History of Paris in Painting by GEORGES DUBYHistory of Paris in Painting by GEORGES DUBY

History of Paris in Painting

EditorGEORGES DUBY, Guy LobrichonContribution byFather Fathe Guillaume De Berteier De Sauvigny

Hardcover | September 22, 2009

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A sumptuous artistic tribute to the city of lights, this hardcover, slipcased volume brings Paris to life in paintings that range from the medieval to the modern.

"Paris is a moveable feast,” Ernest Hemingway once proclaimed. The city of lights, or the city of love, Paris is indeed a feast for the senses. Paris’s rich history has been justly captured by the many artists sheltered by its garrets and supported by its patrons for centuries.

Finally the story and grandeur of this beautiful city are revealed in this luxurious slipcased volume. The over 300 full-color illustrations, including four breathtaking gatefolds, present Paris from its days as a medieval city on the Ile de la Cité, in the middle of the Seine River, through the tumultuous days of the French Revolution, to the "Haussmannization” of Paris, when much of the city was razed to make way for broad boulevards emanating from the Arc de Triomphe.

The rich heritage of painting in Paris is broadly represented in this collection. Home of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Paris nurtured generations of French artists and displayed their work in the Salon. As the Impressionists broke with the authoritarian standards of the Academy, Parisian art became even more diverse and increasingly abstract#151;a trend that continued through the twentieth century.

The History of Paris in Paintinghonors this celebrated city and its famous monuments by presenting readers with an artistic feast that will make anyone fall in love with Paris again and again.
Georges Duby,a former professor at the Collège de France, is a member of the Académie Française.Guy Lobrichonis a professor at the University of Avignon.
Title:History of Paris in PaintingFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:496 pages, 17 × 11 × 2.3 inShipping dimensions:17 × 11 × 2.3 inPublished:September 22, 2009Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0789210460

ISBN - 13:9780789210463


Read from the Book

Excerpt from: The History of Paris in PaintingIntroductionThis book does not aim to present an inventory of the paintings that have been made in honor of Paris, nor to offer a guide to the Musée Carnavalet, whose mission it is to bring such works together. It is rather to reveal the long adventure of a city and its inhabitants through a local history of painting.However tempting, it is seemingly impossible to paint here a history of Paris as imagined by painters and photographers: a history, I say, not the history, because its timeline is strictly limited—from the fourteenth to the twentieth century—and because it surveys only two arts. In these pages, historians take the podium and, posted like guardians, build their narrative on that artistic base. There is a long lineage to be mined, opening the gallery to the most notable painters and photographers—the Limbourg brothers, Eugène Delacroix, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, and Willy Ronis, eulogists of a world they depicted—while also leaving room for others, more humble. Traveling down the same path (together since photography was invented in the mid-nineteenth century), photographers and painters have captured, embellished, and perpetuated the memory of Parisians and their daily life. Great masters and small, both are here. To avoid arbitrariness, we established certain rules, attempting to introduce reason to a draconian choice. Our survey bears on painting, beginning with the fourteenth century, and photography. It entrusts to top experts the responsibility of restoring meanings buried by time, of revealing other shadows amid the relief and sheen of painting. It emerges as a guide. We cannot rely on it, since the twentieth century delivered art from the shackles of representation, which was never happy with a reality we knew to be fictional. As for the subject, it seemed simple to define: the Paris that stands within the old ramparts of the Middle Ages and its administrative territories, today the department of the Seine. We do not include the present-day banlieue (suburbs) and the forests that surround the city, despite the contribution these outskirts have made to the economic and mental expansion of Parisian life. But a city is more than a landscape or a constructed space: this town, anchored around the Seine, brings together a population; it is the capital of a nation that observes and follows it, if not without grumbling. Through it all, the painter and the photographer, through the tools they have chosen and mastered, have offered their rich accounts. A gesture has sufficed: in the sketch of an instant seemingly frozen in time, they have sensed and uncovered political undercurrents and cruel struggles.This history of Paris evokes the intense life of the city through three types of paintings. It could just as well be built on documentary painting, on illustrative painting, and on imaginary invention. Painters have documented the landscape, the Seine, the gardens, the palace, the churches and squares, the boulevards and streets. They have illustrated the “picturesque” city as it is, with scenes from daily life, and in doing so offered their account of the spectacle that—whether Etienne Jeaurat or Claude Monet, Gustave Le Gray or Robert Capa—they always saw along with the eyes of their contemporaries.Others, inspired by recent events, have contributed to the glory of an interested patron, or been guided by a public commission, whether state or municipal, or by the elation of a great idea: in rich hues they have illustrated the celebrations of kings and republicans, the glory of industrial prosperity, or even those splendid events, often military, that celebrated those belonging to an elite or a political group. This form of representation, the reportage of festivities and heroic deeds for a peace-loving people or a nation at war, as seen by the conqueror, the patriot, the traveler, or the tourist, does not fail to inspire opinions. And finally, there are those works in which invention has dominated, revealing a symbolic world; here emerges the Paris born of a triumphant imagination, one that has been present ever since the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry (Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry) and through Robert Delaunay and Edouard Boubat. Each era has offered its share of each kind—therefore readers must accept the principle of the great master standing beside the modest enthusiast. It is incongruous, but it is historical. Together, they compose a history that is their own, one that belongs to Parisians, to the French, and also to a broader Western culture.They are all arranged here in chronological order, according to the acknowledged dates of their paintings, except for those from the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries, when shortcomings or redundancy called for a synthetic presentation, or when layout rightly demanded greater liberty. We of course renounced adventurous reconstructions by official painters, who in the nineteenth century painted an array of famous acts: no matter their virtue, they are guilty of what historians deem to be the greatest of sins, the sin of anachronism. In these pages, we instead chose rigor—the intimate relationship, the lived experience. The book begins in the fourteenth century, because this was when the first painters of Paris emerged, and also when appeared the first portraits to bear the real likeness of their subjects. In 1914, Western painting lost some of its privileged status to other arts. After this date, it was therefore appropriate to invite photography to illustrate our subject for the rest of the twentieth century. Right before 1914, the painting of Paris had entered a revolution: it had broken its ties with academicism and representation. Yet the new masters of image had taken over the new town, the much-visited mother city that is so devoutly inhabited: they sublimated it, sometimes magnified it, and always rehumanized it in order to denounce the other face of the city, presented as an icy metropolis.Turning the pages of this book, the viewer will become convinced that artists are intimately linked with their societies and that realism in painting is not the only way of expressing a reality, much less a truth. It is in fact the ultimate goal of this book to uncover these magical, irrational articulations, thanks to which an image—be it a photograph or a painting—is never an immediate reproduction or a simple reflection of reality; it instead delves into the inmost depths of a society. Seeing a Daumier, one is aware that the power of the painting is not the sum of its simple forms. Certain works devoted to Paris and seen here again deliver a prophetic message—in the name of a people, in the name of a homeland, in the name of humanity—without losing their aesthetic power, their elusive beauty.Such a project would never have seen the light of day were it not for a devoted team committed to overcoming obstacles, of which there were many: historians, museum curators, archivists, and editors all contributed their expertise, offered their time, and patiently weaved together this book, which has now been revised, renewed, and embellished since its first edition was published in 1989. This magnificent tome, in short, is the work of many known and a myriad of unknown contributors, artisans, and artists. All deserve the expression of deep gratitude and enthusiastic admiration, feelings that time can never erase.Guy Lobrichon

Table of Contents

Table of Contents from:The History of Paris in Painting


Part I: The Fortified City: Paris in the 14th and 15th Centuries

Part II: Paris as Capital, 1515-1645

Part III: Paris: Open City, 1645-1789

Part IV: Between Two Revolutions: Paris, 1789-1848

Part V: The Haussmannization of Paris, 1848-71

Part VI: Republican Paris, 1871-1914

Part VII: Contemporary Paris: A Multi-Faced Modern Capital in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Index of Names
Index of Places
Table of Works Illustrated

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The History of Paris in Painting"…readers are likely to be drawn to the first two-thirds of the book, where they will discover what the city looked like and what went on there before Claude Monet, Édouard Manet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir fixed it in our memory…Beyond the book's documentary interest, The History of Paris in Painting is a record of how changing tastes in art can shape what is known to future generations." — The Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2009"A work of art in and of itself." — FRANCE magazine"Gorgeously illustrated, brilliantly curated…To study this magnificent book is to recognize Paris's paramount role in the development and deployment of French political glory. This book's chief contribution lies in it's generous array of relatively unknown paintings…" — The New York Times Book Review"Very much worthwhile as a visual record of the 'city of light' throughout history." — Choice"Magnificently illustrated." — Art & Auction"Stands out…with its striking appearance and its unexpectedly strong narrative." — Library Journal