Paris Portraits Artists, Friends, and Lovers Kenneth E. Silver

Publication date:
26 Sep 2008
Yale University Press
144 pages: 305 x 241mm
30 b-w + 165 color illus.
Sales territories:


The art of portraiture reached a pinnacle of expressive achievement in early twentieth-century Paris. Liberated by the advent of photography, artists were able to re-imagine the nature of human portrayal, producing kinds of portraits—Fauve, Cubist, Dada, Surrealist, and Expressionist—unlike any seen before.


This remarkable book focuses on a rich variety of these portraits, presenting paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by such artists as Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Duchamp, Brancusi, Lipchitz, Gris, Rivera, Modigliani, Dubuffet, Laurencin, and Soutine. A major essay explores the fascinating network of personal and aesthetic relationships that existed at the time, as artists depicted themselves and their friends, collectors, critics, spouses, and romantic partners. There is also a formal and iconographic discussion of each featured work, as well as relevant biographical, cultural, and historical information.

Kenneth E. Silver is professor of modern art at New York University and adjunct curator at the Bruce Museum.

"The 144-page catalogue, featuring an insightful essay by Silver and valuable commentary on each work by Newman, along with numerous reproductions, makes a significant contribution to art history. . . . A welcome addition to many public and private bookshelves."?Stephen May, Antiques and the Arts Weekly

"This exhibition explores the somewhat unexpected flourishing of painted and sculpted portraits in the early 20th century, more than 50 years after the invention of photography seemingly rendered the genre obsolete. . . . High-quality illustrations (many of rarely published paintings, drawings, and sculptures), in addition to the unique theme, make this book a worthwhile acquisition. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students; general readers."?Choice