Reading about an artist, as opposed to just looking at their work, is a major commitment. You need to invest a significant amount of time and be sufficiently interested in the historical background and the biographical details. For the artist as opposed to the art historian, this can be a stage too far. Nevertheless, if you were going to choose a subject for this degree of study, Paul Cezanne, the man who both Matisse and Picasso called “the father of us all”, would probably be it.
The press release that comes with this describes it as an illustrated reading-book and I really couldn’t put it better. Christopher Lloyd writes in an accessible and engaging style that draws you in and along and at no time does this feel like an academic lecture, authoritative though it is. If you wanted to study Cezanne’s work, there are other books that will give you larger pictures. This is designed to sit in the hands for a prolonged read rather than in the lap or on a table. As such, the illustrations are there to annotate and augment the text rather than standing for themselves. There are plenty of them (over 200), so you won’t have to search, but explanation comes in the main text, not the captions. Books of this kind sometimes compromise on quality in this area or choose a paper that, while being eminently suitable for legibility, doesn’t do the images justice. In this case the needs of both are more than adequately fulfilled.
I won’t go so far as to say that this will have you on the edge of your seat but, if it’s your bedtime reading, you may be turning the light off later than you think.
Click the picture to view on Amazon