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The Letters of Paul Cézanne

Alex Danchev


'Vivid, engrossing … the most moving correspondence by an artist that I have ever read' Financial Times, Book of the Year

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A singular thinker and an uncompromising seeker after artistic truth, Cézanne channelled a large part of his wide-ranging intellect and ferocious wit into his letters. This translation by Alex Danchev is based on a thorough re-examination of Cézanne’s correspondence with family, friends and major figures from the literary and art worlds.

Danchev’s great achievement is to allow readers in English to hear Cézanne’s voice for the first time in his own idiomatic, idiosyncratic style. And he sounds rather different from the Cézanne we thought we knew – richer, wittier, wiser, more philosophical, more irascible, above all more fully human. The letters offer fresh perspectives on his artistic vision, politics, friendships, psychology, philosophy, literary tastes and classical frame of reference. They provide an intimate insight into the preoccupations and personality of a legend.

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'Poignant and powerful . . . for all his travails, Cézanne could use words with the same powerful effect with which he laid on patches of colour'
Sunday Times

'The most riveting portrait of the artist yet'

'An outstanding – and gloriously readable – feat of scholarship'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: New Format

Size: 24.0 x 16.5 cm

Extent: 392 pp

Illustrations: 75

Publication date: 25 July 2019

ISBN: 9780500295175

About the Author

Alex Danchev (1955-2016) was Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews, and the recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for 2014-17. He made his name as a military historian with acclaimed biographies of Oliver Franks and Basil Liddell Hart as well as essays on contemporary politics, notably Anglo-American relations and the so-called war on terror. Danchev was also an art historian and authored highly acclaimed biographies of Georges Braque and Paul Cézanne.