by Sukey HowardMarch, 2006
The Judgment of Paris
Ross King, whose books on Renaissance art and artists were surprise bestsellers, now jumps a few centuries to the Paris of the 1860s where Impressionism was about to burst onto the scene, revolutionizing art as only the Renaissance had before. Written with his unique delight in detail, The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism, narrated by Tristan Layton, follows the careers of Ernest Meissonier, a super-successful painter of traditional, uplifting historical scenes, now all but forgotten, and Edouard Manet, who was ridiculed and reviled for his radical approach to painting. King paints brilliant portraits of these two and of many other artists Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Pisarro, Renoir and Morisot, among them and critics, especially Emile Zola, who forever changed the way we look at art.