Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art by Julian Barnes

bookshelves: summer-2015, essays, art-forms, published-2015, under-20, radio-4, nonfiction

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from June 22 to 26, 2015

Description: Julian Barnes began writing about art with a chapter on Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa in his 1989 novel A History of the World in 10½ Chapters. Since then he has written a series of remarkable essays , chiefly about French artists, for a variety of journals and magazines. Gathering them for this book, he realised that he had unwittingly been retracing the story of how art made its way from Romanticism to Realism and into Modernism.

From Paul Cezanne to Lucian Freud, the novelist and critic Julian Barnes considers the thrill of art. ‘Flaubert believed that it was impossible to explain one art form in terms of another, and that great paintings required no words of explanation.’

In this selection from Julian Barnes’ recently published collection of essays on art, he gives us a dazzling and thoughtful assessment of the life and work of a range of artists who set the stage for Modern Art. His words of explanation are always witty, humane and full of insight.

Read by Julian Barnes

1/5: The Laughing Cavalier did not impress the young Julian Barnes

2/5 Does an apple move?: Modern art begins with Paul Cezanne

3/5 Braque, the heart of painting

4/5 Oldenburg: good soft fun

5/5 Freud, the episodicist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s