Category Archives: secret lives

Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Mar 8-15.

March 8: A perennial source of conflict between the Hoppers was their car. Edward often forbade Jo to get behind the wheel, which she saw as just one more example of his innate selfishness. Maybe. Or maybe she was a … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Mar 1-7.

March 1: After an 1872-73 trip to New Orleans, Edgar Degas returned to find his friends Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, and Morisot deep in discussions about breaking away from the state-sponsored Salon. Degas immediately threw in his lot with the … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Feb 23-28.

February 23: “Drunk at 20, wrecked at 30, dead at 40,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote in his notebooks, in one of his occasional impious attempts at concise autobiography. He wasn’t too far off. Dead at age 44, Fitzgerald spend … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Feb 16-22.

February 16: After the first flush of excitement, artists quickly found themselves split over the “correct” Cubist approach. Synthetic Cubists quarreled with Analytic Cubists, collage-creating Cubists fought with paint-only Cubists, and Diego Rivera developed theories about the fourth dimension that, … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Feb 10-15.

February 10: “Art should be independent of all clap-trap — should stand alone and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism, and the like.” … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Feb 5-9.

February 5: A flop as a lawyer, Franz Kafka tried his hand at insurance. He took a job as claims manager at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute of Bohemia, but the hours were brutal and the conditions stultifying. He spent … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Feb 1-4.

February 1: The young Michelangelo Buonarroti was a bit of a jerk who delighted in mocking the drawing skills of his peers. He bore the scars of one particularly merciless teasing his whole life. The artist Pietro Torrigiano recalled the … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Jan 26-31.

January 26: In the 1960s, as M.C. Escher’s popularity was growing, Mick Jagger decided it would be a great idea to have the artist design the cover of the next Rolling Stones album. The rock-and-roller wrote a letter that began, … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Jan 19-25.

January 19: Poor Venus. The beauty of her face in The Birth of Venus manages to distract us from her disproportioned body. the figure lacks shoulder blades or a sternum, and her left arm hangs strangely from her side. The … Continue reading

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Secret Lives of Great Authors & Artists, Jan 15-18.

January 15: What was fueling Honoré de Balzac’s prolific literary output? Why, the same thing that helps millions of Americans brace for those interminable nine-o’clock meetings: good old-fashioned high-octane java. The strung-out Frenchman drank up to fifty cups of thick, … Continue reading

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