Illuminated Paris : essays on art and lighting in the belle époque / Hollis Clayson.

Clayson, Hollis, 1946- author.
Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2019. , ©2019
x, 228 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Paris (France) -- In art.
Lighting, Architectural and decorative, in art.
Art, Modern -- 19th century.
Art, Modern.
Lighting, Architectural and decorative, in art.
France -- Paris.
ART / History / General.
The City of Light. For many, these four words instantly conjure late nineteenth-century Paris and the garish colors of Toulouse-Lautrec's iconic posters. More recently, the Eiffel Tower's nightly show of sparkling electric lights has come to exemplify our fantasies of Parisian nightlife. Though we reflect longingly on such scenes, in Illuminated Paris, Hollis Clayson shows that there's more to these clich s than meets the eye. In this richly illustrated book, she traces the dramatic evolution of lighting in Paris and how artists responded to the shifting visual and cultural scenes that resulted from these technologies. While older gas lighting produced a haze of orange, new electric lighting was hardly an improvement: the glare of experimental arc lights - themselves dangerous - left figures looking pale and ghoulish. As Clayson shows, artists' representations of these new colors and shapes reveal turn-of-the-century concerns about modernization as electric lighting came to represent the harsh glare of rapidly accelerating social change. At the same time, in part thanks to American artists visiting the city, these works of art also produced our enduring romantic view of Parisian glamour and its Belle poque.
Paris, city of éclairage
Cherchez la lampe: Charles Marville, Gustave Caillebotte, and the gas lamppost
Losing the moon: John Singer Sargent in the Jardin du Luxembourg, 1879
Bright lights, brilliant wit: electric light caricatured
Night lights on paper: illumination in the prints of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas, 1878-82
Outsider nocturnes: Americans in Paris
Man at the window: Edvard Munch in Saint-Cloud, 1890
Conclusion: art fueled by lights.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Local notes:
Athenaeum copy: Weiner fund bookplate.
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