Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Heads glowing and revelatory biographical novel chronicles the life of Howard Chandler Christy, a talented painter of celebrities, dignitaries, and beautiful women, whose models were known as Christy Girls. Born in an Ohio log cabin in 1872, Christys talent was apparent from a very young age; at 18 he went to New York to study at the Art Students League, where he was singled out as brilliant by his teachers. Christy was a magazine illustrator in his early 20s, followed by a stint as a sketch artist in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Back in New York, Christy became a well-paid illustrator, then shot to fame with his Christy Girl portraits and large-scale historical murals. His famous painting of the signing of the Constitution hangs in the U.S. Capitol. Christys second wife, Nancy, was his model and muse until his death in 1952; the narrative is mostly from her perspective and from reminiscences or writings ascribed to her. Abundant anecdotes provide insight into Christys personality, life with Nancy, and philosophical musings. Head emphasizes that Christys lifelong obsession with beautiful women, the romanticized, statuesque goddess, was as much about inner beauty as physical perfection. (BookLife)