A comprehensive, accessible, and richly illustrated guide to impressionism—the perennially popular artistic movement that led to the radical renewal of Western art.
Monet, Renoir, Degas, Rodin, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and the other Impressionist artists burst onto the art scene in the second half of the nineteenth century, creating shock waves with their rebellious rejection of the academy’s strict rules dictating subject matter, style, and even color. Their art, labeled impressionism, coincided with the Industrial Revolution, when the world was suddenly jettisoned into modernity. The young artists who gave rise to the movement confronted public disdain and oppression in Europe, but were applauded overseas for their radically contemporary aesthetic.
This complete and accessible guide renews and refreshes conventional views on impressionism by placing this seminal moment in art in its historical context. Emblematic masterpieces are examined with a focus on each detail, allowing a deeper understanding and appreciation of the artworks. Biographies of all the major artists of the movement provide insight about their life and significant works, and period photographs illustrate this incredibly rich and exciting time in art history. Organized thematically, the guide includes chapters on photography, fashion, female impressionists, exhibitions, galleries and dealers, writers, the movement’s influence on later artists, and recurrent impressionist themes including leisure activities, the garden, the city, and industry. Replete with illustrations and numerous firsthand accounts and quotations, this book recounts a story of emancipation.