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Books  >>  Biography

Patricia Hampl

Blue Arabesque

Patricia Hampl Blue Arabesque A Search For The Sublime
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Just out of college, Patricia Hampl was mesmerized by a Matisse painting in the Art Institute of Chicago: an aloof woman gazing at goldfish in a bowl, a Moroccan screen behind her. In Blue Arabesque, Hampl explores the allure of this lounging woman, immersed in leisure, so at odds with the rush of the modern era. Hampl’s meditation takes us to the Cote d’Azur and to North Africa, from cloister to harem, pondering figures as diverse as Eugene Delacroix, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Katherine Mansfield. Returning always to Matisse’s portraits of languid women, she discovers they were not decorative indulgences but something much more. Moving with the life force that Matisse sought in his work, Blue Arabesque is Hampl’s dazzling and critically acclaimed tour de force.

PRAISE FOR BLUE ARABESQUE
 
""Ultimately, Blue Arabesque isn't a memoir so much as it is a paean to the act of seeing, celebrating our capacity to be transformed by the truths art holds, recognizing them as holy . . . Read Blue Arabesque and you too might mistake--or exchange--art museums for churches."" --The New York Times Book Review
 
""Blue Arabesque is a marvel--so free, so inventive, and so unpretentiously deep."" --Phyllis Rose, author of Parallel Lives


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