La vie d’artiste au XIXe siècle
How did Gauguin, Matisse and Degas decide to become artists ? How did Courbet, Manet and Signac live? How did they chose their model? How did they bend to the demands of the prize of Rome or the annual fair? Who were their collectors, their art dealers, their critics? This highly documented study is easy to read given how much the «raw» information (the procedures to enter the Ecole des beaux-arts, for example, or the management of the galerie Goupil) nicely resembles a simple anecdote. We learn about the "Masse" at beaux-arts (the till the students had to pay their models), that Rodin decided to become a sculptor when reading a book on Micheal-Angelo or that Ingres was a deadly director of the Académie de France in Rome. In a century that saw the opening and death (in 1880) of the Salon officiel, the birth of Drouot (in 1852) the admission of women to the Ecole des beaux-arts (1897), the daily life of artists can be read like a real novel.
• La vie d’artiste au XIXe siècle by Anne Martin-Fugier, Audibert publishing house, 2007, 29 €, ISBN : 978-2-84749-084-8
Review published in the newsletter #60 - from 4 October 2007 to 10 October 2007