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Depths of Glory: A Biographical Novel of Camille Pissarro
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Depths of Glory: A Biographical Novel of Camille Pissarro

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  495 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
A fictional biography of Camille Pissarro, a central figure of the Impressionist movement. It explores the artist's relationship with other great painters of the time, including Degas, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne and Van Gogh. By the author of "Lust for Life" and "The Agony and the Ecstasy".
Paperback, 624 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Plume (first published March 4th 1985)
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Feb 28, 2009 Pat added it
I loved this book. Pisarro has long been my favorite impressionist painter. I went thru a phase where I just couldn't get enough of him, his works, and wanted to learn all I could about his life and times. He came alive for me in this book, as did his dedicated wife and his fascinating contemporaries.

Stone did a masterful job of opening a window on life in 19th century France. He captured the exhilaration of Paris at a time when it was growing from glory to glory... the quiet sadness of the cou
Apr 19, 2012 Hayley rated it it was amazing
This is my first Irving Stone novel, and I hope to find that all his novels are as glorious as this one. I truly appreciate Stone's extensive and expansive research. I can also appreciate that this is a novel, not a biography in its strictest concept, so it didn't bother me when Irving stated Pisarro's feelings, reactions, or of course, "quotes". I loved how Stone gave the characters life but still allowed you to make your own decision. I enjoyed but (truthfully skimmed) over passages of paintin ...more
650 pages of ill-edited but good hearted prose lead me to wonder if I would dislike Lust for Life or The Agony and the Ecstasy, which I loved as a high-schooler, perhaps filtered through the Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas movie epics. No one is going to make a movie of this novel, I think. Michelangelo's struggles with the Sistine chapel and Van Gogh's lopped off ear and suicide have natural dramatic appeal, while Pissarro's good nature and lack of material success are more prosaic. The narrat ...more
Susan Roden
Nov 14, 2013 Susan Roden rated it really liked it
I must of liked this book a lot, as I kept on reading too late at night, and when I had chores or other things that needed to be done. As the book went on, I was torn between reading to the end, and slowing down to make the book last longer.

I learned a lot about the evolution of Impressionism painting in France, the painters themselves, and the relationships among the painters. Also a lot about the history of France during the second half of the 19th century.

The author ties a lot of facts into
May 23, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been awhile since I read Depths of Glory by Irving Stone, but being a fan of both Impressionism and anything Paris, I have got to say this was one of the most riveting and enjoyable novels I have ever read.
Michelle Bastian
May 22, 2016 Michelle Bastian rated it really liked it
Surprised by how much i liked this book and how fun it was to research these artists and enjoy their work.
Mar 20, 2008 Beth rated it it was amazing
Great book about the life of artist Camille Pisarro, taking place in Paris, France in the 1800's
Jul 08, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written must-read historical novel for anyone who loves the French Impressionists!
Nadine Clayton
Apr 24, 2014 Nadine Clayton rated it it was amazing
It was from this book that I went in search of Pissarro's work and from there, fell completely in love
May 31, 2017 Eileen rated it really liked it
Art History Geek that I am, I enjoyed this book. Irving Stone always does a good job. One thing that used to bother me when I read about artists was not having the paintings included when they are being described. Now, google adds to the book because I can study the painting as I read. Pisarro pissaroed me off sometimes. I felt bad for his family's poverty. He thought only of painting.
Veliko Donchev
May 12, 2017 Veliko Donchev rated it it was amazing
This is literally my favourite book. It is on the one hand a very interesting novel that makes you feel as if you are living Pissarro's life and on the other hand is like an encyclopedia on Impressionism.
Dec 09, 2016 Eliza rated it liked it
Great historical references of this period. Didn't do a good job of story telling. Today's publishers would pass.
Anna-Maija Tähkävuori
Oct 12, 2013 Anna-Maija Tähkävuori rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yleispätevä
Recommended to Anna-Maija by: Goodreads
Hämmästyttävää, ettei sivumäärä lainkaan paina tässä (muistaakseni alunperin 800-sivuisessa) teoksessa. Irving Stone on taituroinut Camille Pissarosta tyyliin sopivasti - lyhyin repliikein, elein, kokemuksin - hetkestä toiseen sukeltavan näkemyksellisen elämäkerran. Pidän erityisesti kerronnan impressionistisesta tunnelmasta. Myös koko kirjan rakenteesta, missä tehdään pitkä taiteellinen matka tietoisuuden heräämisestä täyttymykseen.
Välillä elämän raaka pinta astuu esiin (nälässä, louduttomuude
Jan 15, 2008 Malcolm rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Artists,
Artists of all kinds struggle daily, and through their lives in many cases, with having their work accepted by their peers and the public. The starving artist is not a cliché’ it is a fact for most of us. Reading Irving Stone’s biography of Camille Pissarro, the French Impressionist painter, we understand how this fact of life was serious reality for most artists in the past – yet somehow they soldiered on.

Irving Stone is the master of biography with his impeccable research and style of writin
Jul 26, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it
I always associate this book with a wonderful experience in that shortly after reading it, my then-3rd grade daughter and I traveled to San Francisco for a week-long vacation to take in an extraordinary art exhibit,Impressionism: The First 100 Years.

Depths of Glory introduces the reader to the 19th century Impressionist movement but more so defined for me Camille Pissarro and his role in the movement. Up to then, in my mind, Pissarro had been a lesser name, overshadowed by Monet, Renoir and oth
When I first started this book - all 600 plus pages of it - I thought uh oh, how on earth am I going to get through it? It wasn't history but it wasn't historical fiction. It was sitting in an uncomfortable space between the two. The first section just felt like facts cobbled together with some fairly unconvincing dialogue. I mean, no-one suddenly 'remembers what Rousseau said... (followed by a verbatim quote from Rousseau)'. The story did get better, and I was really interested to find out abou ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Claire rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
If I couldn't make it past the fifth page and thinking about it gives me such twinges in the head, then I might as well give up.
However, I appreciate what Irving Stone wrote! The first four pages were hard for me to get through - I am going to lay the blame on the migraine-like condition.

Since I did not see the point through the whooshing whirls of pain in my head, (ah, seems a biography-story of a painter), I decided that it did not even pass the first of the four criteria posed by the librari
Aug 29, 2008 Nanette rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of Irving Stone, and was motivated to read this book more by my love for Stone's writing than a desire to learn about the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. This book chronicles the life of Pissarro, describing in great detail the struggles he endured as a result of devoting his life to his art. What most impressed me about Pissarro was his strong character. He was completely committed to the things that mattered most to him, one of which was his large family.

This is a wond
Sep 08, 2011 Anandhi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A biography can be likeable because of the character of the protagonist, or the social and geographical environment its set in, or the skilled prose of the author. This book garners full scores on all three counts. Camille Pissaro is a wonderful person to read of, even if, like me, you come to this book with no notion of his legacy as an artist. His life is a powerful combination of the human and the super-human in us. His love for painting, his camaraderie with his peers, his love for his famil ...more
Ruth Chatlien
Mar 30, 2013 Ruth Chatlien rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of Irving Stone's painter novels, partially because I love the Impressionist period and partially because Pisarro was a more even-tempered man than any of the other artists I read about. As with most artists, Pisarro had a terrible struggle to make a living, yet he remained true to his vision and his calling. He had a very stable family life, remaining with the same woman his entire adult life and having (I think) eight children with her. He had to overcome a lot--including f ...more
Oct 02, 2009 Ed rated it really liked it
I really learned about the struggle of the French Impressionist painters during the mid to late 1800's. Irving Stone brings in the personalities of all the painters and it feels like I got to know each of them a bit.

After reading about 80 percent of the book, I became weary of the continued struggles of Pissarro, but that's what some of these artists endured.

I recommend this to anyone planning to travel to France to view important art. Also this is a good historical novel to learn about the tim
Jerry Hardesty
Feb 26, 2009 Jerry Hardesty rated it really liked it
I found it interesting that the Impressionists faced the same problems that artists today face. There were co-op galleries. Artists had a difficulties with shows and galleries. And finally, the Impressionists sold many paintings that are now worth millions for as little as $20 each. There truly is truth in the aphorism "starving artist." Camille Pissaro struggled for most of his life, near desolation and starvation. This was an interesting novel, but a difficult read as it was mostly narrative a ...more
Jan 23, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
I would have given this one a higher number of stars because I did enjoy it alot but it is just too long - 646 pages. I enjoyed reading about the life of Pisarro but I was getting kind of tired of the detail by the enc. It is amazing to me how many artists, writers, sculptors etc all lived around Paris in the same time frame. It also is astonishing that they would live their entire life in abject poverty, selling little, at abysmal prices and still keep painting. Hard to believe what the early R ...more
Jul 17, 2010 Keith rated it it was amazing
I always found the books of Irving Stone to be wonderful reads..This book was just as good, if not better, than the rest..It's a book about Camille Pisarro, an impressionist painter, and the other impressionists he was friends with..As usual, I was very happy to have read it. I love Art and encourage anyone interested in art and a wonderful storyteller to check this book out!! I don't think you'll be disappointed at all!!!
Bettyjoy Engelbrecht
Irving Stone takes us on a roller coaster ride along with the artist Camille Pisarro, through all the ups and downs of his hectic life, of his battle for recognition over the years, whilst maintaining a loving family home with his Mother's one time housemaid, a woman of great courage and tenacity. A bit long winded at times but an eye opener as to the lives and times of many great artists whom we meet on the journey. Well worth the read.
Dec 22, 2009 Mitzi rated it really liked it
I read this immediately after Lust For Life, probably a mistake... The history of the beginning of the Impressionist movement was interesting, but the story drug out, and often times seemed just a list of places and paintings and how much or how little Pissarro was being paid - it all ran together. I think with some of that stuff edited out it would have been a better book, and I might have liked it more if Lust For Life (which was brilliant) wasn't so fresh in my mind...
Aug 18, 2013 Martino rated it it was amazing
Stone ha saputo raccontare la storia di una vita in maniera superba. Intenso e coinvolgente. Onestamente, l'ho trovato un po' impegnativo, vengono citati moltissimi pittori ed altrettanti quadri, a volte si sente la necessità di una guida. Molto consigliato, una lettura che offre spunti e, a tratti, assume le caratteristiche del saggio. Storia sempre ben contestualizzata con continui rimandi al periodo storico di fine '800.
Dec 16, 2016 Justine rated it really liked it
My fourth Stone biography, I enjoyed it but did not fall in love with the characters as I had Michelangelo, Van Gogh and especially the relationship of the Adams. I did not fully engage with any character in this book but found it thoroughly readable with quite a few pieces of info/gossip I had either forgotten or never known.
A marvelous book of Camille Pissaro's young life starts when he arrives in Paris. He grows into himself with his love for not only his passion for art, but the Love of his life. He is a man of great interest and is known as "the Father of Impressionism". The author Irving Stone did his research & wrote an informative and compelling life story!
May 28, 2012 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Since I love the Impressionists, this is a wonderful account of the lives of so many artists whose lives intersected as they were devoted to their art, and mostly struggling. Pisarro had a relatively long life for that period, so his life spanned the great transitions in the art world at that incredible time in art history!
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In 1923, Stone received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. In the 1960s, Stone received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Southern California, where he had previously earned a Masters Degree from the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.

When at home, Stone relied upon the research facilities and expertise made available to him by Esther Euler
More about Irving Stone...

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