Periods, Groups & Movements: French Impressionism
(also see Bonnard, Degas, Manet, Morisot)
The Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe – Paperback: 368 pages; Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (Oct 23, 2007)

Though they were often ridiculed or ignored by their contemporaries, today astonishing sums are paid for their paintings. Their dazzling works are familiar to even the most casual art lovers—but how well does the world know the Impressionists as people? Sue Roe's colorful, lively, poignant, and superbly researched biography, The Private Lives of the Impressionists, follows an extraordinary group of artists into their Paris studios, down the rural lanes of Montmartre, and into the rowdy riverside bars.

Women in Impressionism: From Mythical Feminine to Modern Woman by Susan Strauber, Therese Dolan, John House, Ruth Iskin, Sidsel Maria Søndergaard – Hardcover: 288 pages; Skira (Jan 16, 2007)

The women in Impressionist painting represent the full spectrum of faces of the 19th-century woman, from elite portraiture to working class scenes. Women and Impressionism examines the avant-garde position of the Impressionists, whose paintings depicted a series of conceptual and historical shifts by depicting traditional, visual schemes with added new meanings, contributing visually to the breakthrough of the modern. The concept of "the new woman" came into existence in this confrontation of conflicting interests.

Women and Impressionism begins with an examination of two works by Manet—La Maîtresse de Baudelaire couchée, 1862, and Portrait de Zacharie Astruc, 1866. The volume then traces the representation of women as it manifested in the work of the Impressionists in the 1870s and the early 1880s. The exhibition catalog includes a number of works from the New York Carlsberg Glyptotek collection as well as from prestigious international private and public institutions.

The Impressionists at Argenteuil by Paul Hayes Tucker – Hardcover: 224 pages; National Gallery Washington (May 2000)

The Great Book of French Impressionism by Diane Kelder – Hardcover: 400 pages; Artabras, 2nd edition 1997

Updated in a useful format, the revised edition of the most popular volume on French Impressionism celebrates the richness and exuberance of the Impressionists' world. Kelder's thoughtful, cogent text is interwoven with anecdotes and excerpts from contemporary essays and letters which examine in detail the lives and works of all the major Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including Monet, Degas, Renoir, Manet, and Cezanne. 400 illustrations, 229 in color.

Boudin to Dufy: Impressionist and Other Masters from the Musees Des Beaux-Arts, Le Havre by Musee Des Beaux-Arts Du Havre, Margot Heller, Tim Wilcox – Hardcover: 80 pages; Scolar Press, 1995

The channel port of Le Havre played a key role in the development of Impressionist painting. It was there that Monet painted Impression, sunrise, the work that gave the movement its name. Many other artists of the period were associated with the town, from Monet's teacher Boudin to the colourful and exuberant favourite of a younger generation, Raoul Dufy.

Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era by Hollis Clayson – Hardcover: 202 pages; Yale University Press, 1992

In this engrossing book, Hollis Clayson provides the first description and analysis of French artistic interest in women prostitutes, examining how the subject was treated in the art of the 1870s and 1880s by such avant-garde painters as Cezanne, Degas, Manet, and Renoir, as well as by the academic and low-brow painters who were their contemporaries.

Clayson not only illuminates the imagery of prostitution—with its contradictory connotations of disgust and fascination—but also tackles the issues and problems relevant to women and men in a patriarchal society. She discusses the conspicuous sexual commerce during this era and the resulting public panic about the deterioration of social life and civilized mores. She describes the system that evolved out of regulating prostitutes and the subsequent rise of clandestine prostitutes who escaped police regulation and who were condemned both for blurring social boundaries and for spreading sexual licentiousness among their moral and social superiors. Clayson argues that the subject of covert prostitution was especially attractive to vanguard painters because it exemplified the commercialization and the ambiguity of modern life.

This is a reprint of the book first published by Yale University Press in 1991.

Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society by Robert L. Herbert – Paperback: 312 pages; Yale University Press; 2nd ptg edition (Jul 24, 1991)

Sumptuously illustrated with many of the most beautiful Impressionist images, this book presents provocative new interpretations of a wide range of famous masterpieces, showing how they were fully integrated into the social and cultural life of the times.

In the Gardens of Impressionism by Clare A.P. Willsdon – Hardcover: 288 pages; Vendome Press (Nov 2, 2004)

From Manet's earliest depictions of the Tuileries Gardens in Paris to Monet's late waterlilies painted at Giverny, the Impressionists had an ongoing love affair with gardens. As places of rest, relaxation, and beauty, gardens were the Impressionist subject par excellence. This beautifully illustrated volume is the first consideration of this beloved theme in the Impressionists' work.

Here the artists' fascination with gardens, parks, and flowers is explored in the context of the contemporary craze for horticulture and the changing political and cultural landscape in France. Drawing on archival sources such as horticultural journals as well as literature, poetry, and correspondence, the book describes how gardens, simultaneously "modern" and imbued with nostalgia, were central to the Impressionists' discovery of their distinctive plein-air (out-of-doors) style. At the same time, by bringing to life the 19th-century tradition of floral symbolism and exploring how it infiltrated the work of key Impressionists, the book gives familiar works radical new interpretations. This vital contribution to our understanding of the Impressionist world is sure to delight art and gardening enthusiasts alike.

Impressionism An Intimate View: Small French Paintings In The National Gallery Of Art by Philip Conisbee (Foreword), Florence E. Coman – Hardcover: 80 pages; Giles (Oct 30, 2004)

The author shows how the painting of earlier realist and landscape artists such as Corot, Rousseau, Boudin and Manet was absorbed into the small-scale impressionist works of an emerging generation of aspiring artists that included Monet, Renoir, Morisot and Pissarro. This highlights the second important feature of impressionism – its central role within the development of later nineteenth-century French and European modern art.

The Impressionists' Table: A Celebration of Regional French Food Through the Palettes of the Great Impressionists by Pamela Todd, Laurie Evans – Hardcover: 192 pages; Chrysalis Books (Apr 10, 1997)

In a legacy of canvases rich in carefree conviviality, the work of the Impressionists bears witness to an insatiable appetite for life, food, and friendship. Eating and drinking have always been at the heart of French culture, and the luminous paintings of artists such as Renoir, Degas, Manet, Monet, Czanne, and Pissarro record the minutiae of caf and domestic life, from exquisite still lifes to a table laid beguilingly for an open-air lunch. In The Impressionists' Table, Pamela Todd has gathered100 timeless, traditional French recipes: Lamb and Artichokes, Grilled Sea Bass with Butter Sauce, Provenal Beef Stew, Tarte Tatin. Lavishly illustrated in color with paintings by all the great artists, as well as enticing photos of the dishes themselves, this sumptuous volume links the world's most sophisticated cuisine with its best-loved artists.

Early Impressionism and the French State (1866-1874) by Jane Mayo Roos – Paperback: 320 pages; Cambridge University Press; New edition (Feb 13, 2000)

Early Impressionism and the French State explores the reception of modernist painting in the years that preceded the Impressionist exhibition of 1874. Opening with an extensive analysis of the ministry of fine arts and the politics of the Salon, the study considers the Salon experiences of Courbet, Manet, and the group that became known as the Impressionists: Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Morisot, Cézanne, and Bazille. This book also examines how art was politicized during the Second Empire and the impact that this had on the interpretation of early Impressionist works.

Great French Paintings from the Barnes Foundation: Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Early Modern by Richard J. Wittenmaker, Anne Distel, Dr. Albert C. Barnes – Hardcover: 318 pages; Alfred A. Knopf; 1st edition (Apr 27, 1993)

Here at last—reproduced in color for the first time ever—are more than 100 major landmarks of European painting from the superb collection of The Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania. These paintings are the crown jewels of the extraordinary collection assembled in the early twentieth century by Dr. Albert C. Barnes, the bold and original collector who established the Foundation in 1922 as a school for the study of art and philosophy. Now, after six decades of limited access to visitors and a ban on color reproduction, the Barnes Foundation welcomes a wider audience through the publication of this magnificent volume. Manet, Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rousseau, Soutine, La Fresnaye, Modigliani, Picasso, Braque, and Matisse—the list of artists gives only a hint of the splendors this book contains. 323 illustrations, 154 in full color.

Impressionists on the Seine Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
Jun 6, 2000
30 minutes

Jacqueline Bisset narrates this PBS-produced history of the Impressionist art movement, born long the Seine in 1870s Paris and exemplified by such masterpieces as Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party." Impressionists on the Seine captures the beauty and moods of life along the River Seine in the 1870s. Archival photos and over 45 masterpieces by celebrated French Impressionists re-create the intense period (1869-1881) when these painters established a new course for Western art. The works of Renoir, Monet, Manet, Sisley, Pissarro, Morisot, and Caillebotte are discussed by historians and the experts who organized The Phillips Collection exhibit on which this program is based.

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