'Ross King, The Judgment of Paris'

‘Ross King, The Judgment of Paris’

Anne Higonnet, 'Berthe Morisot'

Anne Higonnet, ‘Berthe Morisot’

If you read the bestseller by Ross King, The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism (2006) (which focuses on the very different careers of two leading French artists of their era, Ernest Meissonier and Edouard Manet), I warn you. You also need beside you–for more insight into Manet–viewed through the lens of his relationship with fellow-impressionist Berthe Morisot–Berthe Morisot by Anne Higonett (1995)!

There is no sign that author King ever cracked the covers of this revealing biography, with its needed feminist reshaping of their shared reality. Why does it matter? The sexual politics of artists’ lives have really not changed that much. I wish I had had these insights available to me at the age of twenty or so!