The Music of Painting Peter Vergo

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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. Specifications:

  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 245 x 172 mm (9 5/8 x 6 3/4 in)
  • Pages: 384 pp
  • Illustrations: 16 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714863863

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.

"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

"Lucid and engrossing."—The Independent

"Cross disciplinary to-ing and fro-ing is elegantly orchestrated in this book by Peter Vergo, a must have for anyone interested in why Modernism looks (and sounds) as it does."—Art Quarterly

"Scholarly and sizable … its articulate prose and beautiful presentation [...] make it a worthy contender for your Christmas wish lists."—Muso

"Over a long period, Peter Vergo has submitted music and the visual arts to sustained comparative analysis. Often on untrodden ground, for a time the only voice in British scholarship in this field, his work is consistently engaging and enlightening... Vergo teases logical sequences from dense histories – for instance the trajectory of Chopin-Delacroix-Baudelaire-Whistler-Debussy... The range and scope of the two volumes That Divine Order and The Music of Painting is astonishing... Together, these two volumes offer a dictionary of the subject that will be invaluable to scholarship for years to come. This latest study not only makes it clear once and for all the significance of the interchange of the arts, but, I would suggest, casts new light on Modernism itself."—The Burlington Magazine

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