Shocking Paris by Stanley Meisler

Shocking Paris

For a couple of decades before World War II, a group of immigrant painters and sculptors, including Amedeo Modigliani, Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine and Jules Pascin dominated the new art scene of Montparnasse in Paris. Art critics gave them the name "the School of Paris" to set them apart from the French-born (and less talented) young artists of the period. Modigliani and Chagall eventually attained enormous worldwide popularity, but in those earl...

Details Shocking Paris

TitleShocking Paris
Release DateApr 14th, 2015
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
GenreArt, Nonfiction, Cultural, France, History, Biography, Art History

Reviews Shocking Paris

  • Dov Zeller
    Several GR reviewers complain of Stanley Meisler's focus on Soutine in "Shocking Paris", but Soutine brought the book alive for me and I am going to argue that the focus on Soutine is what makes the book great.Meisler is in a strange position writing this book, because it's not a thorough academic or historical study of the Ecole de Paris, the School of Paris, and it's not a straight up biography of Soutine. Well, so he gives it the subtitle "Sou...
  • Christine
    Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley This little book is mostly a biography of Soutine, though to call it a straight out biography would be misleading. While the books focus is Soitine attention is paid to a variety of Jewish immigrant painters. Meisler connects these men to the Paris school and traces the art world it contained until after the Second World War. Overall the book is good, though there is a weak part. The connection made to Anti-Semitism ...
  • Meg
    This book was so interesting. It was mainly about the artist Soutine and secondarily Chagall and other Jewish artists escaping the Nazis and other religious intolerant. All ending up in Montparnasse and Paris.
  • Brandi
    Stanley Meisler's "Shocking Paris: Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse" is an interesting narrative of the art scene of Montparnasse in Paris prior to World War 2. My chief complaint is that it focuses entirely too much on Chaim Soutine. I prefer some of the artists of this time, such as Marc Chagall, Jules Pascin and Moïse Kisling. The title sounds like it would include information on the other artists, but the book focuses a bit...
  • Beverly
    If I could rate 3.5 I would. The amount of information in this book regarding Soutine & the School of Paris is prodigious; however the repetition of documented facts (Modigliani's cafe antics, Soutine's Russian accented French) simply became annoying. The writing style seemed at times to be distracted, adding bits and pieces as if just recalled. However, the look at bohemian life in Montparnasse gave a very good impression of what it was like to ...
  • Liz (Quirky Cat)
    Shocking Paris: Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse is a narrative and exploration of the art scene of Paris leading up to the events in World War II. Meisler thoroughly researched the subject before he began writing the book, as evidenced by the factual focus and smooth writing style shown. Many suggestions for further reading are included at the back of the book, so if you find yourself curious about something specific during the...
  • Maria
    Shocking Paris: Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse tells the story of the immigrant artists in Paris from just before World War I to the years leading up to the Second World War, most of whom were Jewish and came from the Russian empire. The artist Chaim Soutine is the authors main topic (the author is a distant relative) but the book also covers many other painters of the period, most notably Modigliani, Chagall, and Pascin. As t...
  • Rick Elinson
    Having seen Soutine's paintings at the Barnes Foundation and at the 2018 Jewish Museum exhibition, I was happy to have found Meisler's 1988 article on Soutine in "The Smithsonian". Here, Meisler tries to expand that article into a book. Unfortunately, there is little to add as Meisler admits, so a contrast of the paths of two Russian emigre artists, Soutine and Chagall, is one way used to get to book-length. There are two problems in dealing with...
  • Geoffrey Kelley
    This is book focuses more on the School of Paris painters and their world between the two world wars. It discusses the careers of such painters as Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani, and especially Chaïm Soutine. The emphasis is less on art technique and art history, and more on the lives of the artists, the business of art and their dealers and patrons, including Albert Barnes of Philadelphia, and occasionally glimpses at the politics of the inter...
  • Erik Surewaard
    Beautifully written book. Discusses the "School of Paris" painters. These are the (jewish) immigrant painters like e.g. Soutine, Modigliani and Chagall. Painters in the post impressionist era, living in Montparnasse in Paris. The book focusses on mainly Soutine. Describes his life. Soutine survived the second world war, but most of the School of Paris painters ended up in the concentration camps in the second world war. This not only by fact that...
  • Richard
    An excellent book on a lesser know art movement. It draws you in and keeps you reading. The focus is on Chaim Soutine, much better known in Europe than in the US. And there considered one of the top three from the Paris School, the other two being Chagalll and Modigliani.
  • Jeff Skott
    Well researched and education on the School of ParisWhile mostly fixed on Chaim Soutine, which gives us our context, this book well renders the artists of the School of Paris and helps us understand their beginnings as well as their ends. Beautifully written.
  • Linda Dubin
    Excellent very readable account of the School of Paris in the early 20th century.
  • Dona
    Visited St. Louis Art Museum, noticed "Woman in Pink" by Chaim Soutine. It disturbed me. Went home and kindled Soutine. Found this book. Pretty intriguing not difficult to read.
  • Sally Ann Sims
    An intriguing study of Soutine and his times. I had not heard much about this artist until reading the book and found the structure of approaching the subject through the lens of the School of Paris effective. Very saddened to read of the treatment of Jewish artists in Paris in the years building up to WWII and the fall of France. The echos of that same anti-Semitism today in the United States are shameful.Overall, I found this to be a sensitive ...
  • Richard
    This is one of the reasons I like to review the books that I read.Under normal circumstances this isn't the type of book that I would chose to read; it is about art and great painters in the school of Paris I hadn't heard of in any sense.Yet here is a wonderfully research book that explains how these talented individuals gravitated to France's capital and coalesced in cetain areas of the city to provide a movement of sculpters, artists and writer...
  • Hilary
    Copy received through Goodreads First Reads program. In the first half of the 20th century, a group of immigrant artists came to Paris and became the French toast (or, as theyd call it, toast) of the new art world sprouting up in Montparnasse. These artists, including Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine, Jules Pascin, and Amedeo Modigliani, represented a challenge to the French, who sought to distinguish the foreigners from their own native artists while...
  • Connie Anderson
    This was clearly an eye-opener for me. The book began with all of the Russian born Jewish artists who came to the School of Paris, to join others like them to hone their crafts, while fleeing oppression back home. Soon, certain groups of Frenchmen began to point their fingers at at the great influx of immigrants, especially Jewish artists who they felt was crowding out true French artists.A few of these immigrant artists were Chagall, Soutine, an...
  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    I find this period of history that takes place in Paris extremely interesting. I was excited to read this book since I love the work of Chagall and some of the others. I found that from reading this book I got a good idea of the type of "bohemian" lifestyle that many of the artists lived and created their art in. There was the constant fear of the French police and the German gestapo that the Jewish immigrants had to work under. I was however dis...
  • Mandy
    The School of Paris were a group of immigrant artists centred around Montparnasse, Paris in the decades before WWII. The main focus of this fascinating and well-researched exploration of their lives and work is Soutine not surprisingly as the author is a distant relation but also features other artist of the group such as Modigliani and Chagall. Not a conventional biography as such, its a wide-ranging study of this important period in art histo...
  • Irene
    Received a copy from Goodreads Giveaway program.This is normally not the genre that I would chose to read. I am not an art enthusiast, and I purchase paintings because I like them, not because of who painted them.The book focused on a few of the great painters in the School of Paris in the early 1900's. I learned that many of the students from the School were actually Jewish immigrants from early Russia.Very informative art history and in parts r...
  • Barbara
    I enjoyed this book. I always wanted to know more about Chaim Soutine about whom I had encountered scant information. I remember first "discovering" him at an exhibition of Impressionists at the Kimball Art Museum in Ft. Worth, TX. A fan of the impressionists, I was pleased and surprised to find a Jewish artist. I really enjoyed learning about the School of Paris, many Jewish immigrants from all over. Of course I knew about Chagall & Modigliani. ...
  • Joy
    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.With the subtitle Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse, I expect more about Chagall, which was the name that drew me in. I saw his grave in the south of France and did a double take, which made me glad I was already planning on visiting the museum with his work in Nice. I did learn a few things about Chagall but the book was mostly about Soutine. I wish I had known this much about him when I v...
  • Filipreads
    This was an amazing book to get a glimpse into the other side of early 20th century artistic Paris. There are so many books that glamorize the whole era that I found this book to be refreshing and quite informative. While it is mostly focused on Soutine, I loved learning more about this spectacularly original and talented artist. It is a thoroughly researched book on this theme and almost acts as a mini biography of Soutine with splashes of infor...
  • Karen
    I am not a professional of the art field, nor a student of art history, but nonetheless, was drawn to this book by the mention of Montparnasse in the title, and since I love Paris and everything about it in the early 20th century, "Shocking Paris" was for me.Having not been familiar with the School of Paris, nor the Circle of Montparnesse, Jewish artists in Paris 1905 - 1945, this book gave me a wealth of information about these times, not to men...
  • Kristine
    Shocking Paris by Stanley Meisler is a free NetGalley ebook that I began reading the evening before the end of spring break. Since the description was fairly evocative and image-capturing, I thought I'd give this book a whirl.A more apt title for this book would be Gritty Paris - it did well to depict the private lives and underground/impoverished social structure of artists and patrons of artists, but operated not just in chronological biographi...
  • Lon Cohen
    Definitely a major focus on Soutine but with enough detail about the times and other artists in this city that it is not a straight up biography. Anyone interested in 20th Century art history should pick up this book. Actually, if you are interested in history in general and want a different way of looking at the time and the experiences of people who were not politicians or military leaders then also pick up this book. You get equal parts of bot...
  • Susan Liston
    Not really so "shocking" account of the School of Paris artists in the first half of the 20th century. The focus mostly on Chaim Soutine and Marc Chagall. It's quite short, I guess I felt more like I had read a long magazine article than a book. I can't quite put my finger on what seemed sort of scattershot about this..maybe the focus turned away from the artists to world events a little too often?