardo and the Last Supper, the riveting story of how Michelangelo, against all odds, created the masterpiece that has ever since adorned the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel in Rome.





The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism

Bloomsbury USA - A tale of many artists, 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, it revolves around the lives of two, reviled in his time, who nonetheless heralded the most radical change in the history of art since the Renaissance.

With a novelist's skill and the insight of an historian, bestselling author Ross King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and the rivalry between Meissonier and Manet. The judgment of paris chronicles the dramatic decade between two famous exhibitions-the scandalous Salon des Refuses in 1863 and the first Impressionist showing in 1874-set against the rise and dramatic fall of Napoleon III and the Second Empire after the Franco-Prussian War.

The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism - Out of the fascinating story of their parallel lives, hugo, illuminated by their legendary supporters and critics-Zola, Courbet, Baudelaire, Whistler, Degas, and many more-Ross King shows that their contest was not just about Art, Delacroix, Monet, it was about competing visions of a rapidly changing world.





Leonardo and the Last Supper

Bloomsbury USA - The food that leonardo, a famous vegetarian, placed on the table reveals as much as do the numerous hand gestures of those at Christ's banquet. Reviewing leonardo's religious beliefs, King paints a much more complex picture than the received wisdom that he was a heretic. As king explains, many of the myths that have grown up around The Last Supper are wrong, but its true story is ever more interesting.

After a dozen years at the court of lodovico sforza, leonardo was at a low point personally and professionally: at 43, despite a number of prestigious commissions, he had failed, the Duke of Milan, in an era when he had almost reached the average life expectancy, to complete anything that truly fulfilled his astonishing promise.

The commission to paint the last supper in the refectory of a dominican convent was a small compensation, and his odds of completing it were not promising: Not only had he never worked on a painting of such a large size--15' high x 30' wide--but he had no experience in the extremely difficult medium of fresco.

In his compelling new book, ross king explores how--amidst war and the political and religious turmoil around him, and beset by his own insecurities and frustrations--Leonardo created the masterpiece that would forever define him. Early in 1495, leonardo da vinci began work in Milan on what would become one of history's most influential and beloved works of art--The Last Supper.

Leonardo and the Last Supper - Examining who served as the models for the Apostles, he makes a unique claim: that Leonardo modeled two of them on himself. Bringing to life a fascinating period in European history, Ross King presents an original portrait of one of history's greatest geniuses through the lens of his most famous work. King unveils dozens of stories that are embedded in the painting.





The Private Lives of the Impressionists

HarperCollins e-books - Their dazzling works are familiar to even the most casual art lovers—but how well does the world know the Impressionists as people?Sue Roe's colorful, and superbly researched biography, The Private Lives of the Impressionists, lively, down the rural lanes of Montmartre, follows an extraordinary group of artists into their Paris studios, poignant, and into the rowdy riverside bars of a city undergoing monumental change.

Though they were often ridiculed or ignored by their contemporaries, today astonishing sums are paid for their paintings. Vivid and unforgettable, it casts a brilliant, revealing light on this unparalleled society of genius colleagues who lived and worked together for twenty years and transformed the art world forever with their breathtaking depictions of ordinary life.





In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art

Penguin Books - She describes the origins of movements like Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism, and reconstructs the stories behind immortal paintings by Picasso and Matisse. Over the next decade, and many more, maurice de vlaminck, amedeo modigliani, dance halls, cafés, among the studios, salons, Gertrude Stein, Constantin Brancusi, the young Spaniard joins the likes of Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, and galleries of Montmartre, André Derain, 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, dance, literature, sculpture, music, and fashion. 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.

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art - A thrilling account, In Montmartre captures an extraordinary group on the cusp of fame and immortality. It begins in october 1900, as a teenage pablo Picasso, eager for fame and fortune, first makes his way up the hillside of Paris’s famous windmill-topped district. Through their stories, Roe brings to life one of the key moments in the history of art.

Praise for in Montmartre"Lively and engaging…. Readers will find a fresh sense of how all these people—the geniuses and the hangers-on, the wealthy collectors and the unworldly painters—related to each other….





Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

Bloomsbury USA - It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome's construction. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish.

. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture. On august 19, a competition concerning florence's magnificent new cathedral, 1418, Santa Maria del Fiore--already under construction for more than a century--was announced: "Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome.

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture - . Shall do so before the end of the month of September. The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. Brunelleschi's dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today.

The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air. Ross king brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.





Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World

Ecco - As entertaining as it is incisive, Stoned is a raucous journey through the history of human desire for what is rare, and therefore precious. What makes a stone a jewel? what makes a jewel priceless? and why do we covet beautiful things? In this brilliant account of how eight jewels shaped the course of history, jeweler and scientist Aja Raden tells an original and often startling story about our unshakeable addiction to beauty and the darker side of human desire.

What moves the world is what moves each of us: desire. Masterfully weaving together pop science and history, why green-tinted jewelry has been exalted by so many cultures, why the glass beads that bought Manhattan for the Dutch were initially considered a fair trade, and Have—and explains what the diamond on your finger has to do with the GI Bill, Take, Stoned breaks history into three categories—Want, and how the French Revolution started over a coveted necklace.

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World - Studded with lively personalities and fascinating details, Stoned tells the remarkable story of our abiding desire for the rare and extraordinary. Jewelry—which has long served as a stand-in for wealth and power, glamor and success—has birthed cultural movements, launched political dynasties, and started wars.





Claude & Camille

Crown - But there were bright spots as well: his deep, cézanne, Pissarro, Manet—a group that together would come to be known as the Impressionists, enduring friendships with men named Renoir, and that supported each other through the difficult years. Against his father’s will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris.

But once there he is confronted with obstacles: an art world that refused to validate his style, extreme poverty, and a war that led him away from his home and friends. But camille had her own demons—secrets that Monet could never penetrate—including one that when eventually revealed would pain him so deeply that he would never fully recover from its impact.

Claude & Camille - His muse, his passionate lover, his best friend, and the mother to his two children, Camille stayed with Monet—and believed in his work—even as they lived in wretched rooms and often suffered the indignities of destitution. Even more illuminating was his lifelong love, camille Doncieux, a beautiful, upper-class Parisian girl who threw away her privileged life to be by the side of the defiant painter and embrace the lively Bohemian life of their time.

A vividly-rendered portrait of both the rise of Impressionism and of the artist at the center of the movement, Claude and Camille is above all a love story of the highest romantic order. In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father’s nautical supplies business in a French seaside town.





The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe

Pegasus Books - A new york times notable book*an epic adventure ranging from the terror of the Vikings to the golden age of cities: Michael Pye tells the amazing story of how modernity emerged on the shores of the North Sea. Saints and spies, pirates and philosophers, artists and intellectuals: they all criss-crossed the grey North Sea in the so-called "dark ages, " the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of Europe's mastery over the oceans.

It was on the shores of the north sea where experimental science was born, where women first had the right to choose whom they married; there was the beginning of contemporary business transactions and the advent of the printed book. Now the critically acclaimed michael pye reveals the cultural transformation sparked by those men and women: the ideas, law, science, technology, and moral codes that helped create our modern world.

The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe - This is the magnificent lost history of a thousand years. In the edge of the world, michael pye draws on an astounding breadth of original source material to illuminate this fascinating region during a pivotal era in world history.





A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain

Pegasus Books - He raised the greatest armies of the Middle Ages and summoned the largest parliaments; notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom. The longest-lived of england's medieval kings, after her death, and, Eleanor of Castile, he fathered fifteen children with his first wife, he erected the Eleanor Crosses—the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch.

In this book, marc morris examines afresh the forces that drove Edward throughout his relentless career: his character, his Christian faith, and his sense of England's destiny—a sense shaped in particular by the tales of the legendary King Arthur. Yet this story forms only the final chapter of the king's action-packed life.

The first major biography of a truly formidable king, whose reign was one of the most dramatic and important of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale. Edward i is familiar to millions as "Longshanks, " conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace in "Braveheart".

A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain - Earlier, edward had defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled to the Holy Land; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers and constructing a magnificent chain of castles. He also explores the competing reasons that led Edward's opponents including Robert Bruce to resist him.

The result is a sweeping story, immaculately researched yet compellingly told, and a vivid picture of medieval Britain at the moment when its future was decided.