Sonia Coman reviews “Foreign Artists and Communities in Paris” in NCAW

“Outstanding in Hecker’s essay is her methodology. She presents Rosso’s struggle as it was revealed in his candid correspondence with his friend and sponsor, the Italian critic Felice Cameroni. This relationship allows Hecker to substantiate her argument and also sheds lights on how a powerful actor in the artist’s homeland can greatly affect his professional advancement in Paris. The Italian translator of Emile Zola, with whom he had a decades-long correspondence, Cameroni wrote letters of introduction for Rosso, who hoped to gain the confidence and support of both Zola and Auguste Rodin. As a cosmopolitan, Rosso had no fixed identity and felt at ease circulating among several communities. In this regard, Hecker’s discussion of Rosso is similar to the essay of Zoe Marie Jones, the last in the book, on Severini’s identity as a dandy. Perhaps at odds with the cosmopolitan attitude, Rosso dealt with a medium-conditioned field—the realm of sculpture—dominated by the overwhelming artistic and personal presence of Rodin.”

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