A joint biography – Judgement of Paris: Manet, Meissonier and an Artistic Revolution

This book examines the lives of 2 painters i.e. the older Ernest Meissonier and the younger Edouard Manet with particular emphasis on the birth of Impressionism.

Manet is a rather strange choice for a book on painters that started Impressionism. King himself admitted that Manet cannot properly be considered an Impressionist. {see p 364}. We are not given an insight into his choice as King had not written a Foreword on this book, a rather surprising omission.

Meissonier is famous for his painting of Napoleon titled 1814: The Campaign of France. I saw this painting in the French paintings section in the Musee d’ Orsay. Strangely, in a subsequent visit a few years later the painting was no longer there!

So, this book is strictly for readers interested in the lives of these two artists. King has a very good command of the culture wars of that period. He writes very well. For this reason, I bought and read this book though I have no real interest in these 2 artists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *