Danchev's Czanne has... virtues of imaginative sympathy, independence of mind, and wide scholarship. He writes as if Czanne's life and character are as immediately present before him as is the art -- Julian Barnes * TLS * A brave new life of Czanne ... much of this new material successfully illuminates Czanne's inner life. An important book * Sunday Times * Enlightening . . . Accomplished and subtle -- Michael Prodger * Mail on Sunday * This is a great book - possibly the best - on one of the most respected impressionists * Bookseller * 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 Czanne the man, as well as the pioneering artist called "the father of us all" by Picasso. -- Jackie Wullschlager * FT * A magisterial biography -- Jonathan Lopez * Wall Street Journal * A new view of an old subject ... an impressive achievement -- Christian House * Independent on Sunday * This is the best account of [Czanne'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 Alex Danchev compellingly guides us through Paul Cezanne's much mythologized life from his over-bearing father and early days in the South, as a school friend of Emile Zola, to his position as one of the revered creators of modern painting. The development of Cezanne's thinking and the construction of his paintings are explored alongside his complex relationship with other painters and the Parisian art establishment. Danchev has a great ability to weave his research and analysis into a compelling narrative: understanding what was required for Cezanne to make art modern. -- Sandy Nairne, National Portrait Gallery A fantastically multidimensional Czanne. . . . reads much like . . . one of Paul Czanne's paintings . . . Mr. Danchev's portrait of Cezanne's life is heavy, thick with deceptively simple detail, and unendingly rich in offering context and detail for the reader to make sense of what contexts surrounded Czanne, how Cezanne understood himself, and how the surrounding artistic milieu and climate informed Cezanne's paintings . . . Cezanne, A Life is a compelling and well-written biography of an enduring, enigmatic and complex figure in the changing world of turn-of-the-20th-century modernist art. -- Dr Lydia Pyne * New York Journal of Books * An enchanting literary exercise... exquisite in style... romantic, intense, affectionate and occasionally wry... a masterpiece. -- Brian Sewell * Evening Standard *
Alex Danchev was Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. His books Czanne: A Life (2012) won the Apollo Book of the Year Award in 2013, jointly with his translation of The Letters of Paul Czanne (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).