BOOK REVIEW: Gods and Heroes

Gods and Heroes Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris

Emmanuel Schwartz, Emmanuelle Brugerolles and Patricia Mainardi

Published by GILES in association with the American Federation of Arts
Price — UK£39.95/US$59.95
ISBN — 978-1-907804-12-0



This book, which records an eponymous touring exhibition in the USA, is a great celebration of the important role that the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris had on European art in the 17th-19th centuries.
As I explained in my blog (01/12/13) about the Wallace Collection’s exhibition The Male Nude: Eighteenth-century drawings from the Paris Academy the École’s role was to prepare the most promising artists for their future role in painting for patrons – royal, ecclesiastical or state. Their training included depicting the world of gods, classical or biblical, and heroes, real and mythological and they were taught to reflect the ideology and aesthetic taste of their time.
The École is not only a repository for works by some of the great French artists that studied there but also for those of other great European artists such as da Vinci, Durer, Rembrandt and Van Dyck. It is a book which is a visual and informative delight for all who are interested in painting, drawing and sculpture.

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