The Music of Painting

Music, Modernism and the Visual Arts from the Romantics to John Cage


The Music of Painting reveals how music and painting drew on each other for inspiration and stimulation during the emergence and development of modernism.


Peter Vergo


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Price: USD$39.95


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9780714863863-940-1


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About the book
Composers and artists have always borrowed from each other. Peter Vergo, for the first time, offers an in-depth study of how and why, in the modernist era, music and painting became intertwined.

Artist-composer relationships examined include Debussy’s interest in Whistler, Tuner, and Monet, Franz Liszt’s fascination with Raphael and Michelangelo, Kandinsky with Schoenberg and Paul Klee’s influence from Polyphonic music.

The Music of Paintingexplores how artists attempted to translate musical rhythms, and structures into painting and how musicians developed visual themes.



In The Press
‘A must have for anyone interested in why Modernism looks (and sounds) as it does.’ Art Quarterly

'A constant source of delight … immensely informative … with its constantly engaging prose and many illustrations this book is extremely enjoyable as well as thought-provoking.’ International Record Review



About the author(s)
Peter Vergo is one of Britain’s leading experts on modern German and Austrian art. He was awarded the Golden Order of Merit by the Republic of Austria for his services to Austrian Art. He has curated exhibitions at the Tate (Abstraction: Towards a New Art), and Whitechapel Art Gallery (Emil Nolde). As editor of The New Museology he launched a controversial debate about the role of museums in society. The first of his two books about the relationship between art and music, entitled That Divine Order, was published by Phaidon in 2005.


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