The Life and Art of Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917): The Achievement of an American Artist

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This monograph is one of the few studies of Ryder's work. It offers an overview of Ryder's painting that recovers his roots in romantic theory and practice while making it clear how his version of romanticism required a particular kind of abstraction that makes him a pioneer of modernism. No other study offers so sustained an argument for Ryder's originality and importance.


“This study is a work of enormous learning and panache. It combines close reading with highly sophisticated analysis of context and motive…Never before has so compelling a case been made for a major artist whose practice was so entirely rooted in a repudiation of ‘mature’ conventions, from correct perspective and proportion to proper finish…”-Prof. Robert Boyers, Skidmore College

"This book has very little in common with the thesis-ridden, analytic distance so common in contemporary academic writing. Pops offers a testimonial. Moved to know everything available about Ryder, he has devoted himself to explaining how and why Ryder matters for modern art and modern writing. And he has accomplished that task remarkably well."”-Prof. Charles Altieri, University of California, Berkeley

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert Boyers



Chapter 1 The Birth and Death of the Artist
"Paragraphs from the Studio of a Recluse":
Interview with Albert P. Ryder
From Pegasus or The Poet on Pegasus Entering the Realm of the Muses to Macbeth and the Witches
From Passing Song to Pegasus Departing

Chapter 2 New York in the Gilded Age: The Ryder Report
Gilded Cage and Genteel Values
Eating Food and Making Art
Centric and Eccentric
Life in the Unreal City

Chapter 3 The Marines
Non-Narrative Marines: From The Toilers of the Sea to The Waste of Waters Is Their Field
Moonlight Marine
Marine to Moonrise, Marine
Narrative Marines: The Flying Dutchman
Lord Ullin 's Daughter
An Excursus on Some Clouds in Ryder
The Tempest

Chapter 4 Painter the Age Demanded
Roger Fry and Clive Bell as Modernist Critics; Fry on Rider
Ryder and Melville
Ryder in the Twentieth Century

Appendix I Homage to Ryder in Literature and Portraiture
Appendix 2 Roger Fry and "The Art of Albert P. Ryder"
Appendix 3 Representation and Abstraction in Three Later Landscapes
Appendix 4 Ryder and Forgery: A Resume





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