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Hidden in the Shadow of the Master
Cover of Hidden in the Shadow of the Master
Hidden in the Shadow of the Master
The Model-Wives of Cézanne, Monet, and Rodin
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Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, and Auguste Rodin. The names of these brilliant nineteenth-century artists are known throughout the world. But what is remembered of their wives? What were these unknown women like? What roles did they play in the lives and the art of their famous husbands? In this remarkable book of discovery, art historian Ruth Butler coaxes three shadowy women out of obscurity and introduces them for the first time as individuals. Through unprecedented research, Butler has been able to create portraits of Hortense Fiquet, Camille Doncieux, and Rose Beuret—the models, and later the wives, respectively, of Cézanne, Monet, and Rodin, three of the most famous French artists of their generation. The book tells the stories of three ordinary women who faced issues of a dramatically changing society as well as the challenges of life with a striving genius. Butler illuminates the ways in which these model-wives figured in their husbands' achievements and provides new analyses of familiar works of art. Filled with captivating detail, the book recovers the lives of Hortense, Camille, and Rose, and recognizes with new insight how their unique relationships enriched the quality of their husbands' artistic endeavors.

Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, and Auguste Rodin. The names of these brilliant nineteenth-century artists are known throughout the world. But what is remembered of their wives? What were these unknown women like? What roles did they play in the lives and the art of their famous husbands? In this remarkable book of discovery, art historian Ruth Butler coaxes three shadowy women out of obscurity and introduces them for the first time as individuals. Through unprecedented research, Butler has been able to create portraits of Hortense Fiquet, Camille Doncieux, and Rose Beuret—the models, and later the wives, respectively, of Cézanne, Monet, and Rodin, three of the most famous French artists of their generation. The book tells the stories of three ordinary women who faced issues of a dramatically changing society as well as the challenges of life with a striving genius. Butler illuminates the ways in which these model-wives figured in their husbands' achievements and provides new analyses of familiar works of art. Filled with captivating detail, the book recovers the lives of Hortense, Camille, and Rose, and recognizes with new insight how their unique relationships enriched the quality of their husbands' artistic endeavors.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 28, 2008
    Had they been literate, any of this book's three subjects-wives to the founders of French Impressionism-could have penned fascinating memoirs; as professor and author Butler (Rodin: The Shape of Genius) explains in her introduction, "we know almost nothing in a direct way from Hortense, Camille, or Rose," and that therefore her book "depends both on fact and imagination." Providing a sketch of their lives, Butler takes readers to Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, where the women lived on extremely limited means, married to men whose only true love was their art. Hortense Fiquet and Camille Doncieux, the wives of Cezanne and Monet respectively, modeled for some of the artists' most well-known paintings and bore their first children, yet receive little mention in most biographies. Rose Beuret is more well-known, but only because Rodin was slightly more open about their relationship. Beuret acted as Rodin's model and his assistant, and watched over a studio "full of sculpture" in his absence, "mostly works of clay needing constant attention." Looking beyond their work, Butler considers the human side of these artistic giants through the foggy lens of their most dedicated subjects.

  • Library Journal

    July 28, 2008
    Had they been literate, any of this book's three subjects-wives to the founders of French Impressionism-could have penned fascinating memoirs; as professor and author Butler (Rodin: The Shape of Genius) explains in her introduction, "we know almost nothing in a direct way from Hortense, Camille, or Rose," and that therefore her book "depends both on fact and imagination." Providing a sketch of their lives, Butler takes readers to Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, where the women lived on extremely limited means, married to men whose only true love was their art. Hortense Fiquet and Camille Doncieux, the wives of Cezanne and Monet respectively, modeled for some of the artists' most well-known paintings and bore their first children, yet receive little mention in most biographies. Rose Beuret is more well-known, but only because Rodin was slightly more open about their relationship. Beuret acted as Rodin's model and his assistant, and watched over a studio "full of sculpture" in his absence, "mostly works of clay needing constant attention." Looking beyond their work, Butler considers the human side of these artistic giants through the foggy lens of their most dedicated subjects.

    Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Yale University Press
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Hidden in the Shadow of the Master
Hidden in the Shadow of the Master
The Model-Wives of Cézanne, Monet, and Rodin
Ruth Butler
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