Cover image for Painters in Paris, 1895-1950
Painters in Paris, 1895-1950
Lieberman, William S. (William Slattery), 1923-2005.
Publication Information:
New York : Metropolitan Museum of Art : Distributed by H.N. Abrams, [2000]

Physical Description:
128 pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
General Note:
Exhibition dates, March 8-December 31, 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND550 .L54 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Panoramas-immense paintings, often in the round-were enormously popular during the 19th century, both in Europe and in America. Illustrated with hundreds of colorplates, including seven large double gatefolds, Bernard Comment's incisive and detailed study traces the history of an unusual art form, placing these elaborate 360-degree paintings in a full historical, social, and cultural context. Drawing on extensive research, Comment, a cultural critic, brings to life both the reality and the significance of painted panoramas: the artists (often collaborative teams whose goal was perfect illusionism), the installations (specially built rotundas and tents), the subjects (cityscapes, vistas, battles, and religious tableaus, among others), and the meanings (panoramas as propaganda, advertising, substitutes for experience, and forerunners of cinema) of these amazing works of art.

Reviews 3

Library Journal Review

This exhibition catalog provides a brief history of the Metropolitan Museum!s collection of 20th-century painting, highlighting work of what is loosely known as the Paris School: artists who worked in that city from 1895 to 1950. Begun as a 1929 bequest by Gertrude Stein of Pablo Picasso!s portrait of her, the collection has steadily grown through purchases and the generosity of many gifts. A brief history divides the acquisitions into two periods. The first, from 1947 to 1978, includes works by Henri Matisse, Vasili Kandinsky, Picasso, and others. The second period, from 1979 to 1999, under the stewardship of William Lieberman, describes the acquisition of paintings by Paul Gauguin, Pierre Bonnard, and Edouard Vuillard, among others. The catalog is a virtual picture gallery, with many sumptuous full-page color reproductions supplying the artist, title of the work, material employed, dimensions, and collection. The paintings show the depth of modernism at the Met, and this important visual record should be seriously considered by museum, public, and school art-book collections."Ellen Bates, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Review

Before there was Titanic the movie or Phantom the musical, one of the great spectacles was the panorama. This art form, popular for a relatively brief period in the 19th century, saw large crowds turn out in cities across Europe and North America to view depictions of battles, great land- and cityscapes, and historic events in, most often, circular purpose-built structures. Many factors, including the cost of the paintings themselves as well as the rise of photography and eventually motion pictures, led to the death of the panorama. French writer Comment, in this excellent history of a mostly forgotten art form, traces the history of the panorama, describes audience reactions, and gives biographical sketches of many of the artists as well as a critical assessment of their work (when possible, as most of the panoramas themselves have been lost). A highlight of the book is the inclusion of the gatefold color illustrations of seven panoramas that give only the slightest hint of what the panorama experience must have been like. A fine complement to Stephan Oettermann's somewhat more academic The Panorama (LJ 1/98), this is an accessible introduction for informed lay readers.--Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Panoramas were 360-degree paintings usually exhibited in specially built rotundas. Originating in the late 18th century, they peaked in popularity in the last quarter of the 19th century, going out of fashion in the early 20th century with the rise of the cinema. Perhaps it is our present fascination with "virtual reality" that has rekindled an interest in these previously neglected showpieces, since Comment's book is the second recent large-scale study of panoramas. Stephan Oettermann's The Panorama: History of a Mass Medium (CH, Apr '98), organized geographically, contains much detail on specific panoramas. Comment covers similar ground, with further emphasis on the theory and sociology of panoramas. Contemporary judgments about panoramas among artists and critics were divided: Sir Joshua Reynolds and John Ruskin sang their praises, although many saw them as just topographical replications not worthy of being considered art. Yet before we also dismiss them as mere vehicles for mass entertainment (which they undoubtedly were), we might ponder Comment's argument that doubtlessly they also spawned at least one collective work of art--the series of water lilies painted by Monet. Copiously decorated with 320 illustrations, 230 in color and many long, horizontal foldouts. General readers; undergraduate and graduate students. D. Topper; University of Winnipeg