CHILDS Paul / SCHAFF Gabriel / SANTE Lucy / SALCHOW Isaac
livre en anglais
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François Tourte is a towering figure in bowmaking whose advances in the bow’s form arrived at “the modern bow”. For almost 250 years this bow remains unsurpassed both in terms of its use by the greatest stringed instrument players and its artistic creation – its beauty. This book shows him in the tumultuous times of late 18th century Paris where he lived and worked for much of his career on the rue du Chantre – just around the corner from various calamitous events leading up to and continuing after The Revolution, which commenced in 1789. Tourte’s lifespan was divided precisely in two by that chaotic but also glorious time. “The Rights of Man and of The Citizen” changed the lives of the French in large measure while Tourte continued his bowmaking, by the very early 1800s installed on the Quai de l’École where he enjoyed a view of the Pont Neuf from his 4th floor apartment. Lucy Sante describes the Paris of this time – not at all the glamorous metropolis we know today – and Parisians’ way of life then. This is essential for understanding the seemingly simple artisan as he gave expression to his ingenuity and creativity. Gabriel Schaff untangles the complex Tourte family background and provides an enlarged perspective on the oral histories associated with the Tourte family. The places of François Tourte’s children and extended family in his life and career are explored in detail. In describing Tourte’s bows and their evolution, Paul Childs presents Tourte as both an artist and a scientist in his domain, raising the bow to a status of enduring importance. Many fine bows are presented in photos and discussed. Isaac Salchow’s penetrating observations underscore the changes in Tourte’s working methods over time, presented in words and photography. Elements heretofore unknown are presented elegantly.