• The Art of Rivalry

  • Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art
  • By: Sebastian Smee
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (224 ratings)

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The Art of Rivalry  By  cover art

The Art of Rivalry

By: Sebastian Smee
Narrated by: Bob Souer
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Publisher's summary

Rivalry is at the heart of some of the most famous and fruitful relationships in history. The Art of Rivalry follows eight celebrated artists, each linked to a counterpart by friendship, admiration, envy, and ambition. All eight are household names today. But to achieve what they did, each needed the influence of a contemporary - one who was equally ambitious but who possessed sharply contrasting strengths and weaknesses. Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas were close associates whose personal bond frayed after Degas painted a portrait of Manet and his wife. Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso swapped paintings, ideas, and influences as they jostled for the support of collectors like Leo and Gertrude Stein and vied for the leadership of a new avant-garde. Jackson Pollock's uninhibited style of "action painting" triggered a breakthrough in the work of his older rival, Willem de Kooning. Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon met in the early 1950s, when Bacon was being hailed as Britain's most exciting new painter and Freud was working in relative obscurity. Their intense but asymmetrical friendship came to a head when Freud painted a portrait of Bacon, which was later stolen.

©2016 Sebastian Smee (P)2016 Tantor

Critic reviews

"This ambitious and impressive work is an utterly absorbing read about four important relationships in modern art." ( Publishers Weekly Starred Review)