IN THE BLAZING LIGHT by Max White
Kirkus Star

IN THE BLAZING LIGHT

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1940 Max White published a novel, Tiger, Tiger, an extraordinary novel about a modern painter which made painting come alive. But it failed to catch the imagination of the public and did not sell as it deserved to sell. Now -- five years later -- he offers another full-length portrait of an artist, this time an artist out of the past, Spain's Francisco Goya who battled the Church's terrorizing Inquisition and the Court's slavish acceptance of foreign schools of art. Goya lived during the pre-Napoleonic era, characterized by the shoddy grandeur of baroque Venice and the Versailles of Louis XVI. An enigma, he courted fame in society that represented all he hated in life and art. Here is a record of forty years of intrigue, bribery, blackmail, against a backdrop of unscrupulous men, terrorized, poverty-stricken masses, an immoral Court, a depraved Holy Office. Through the women in his life, Goya achieved honors and privileges of royal patronage. He married the Court painter's sister; he wooed the beautiful young unknown; he was offered a strange pact by the Duchess of Osuna; and throughout his career, the tormenting love of his life was the Duchess of Alba. Then there is the other Goya, the peasant's son, who abandoned his royal commissions to express true Spanish art in his etchings, who numbered strange people among his friends. White's background is rich, authentic -- his protagonist stands out in full color, a determined sometimes confused man who grew to live in the blazing light of his own genius. An imaginative, full-bodied, fast-paced biographical novel -- for those who liked Frances Winwar's Life of the Heart and Irving Stone's Lust for Life.

Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 1945
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce