Book Review – October 2014 – Sallie Eden

In Montmartre Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris 1900-1910 by Sue Roe – Published in hardback by Fig Tree, August 2014

montmartreArguing that the revolution in the arts movement took place in the cafés, studios and cabarets of Montmartre at the turn of the twentieth century, rather than in the 1920s jazz era, Sue Roe has produced a fascinating and detailed exploration, not just of art but of personalities and relationships.

Encompassing the paintings, writing and dance of the period, the author explains the attractions of the area for the bohemian groups formed there and the individuals drawn to it. Covering just a decade, this is an “action packed” summary of artistic life and influences in the period from [roughly] 1900 to 1910.

Cezanne, Picasso, Modigliani, Toklas, Stein: they’re all here in a study that manages to be both serious research and very readable. A hard act to pull off but Sue Roe has produced a triumph of a book leaving this reader stunned that so much happened during such a short period of time.

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