Listen free for 30 days

Listen with offer

  • Keeping an Eye Open

  • Essays on Art
  • By: Julian Barnes
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
Keeping an Eye Open cover art

Keeping an Eye Open

By: Julian Barnes
Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £12.99

Buy Now for £12.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Listeners also enjoyed...

Arthur & George cover art
Levels of Life cover art
Through the Window cover art
The Lemon Table cover art
Talking It Over cover art
Francis Bacon in Your Blood cover art
Tom and Jack cover art
Where the Stress Falls cover art
David Lynch cover art
The Lives of Lucian Freud cover art
Ninth Street Women cover art
Modern Nature cover art
Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World cover art
How to See cover art
Shaking a Leg cover art
Philip Larkin cover art

Summary

The updated edition of Julian Barnes’ best-loved writing on art, with seven new exquisite illustrated essays.

‘Flaubert believed that it was impossible to explain one art form in terms of another, and that great paintings required no words of explanation. Braque thought the ideal state would be reached when we said nothing at all in front of a painting. But we are very far from reaching that state. We remain incorrigibly verbal creatures who love to explain things, to form opinions, to argue... It is a rare picture which stuns, or argues, us into silence. And if one does, it is only a short time before we want to explain and understand the very silence into which we have been plunged.’

Julian Barnes began writing about art with a chapter on Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa in his 1989 novel A History of the World in 10½ Chapters. Since then he has written a series of remarkable essays, chiefly about French artists, which trace the story of how art made its way from Romanticism to Realism and into Modernism.

Keeping an Eye Open contains Barnes’ essays on Géricault, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Morisot, Fantin-Latour, Cézanne, Degas, Cassatt, Redon, Van Gogh, the legendary critic Huysmans, Bonnard, Vuillard, Vallotton, Braque, Magritte, Oldenburg, Howard Hodgkin and Lucian Freud. It also offers new perspectives on the fruitful relationship between writers and artists, and on the rivalry among Russian collectors of French art in the late 19th century.

©2015 Julian Barnes (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Keeping an Eye Open

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

fascinating introduction to art history

I loved it, great personal stories about the personality of the artists behind great paintings!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

enjoyable

Andrew Wincott's voice is soothing and mellifluos and you do get the feeling you are listening to julian barnes talking about art .
I'm not keen on the french accent he uses when he quotes the critics and writers from the past . also the artists. There is a danger of making them all sound like inspector cluseau. A bit exaggerated. I suppose this is the actor performing.
Mainly though it is julian barnes ruminating, talking about art and artists and andrew Wincott's voice is good for that.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Essays

Spoilt by excessive use of French accent by the narrator. ... ... ... ...

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Hackneyed Accents

Sadly I was disappointed to discover that there was no mention of the life of Van Clomp and his masterpiece The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies. Despite the comedy French accents rolled out at every opportunity it was an interesting listen if somewhat narrow in scope.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth listening to more than once

And of course, it's also advisable to be able to see the artworks under discussion while listening. I, for one, loved the "French" accent. I cannot see why art has to be discussed in a deadly serious and po-faced tone. Will definitely revisit this audiobook again.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

'allo 'allo

where did they find the narrator? I don't need quotes to be read in a cheesy French accent, just because the person who said it was French...

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

12 people found this helpful