Published: June 2015
The real revolution in the arts first took place not, as is commonly supposed, in the 1920s to the accompaniment of the Charleston, black jazz and mint juleps, but more quietly and intimately, in the shadow of the windmills - artificial and real - and in the cafes and cabarets of Montmartre during the first decade of the century. The cross-fertilization of painting, writing, music and dance produced a panorama of activity characterized by the early works of Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck and Modigliani, the appearance of the Ballet Russe and the salons of Gertrude Stein. In In Montmartre, Sue Roe vividly brings to life the bohemian world of art in Paris between 1900-1910. 'A group biography that manages not to miss any steps. Roe has the gift of painting close-up descriptions and scenes. Admirable. What an eye for art Roe has. Brilliant.' Guardian 'Between 1900 and 1910 the art world that mattered was gathered between the windmills that stood at the top and bottom of the hill of Montmartre in Paris- Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Gris, Modigliani, Brancusi and Gertrude Stein. Sue Roe's vibrant In Montmartre conjures up a ramshackle world of squabbling artists, their love affairs and suicides, and of reputations and great art somehow being made. At the centre of the carnival were Picasso and Matisse, the two cocks of the walk, facing off in wary admiration.' The Times, Books of the Year 'Enjoyable, engaging, rollicking, the storytelling is lively.' Spectator 'A reliable, entertaining guide to a period when artists discovered new ways of seeing and of expressing themselves.' Daily Mail 'Bright, high-pitched chaos catches the spirit of the times . . . blazes into life.' Observer
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