Shocking Paris: Soutine, Chagall and the Outsiders of Montparnasse - Stanley Meisler

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 book’s 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 and the Paris school.


                That criticism aside, the book is engrossing, looking not only the artists but the dealers and the women in their lives. There is a bit about Varian Fry as well.   As someone who lives in Philadelphia, I found the chapters about Barnes to be rather interesting. The book is engaging, as well as a quick read packed with facts and analysis.


                Soutine is the focus, and Meisler does a good job of presenting an artist that not many people are familiar with. He does this despite the larger presence of more famous artists such as Chagall and Picasso. Something that must have been difficult to do.

                Meisler also directs the reader to further reading.