Alias Olympia: A Woman's Search for Manet's Notorious Model and Her Own Desire

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9780801486098: Alias Olympia: A Woman's Search for Manet's Notorious Model and Her Own Desire
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Eunice Lipton was a fledging art historian when she first became intrigued by Victorine Meurent, the nineteenth-century model who appeared in Edouard Manet's most famous paintings, only to vanish from history in a haze of degrading hearsay. But had this bold and spirited beauty really descended into prostitution, drunkenness, and early death―or did her life, hidden from history, take a different course altogether? Eunice Lipton's search for the answer combines the suspense of a detective story with the revelatory power of art, peeling off layers of lies to reveal startling truths about Victorine Meurent―and about Lipton herself.

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About the Author:

Eunice Lipton is the author of Looking into Degas: Uneasy Images of Women and Modern Life; French Seduction: An American's Encounter with France, Her Father and the Holocaust; and The Bad Brother. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, The Guardian, The Forward, Tikkun, The Women's Review of Books, and Art in America

Review:

"In this wonderfully digressive blend of art history and autobiography, Eunice Lipton chronicles her search for Victorine Meurent, the model for two of Edouard Manet's most famous paintings, 'Olympia' and 'Dejeuner sur l'Herbe.' In the end, and much to the reader's delight, Lipton has done what she set out to do: rescue Victorine Meurent from history. It is a marvelous recovery."―New York Times Book Review



"Beautifully written―brisk, poignant and humorous. . . . A witty critique of the art historical profession and a sexy, sad memoir with a happy ending. Alias Olympia is the most original art book to emerge from my feminist art generation."―Lucy R. Lippard, Women's Review of Books



"A rare alchemy . . . a melding of art history and autobiography."―Village Voice



"Scholarly research-as-usual is converted into a cliffhanger . . . a pioneering attempt to fashion a counter―or post-academic self in print. . . . Alias Olympia will Liptonize art historians in the popular imagination."―Art in America



"The elegance and clarity of Lipton's prose make Alias Olympia a joy to read. . . . Significantly advances our knowledge about lesbians in the visual arts."―Lambda Book Report



"Think of Alias Olympia as a Canterbury Tale; a life-story told on a pilgrimage. It is an exploration in a dizzying variety of senses, from her laborious attempt to unearth the real life of her subject to reflections on her own childhood and career to the igniting effect of the feminist movement to musings on the fact that Victorine and Eunice have a common etymology, both signifying 'triumph.' Alias Olympia stands for part of the truth . . . but its humanity is entire."―Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times



"Beautifully written . . . compelling."―Diane Wood Middlebrook, author of Anne Sexton: A Biography



"Eunice Lipton's remarkable study combines personal history and archival history in a literate and provocative way. in this story of a nineteenth-century painter-model, or rather, the search for the woman who posed for Manet's most famous painting, Lipton combines the search for self in the Bronx with the search for documentation about this most intriguing of models. It is the conjunction of these intertwined quests that makes the book at once poignant and to the point."―Linda Nochlin, New York University, Institute of Fine Arts



"Eunice Lipton's Alias Olympia is the one book I would give a non-academic friend or lover or a U.S. Senator to explain the rigors and rewards of art historical investigation, as well as research in other esoteric humanities fields. Lipton's reading from it at the University of Virginia (where I previously taught) is the only time I have ever seen graduate students weep during a public lecture. It's hard to write anything smart, significant, and new about a central icon of the modernist canon. It's amazing that Lipton has done all of the above and revealed an emotional life that scholarship conventionally conceals."―Judith Wilson, Yale University



"I greatly admire both the energy and revelations of Eunice Lipton's private-eye pursuit as she searched for traces of Victorine Meurent. Inscribing her own history as well as imaginatively elaborating upon fragments of this unknown woman artist's life gave Lipton's work a profound subjectivity that added to the pleasure of reading an excellent 'detective story' on desire, always alas poignant for women who want to be themselves. Lipton's book touched me personally."―Julia Kristeva, Université de Paris, VII

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Eunice Lipton
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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this stylish work of imaginative nonfiction, Eunice Lipton re-creates a provocative figure out of nineteenth-century art history, Victorine Meurent, the mysterious woman who modeled for Manet s most famous paintings, Olympia and Dejeuner sur l herbe. Was Meurent, as her contemporaries would have had us believe, simply a drunkard, a prostitute? Or was she - whose defiant gaze from Manet s canvas provoked a riot - an accomplished artist in her own right? Through the streets of Paris, an American art historian sets out on an inquiry into the life of Victorine Meurent. As the pieces of an untold story begin to accumulate, something unforeseen happens to her. Every step she takes to undo the erasure of Meurent s life brings her face-to-face with the boundaries of her own. Every day she loses herself a little more in the other woman. Finally, their destinies become inextricably entangled. The historian uncovers, and evokes, the model s bohemian life in Paris: the cafe s and alleys of Montmartre; the painters studios and salons; the squalor, scandal, and feverish creativity. And Victorine takes the historian on a long voyage home, to the Bronx of her childhood, to her immigrant father s dreams, to City College of the 1950s, and finally to her own repressed desire to be a writer. At once memoir and compelling detective story, Alias Olympia is on the cutting edge of contemporary trends in biography. Why should a life be valued only as a series of accomplishments? Eunice Lipton asks. What if biography were a tale of desire? How, then, would we tell a woman s life?. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780801486098

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this stylish work of imaginative nonfiction, Eunice Lipton re-creates a provocative figure out of nineteenth-century art history, Victorine Meurent, the mysterious woman who modeled for Manet s most famous paintings, Olympia and Dejeuner sur l herbe. Was Meurent, as her contemporaries would have had us believe, simply a drunkard, a prostitute? Or was she - whose defiant gaze from Manet s canvas provoked a riot - an accomplished artist in her own right? Through the streets of Paris, an American art historian sets out on an inquiry into the life of Victorine Meurent. As the pieces of an untold story begin to accumulate, something unforeseen happens to her. Every step she takes to undo the erasure of Meurent s life brings her face-to-face with the boundaries of her own. Every day she loses herself a little more in the other woman. Finally, their destinies become inextricably entangled. The historian uncovers, and evokes, the model s bohemian life in Paris: the cafe s and alleys of Montmartre; the painters studios and salons; the squalor, scandal, and feverish creativity. And Victorine takes the historian on a long voyage home, to the Bronx of her childhood, to her immigrant father s dreams, to City College of the 1950s, and finally to her own repressed desire to be a writer. At once memoir and compelling detective story, Alias Olympia is on the cutting edge of contemporary trends in biography. Why should a life be valued only as a series of accomplishments? Eunice Lipton asks. What if biography were a tale of desire? How, then, would we tell a woman s life?. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780801486098

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Book Description Cornell University Press 1/21/1999, 1999. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. Alias Olympia. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780801486098

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Book Description Cornell University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 192 pages. Dimensions: 8.1in. x 5.4in. x 0.5in.Eunice Lipton was a fledging art historian when she first became intrigued by Victorine Meurent, the nineteenth-century model who appeared in Edouard Manets most famous paintings, only to vanish from history in a haze of degrading hearsay. But had this bold and spirited beauty really descended into prostitution, drunkenness, and early deathor did her life, hidden from history, take a different course altogether Eunice Liptons search for the answer combines the suspense of a detective story with the revelatory power of art, peeling off layers of lies to reveal startling truths about Victorine Meurentand about Lipton herself. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780801486098

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