Bloomsbury and France

Bloomsbury and France : Art and Friends

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This volume presents a literary and visual overview of the interchange between France and England as experienced by members of the Bloomsbury group of writers and artists, including Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Lytton Strachey, and Dora Carrington during the years 1906-1939, particularly their travels and sojourns in France which shaped much of their thinking, their painting, and to some extent their more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 196 x 240 x 26mm | 1,138.51g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 211 halftones, 1 map
  • 0195117522
  • 9780195117523

Review Text

A collective biography of painters, art critics, and writers who evolved from a tight-knit company of Cambridge friends to form the Bloomsbury group - with a particular, generally pedestrian, focus on their visits to France between 1910 and 1940. France suffused the Bloomsbury group in several ways: through the assimilation of French artistic trends in Bloomsbury art, through the more forthright promotion of French culture in England by Bloomsbury figures, through the group's literary translations. Lured by the warmth and bright colors of Provence, Bloomsbury artists created numerous studies of beaches, bathers, landscapes, and harbor scenes. Vanessa Bell's and Duncan Grant's paintings clearly parallel the art of such French masters as Cezanne and Derain. The Parisian scene offered the group a chance to mingle with the European cultural elite, including Gide, Picasso, Matisse, Russian artists Larionov and Goncharova, and Ballet Russe founder Diaghilev. Among the Bloomsbury contributions to the advancement of French culture: Duncan Grant was invited by Jacques Copeau to design costumes for his theatrical productions; Roger Fry organized postimpressionist exhibitions in London and lectured on Cezanne; Clive Bell was made Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur for his efforts on behalf of French art abroad. In addition, Fry became the first English translator of Mallanne, whose work was crucial to the appreciation of symbolist poetry in England. Conversely, Charles Mauron's translations of the most eminent Bloomsbury writers, Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster, introduced English literature to the French reading public. Though Anglo-French cultural relations are aptly rendered in the chapters on literary translations and creative interchange between French and English painters, insignificant issues predominate: Too many dates, places, itineraries, and gastronomical preferences make for a drabness broken only by the odd sexual liaison. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Review quote

"My lifelong devotion to Bloomsbury has been to Bloomsbury in England. Here, to my delight, I find all there is to know about Bloomsbury in France. This is an original, readable, and compelling account of Bloomsbury across the channel. A book not to be missed."--Carolyn Heilbrun, Professor Emerita, Columbia University, and author of Writing a Woman's Life"This is an original and excellent idea--to link Bloomsbury to France. For although every memoir and biography of members of this famous group of friends mentions their frequent excursions to France, this is the first time that a proper emphasis has been given to their delight in French civilization and culture. For all of them, France was their second country. They were drawn to it as if by a magnet, and its influence on Bloomsbury literature and art deserved to be celebrated, as it has been in this magnificent book."--Nigel Nicolson, Editor, Letters of Virginia Woolfshow more

About Mary Ann Caws

Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate School and is the author of Women of Bloomsbury: Virginia, Vanessa, and Carrington. She lives in New York City. Sarah Bird Wright is an independent scholar and the author of many books, including Edith Wharton A to Z: The Essential Guide to the Life and Work. She lives in Midlothian, more

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