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Keeping an Eye Open

Essays on Art (Updated Edition)

Julian Barnes



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02 November 2020
An updated edition of the highly acclaimed collection of writing on art by one of Britain's best-loved authors, with seven new illustrated essays.

The updated edition of Julian Barnes' best-loved writing on art, with seven new exquisite illustrated essays 'Flaubert believed that it was impossible to explain one art form in terms of another, and that great paintings required no words of explanation. Braque thought the ideal state would be reached when we said nothing at all in front of a painting. But we are very far from reaching that state. We remain incorrigibly verbal creatures who love to explain things, to form opinions, to argue... It is a rare picture which stuns, or argues, us into silence. And if one does, it is only a short time before we want to explain and understand the very silence into which we have been plunged.' Julian Barnes began writing about art with a chapter on Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa in his 1989 novel A History of the World in 10 Chapters. Since then he has written a series of remarkable essays, chiefly about French artists, which trace the story of how art made its way from Romanticism to Realism and into Modernism.

Fully illustrated in colour throughout, Keeping an Eye Open contains Barnes' essays on Gericault, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Morisot, Fantin-Latour, Cezanne, Degas, Cassatt, Redon, Van Gogh, the legendary critic Huysmans, Bonnard, Vuillard, Vallotton, Braque, Magritte, Oldenburg, Howard Hodgkin and Lucian Freud. It also offers new perspectives on the fruitful relationship between writers and artists, and on the rivalry among Russian collectors of French art in the late 19th century.

'A typically elegant and absorbing book by one of the greatest contemporary English writers.' Guardian *Books of the Year* 'Gave me a new confidence in how to understand and, more importantly, enjoy wandering around an exhibition.' Mariella Frostrup 'My book of the year.' Natalie Haynes, Independent
By:   Julian Barnes
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 37mm
Weight:   924g
ISBN:   9781787332898
ISBN 10:   1787332896
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   02 November 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Julian Barnes is the author of thirteen novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and Sunday Times bestsellers The Noise of Time and The Only Story. He has also written three books of short stories, four collections of essays and three books of non-fiction, including the Sunday Times number one bestseller Levels of Life and The Man in the Red Coat, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Duff Cooper Prize. In 2017 he was awarded the Legion d'honneur.

Reviews for Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art (Updated Edition)

This is an erudite, entertaining and highly personal collection of essays from the Booker Prize-winning novelist. -- Sebastian Shakespeare * Tatler * Extremely rewarding, informative, attentive, thoughtful, entertaining essays. -- David Sexton * Evening Standard * It's a readable, riveting, informed work with sharp, marvelous anecdotes and observations. In this beautifully illustrated book you're in great company. Barnes is a sane and steady guide... Wonderful stuff. -- Niall McMonagle * Irish Independent * I became entirely mesmerised by Barnes' prose... Keeping an Eye Open is a rich and thoughtful book that should not be rushed. These essays are too full of chiaroscuro, their flashes of illumination too fascinating, their connections too interesting for a cursory reading. -- Roma Tearne * Independent * [A] beautifully produced and judiciously illustrated collection. -- Keith Miller, 4 stars * Daily Telegraph *

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