Magritte (Hardback)

A Life

Alex Danchev

The first major biography for our time, from the celebrated biographer of Cézanne

A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

'The first significant biography of the artist' Michael Prodger, The Times' 'Best art books of 2021'


'Exemplary ... a scintillating read' Alastair Sooke, Daily Telegraph

'For those who love Magritte and those who do not, Danchev's biography will come as a revelation' Literary Review

René Magritte's surreal sensibility, deadpan melodrama, and fine-tuned outrageousness have all become inescapably part of our times. But these groundbreaking subversions all came from a middle-class Belgian gent, who kept a modest house in a Brussels suburb and whose first one-man show sold absolutely nothing.

Through a deep examination of Magritte's friendships and his artistic development, Alex Danchev explores the path of an highly unconventional artist who posed profound questions about the relationship between image and reality, challenged the very nature of authenticity and whose influence can be seen in the work of everyone from Jasper Johns to Beyoncé.

Publication date: 18/11/2021

£30.00

ISBN: 9781781250778

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature, History & Classics

Magritte (Ebook)

A Life

Alex Danchev

The first major biography for our time, from the celebrated biographer of Cézanne

A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

'The first significant biography of the artist' Michael Prodger, The Times' 'Best art books of 2021'


'Exemplary ... a scintillating read' Alastair Sooke, Daily Telegraph

'For those who love Magritte and those who do not, Danchev's biography will come as a revelation' Literary Review

René Magritte's surreal sensibility, deadpan melodrama, and fine-tuned outrageousness have all become inescapably part of our times. But these groundbreaking subversions all came from a middle-class Belgian gent, who kept a modest house in a Brussels suburb and whose first one-man show sold absolutely nothing.

Through a deep examination of Magritte's friendships and his artistic development, Alex Danchev explores the path of an highly unconventional artist who posed profound questions about the relationship between image and reality, challenged the very nature of authenticity and whose influence can be seen in the work of everyone from Jasper Johns to Beyoncé.

Publication date: 18/11/2021

£14.99

ISBN: 9781847659170

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B086R86THX

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature, History & Classics

Reviews for Magritte

'Diligent and insightful ... Danchev proved an indefatigable researcher, and Sarah Whitfield does full justice to his labours'

Tim Adams Observer

'A virtuosic portrait of a star surrealist ... surely the definitive full-length biography ... immaculately researched, deeply felt'

Kathryn Hughes Guardian

'The first significant biography of the artist'

Michael Prodger, 'Best art books of 2021' The Times

'Insightful and broad-reaching'

Alexander C. Kafka Washington Post

'Offers enthralling insight into the man behind the easel'

Susan Swarbrick and Teddy Jamieson, 'The 50 best books to give this Christmas' Herald

'Absorbing, masterful ... there are no lapses in this lively biography ... Magritte: A Life recounts the artist's life in a sympathetic and comprehensive manner, never reducing the mystery of one of the most influential of modern artists'

Alexander Adams Art Newspaper

'[A] monumental biography of the inimitable surrealist artist ... sure to be the definitive account of the extraordinary artist's life'

 Publishers Weekly

'This is a fine book, and Whitfield's tenth chapter, covering the last twenty years of its subject's life, does Danchev's efforts full justice ... for those who love Magritte and those who do not, Danchev's biography will come as a revelation'

Charles Darwent Literary Review

'Exemplary ... a scintillating read'

Alastair Sooke Daily Telegraph

'Danchev's picture of [Magritte] is pointillist and enormous in scope. It is full of shock, for the casual Magritte fan who knows little about his life ... Biographies usually attribute weight to moments or eras in a person's life, building a narrative which will "explain" the artworks, but this one attempts no such thing ... Magritte: A Life paints scenes, all taken from life, but not forced into the realist mode which can constrain works of this type.'

Jo Livingstone The New Republic

'A fascinating portrait'

Christopher Turner Apollo

'Magritte could hardly be in safer hands'

Florence Hallett inews

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Praise for Alex Danchev's Cézanne:

Danchev's Cézanne has... virtues of imaginative sympathy, independence of mind, and wide scholarship. He writes as if Cézanne's life and character are as immediately present before him as is the art.

'

Julian Barnes Times Literary Supplement

'A brave new life of Cézanne ... much of this new material successfully illuminates Cézanne's inner life. An important book.'

 Sunday Times

'This is the best account of [Cézanne's] astonishing career and Danchev responds to the challenge with great sensitivity and genuine brio. This is a book which will survive the test of time.'

John Golding CBE, Emeritus Professor of the Royal Academy 

'The most engrossing biography of an artist that I have read for years. With lightness of touch, depth of thought, a vast cultural hinterland and an assured understanding of painting, Danchev marvellously brings to life Cézanne the man, as well as the pioneering artist called "the father of us all" by Picasso.'

Jackie Wullschlager FT

Alex Danchev

Alex Danchev

Alex Danchev was Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. His books Cézanne: A Life (2012) won the Apollo Book of the Year Award in 2013, jointly with his translation of The Letters of Paul Cézanne (2013). He was also the author of a number of other internationally acclaimed biographies, and two influential collections of essays, On Art and War and Terror (2009) and On Good and Evil and the Grey Zone (2015); and editor of the best-selling 100 Artists' Manifestos (2011).