Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing, octavo size, 738 pp. Fine / very good +. Item #CNJL2403
From the dust jacket flap: "The French Realist painter Gustave Courbet (1819-77), a pivotal figure in the emergence of modern painting, remains an artist whose interests, attitudes, and friendships are little understood. A voluminous correspondent, Courbet himself, through his letters, offers a tantalizing avenue toward a keener assessment of his character and accomplishments.
In her critical edition of over six hundred of the artist’s letters, [arranged chronologically, with an inventory which describing letter location, correspondent name, and place originally published] Petra ten-Doesschate Chu presents just such a look at the inner life of the artist; her unparalleled feat of gathering together all of Courbet’s known letters, many heretofore unpublished and untranslated, is sure to change our evaluation of Courbet’s creativity and of his place in nineteenth-century French life…
Addressed to correspondents such as the poet Charles Baudelaire, the painter Claude Monet, the writers Champfleury, Victor Hugo, and Théeophile Gautier, the political theorist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and the politician Jules Simon, the letters offer numerous insights into Courbet’s life and art as well as the cultural and political activity of his day. In fascinating detail, they present the artist’s relation to the contemporary media, his deliberate choice of subject matter for Salon paintings, his preoccupation with photography, and his participation in the Commune."
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in quarter blue cloth over light blue paper boards, gilt lettering on spine, blue endpapers, bound in the middle are sixteen leaves of black and white photo reproductions between pp 302-303; octavo size (9 5/8" x 6 3/4"), pagination: [i-xi] [1, blank] 1-726 (note that page count does not include the photographs). Dust jacket is unclipped and unpriced, illustration on front cover, review blurb and summary of book on front flap continues onto back concluding with an editor/translator bio.
___CONDITION: Volume is fine, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings, book still has that "tight" feel as though unread. Dust jacket is better than VG, is unclipped and unpriced, clean and with slight sunning to spine, jacket spine with slight rippling to the paper, crease to top of front panel of jacket, with a 1/2" closed tear, additional light wear at the head of the spine and at the top front corner.
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