Saturday, June 24, 2006


Maya Berry reviews THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism by Ross King (Walker & Co., 2006).

Read this book for a fun-filled romp through French Art and History. The Judgment of Paris describes shifting attitudes towards art amidst the political turmoil of the decade between 1863 and 1874.

Don’t know the difference between Manet and Monet? You are not the only one! According to King, when people returned from the Parisian Salon in 1865, they complimented Manet on his lovely seascapes. Manet had submitted his work of a female nude (Olympia) to that Salon and was understandably confused by the compliments until he saw the seascapes that were signed by Monet.

If you are of the opinion that artists in France sat around smoking, drinking, and conversing in cafés and painted their mistresses in their artwork, in some cases, you are absolutely right! Read this to find out who did!

I believe that King’s ability of taking historical figures and making them come alive is one of his greatest strengths as a writer. If you love art and history, give this book a try. If you are a fan of Ross King because of such books like Michelangelo &the Pope’s Ceiling, this book does not disappoint.

Click here to read an interview of Ross King as he discusses this book at

Maya Berry, Parkway Village Branch Library

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