The Chronicle of Impressionism: An Intimate Diary of the Lives and World of the Great Artists

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9780500282144: The Chronicle of Impressionism: An Intimate Diary of the Lives and World of the Great Artists

When Monet falls and injures his leg, young Frederic Bazille entertains the sufferer by painting his portrait in bed; when Monet is penniless and his mistress pregnant, Bazille buys a painting out of charity. But Bazille dies in the Franco-Prussian War, while Monet lives on to become a great master and to enjoy a productive and prosperous old age lasting well into the twentieth century. This story, which stretches from the 1860s to the 1920s, is just one of a vast number of intriguing narratives that weave through this unique diary of the Impressionist movement. From the rise of Manet as the most controversial artist of the mid-nineteenth century to the record-breaking prices achieved at auction in the late twentieth century, the most important artistic events, exhibitions, and sales are chronicled, as are the artists' personal lives: their relationships, children, allegiances, political activities, passions, obsessions, hatreds, and quarrels. Carefully selected extracts from the artists' private letters and diaries, and from reviews and studies, allow the reader to hear the voices and opinions of the time. Contemporary historical events--political, economic, social, and cultural--are recorded in parallel with the artistic developments. A huge number of images of all kinds--paintings and drawings, photographs, posters, book jackets, letters, and even caricatures--reveal the splendor of the great masterpieces and the reality of the world in which they were created. The Chronicle of Impressionism is a complete record of the artists and their times, tracing the story of Impressionism as it unfolds. This is the one indispensable guide to the movement that, more than any other, has shaped the path of modern painting. Over 400 illustrations, 203 in color.

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About the Author:

Bernard Denvir, art historian and writer, was head of the Department of Art History at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design. His other books include The Impressionists at First Hand and Post-Impressionism in the World of Art series.

Review:

A richly detailed sourcebook captures the cultural and political atmosphere in which Impressionism flourished. -- The Reader's Catalog

Denvir's book is an intriguing potpourri, its juxtapositions of events often surprising. -- Times Literary Supplement

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Bernard Denvir
Published by Thames & Hudson (2000)
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