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The acclaimed author of Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling paints a dazzling portrait of late-nineteenth century France and of the painters who were emblematic of the struggle between old and new - a struggle which resulted in the birth of Impressionism.
Ross King is the author of the hugely popular Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, both of which spent many weeks in the New York Times bestseller lists. He is also a novelist and lives near Oxford.
"This is an exhilarating book... The success Ross King achieved with Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling is repeated here, for he fashions history anew" -- Frances Spalding Independent "A crowded canvas - like, say, Manet's Music in the Tuileries Gardens - full of diverse characters" -- Martin Gayford Sunday Telegraph "A brilliant book, a micro-history that feels like a macro-history... A good read and a good history; an unusual a pairing as its twin subjects" -- Charles Darwent Independent on Sunday "Wonderfully rich... With great deftness [King] tracks the careers of both men in the decade leading up to the most important exhibition in the history of art, the Impressionist group show of 1874" -- Michael Prodger Literary Review "It is, in its broad outlines, a familiar story, but King, the author of Brunelleschi's Dome, tells it with tremendous energy and skill. It is hard to imagine a more inviting account of the artistic civil war that raged around the Paris salons of the 1860s and 1870s, or of the outsize personalities who transformed the way the world looked at painting" -- William Grimes Scotsman