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This book is a pioneering reading of Impressionism from a feminist perspective by a noted art historian. Norma Broude analyzes the philosophical underpinnings of landscape painting in the late nineteenth century, discussing the critical misconceptions attached to Impressionism and, in particular, the work of Monet. She explores the theory of Romanticism and the historiography of Impressionism as well as scientific writings of the nineteenth century. The book challenges present art historical thinking, applying feminist critiques to the art, literature, and philosophy of the nineteenth century.
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Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard are professors of art history at the American University in Washington, D.C., and are leading scholars in the field of feminist art history. Broude is the author of The Macchiaioli: Italian Painters of the Nineteenth Century (1987), Impressionism, A Feminist Reading: The Gendering of Art, Science, and Nature in the Nineteenth Century (1991), and Georges Seurat (1992). Garrard has written articles and reviews on feminism and art history, Jacopo Sansovino, Michelangelo and Raphael, and Renaissance sculpture. She is the author of Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art (1989) and, with Broude, the coeditor of Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany (1982).From Publishers Weekly:
In its own day, impressionism was described as a "feminine" style of painting, admired or disliked for its fluid brushwork, its emotional, subjective engagement with nature. But male 20th-century critics, according to Broude, "regendered" impressionism as "masculine" by interpreting it as a cool, detached art of optical realism largely devoid of feeling or content. Broude, art historian at the American University in Washington, D.C., views the impressionists as the direct heirs to the romantics in their desire to communicate their emotional experience and in their rebellion against a scientific establishment that assumed a "masculine" mantle of objectivity and reason. A weakness in her argument is that she omits extended discussion of recent scholarship that puts impressionism in a social and political context. Nevertheless, this meticulously argued, resplendently illustrated study gives us a new way of looking at the impressionist enterprise.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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