Samuel Morse and The Gallery of the Louvre: Background information when reading The Greater Journey

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The Greater Journey

Americans in Paris

by David McCullough

The Greater Journey
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  • First Published:
    May 2011, 576 pages
    May 2012, 752 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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Beyond the Book:
Samuel Morse and The Gallery of the Louvre

No review can do justice to the range of McCullough's book, the number of intriguing Americans he chronicles, or the important works they produced. Notable, memorable, and especially moving are McCullough's accounts of George Catlin, painter of Native Americans, and the group of Iowans who visited Paris with him; of P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb's triumphant visit; of Harriet Beecher Stowe's almost physical reaction to Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa in the Louvre; of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's rise from a poor apprentice to masterful creator of revolutionary sculptures; of John Singer Sargent's genius as a painter and the creation of his scandalous portrait of the alluring "Madame X".

Samuel Morse One of the most interesting figures among McCullough's gathering of geniuses is Samuel Morse, known to most Americans as the inventor of the telegraph and Morse code. McCullough covers the time in Morse's life in Paris when he strove to create "a particularly ambitious tour-de-force" - a painting he...

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