Claude Lantier is an ambitious and talented young artist who has come from the provinces to conquer Paris but is conquered instead by the flaws of his own genius. Set in the 1860s and 1870s, it is the most autobiographical of the twenty novels in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series. It provides a unique insight into Zola's career as a writer and his relationship with Cezanne, a friend since their schooldays in Aix-en-Provence. It also presents a well-documented account of the turbulent Bohemian world in which the Impressionists came to prominence despite the conservatism of the Academy and the ridicule of the general public.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - P_S_Patrick - LibraryThing
This novel follows the struggle and tormenting passions of an artist in 19th Century Paris, his friendships, and what family life he has when not striving to produce his definitive masterpiece. There ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - nosajeel - LibraryThing
This book is a masterpiece, so to speak. It centers around the "open air" (i.e., impressionist) Claude Lantier and his struggles to create a masterpiece. The counterpoint is his depressing and tragic ... Read full review