Neo-Impressionism and the Search for Solid Ground: Art, Science, and Anarchism in Fin-de-Siecle France (Modernist Studies)

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9780807118238: Neo-Impressionism and the Search for Solid Ground: Art, Science, and Anarchism in Fin-de-Siecle France (Modernist Studies)
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Examines the theoretical bases and the social fabric that spawned French neo-impressionism, best represented by Seurat, Signac, Pissarro, Angrand, and Luce. Shows how they rejected the spontaneity of the impressionists to embrace scientific theories promulgated by anarchists Peter Kropotkin and Jean Grave, and how the movement broke up when their concern for social justice was supplanted by demands for more militant, didactic art. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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Hutton (art history, Trinity Univ.) has authored a "meaty" analysis of the theoretical and social bases of neo-Impressionism. An outgrowth of his dissertation (A Blow of the Pick: Science, Anarchism, and the Neo-Impressionist Movement, Northwestern Univ., 1987), it is clearly a work intended as scholarly in the best sense of the word. Not everyone, however, will agree with Hutton's thesis that the neo-Impressionist movement would never have happened had any one of the competing late 19th-century French social, political, and economic factors he addresses been significantly different. Hutton develops his thesis with analyses of the conflicting elements that marked a turbulent era in French history. Whether or not he reaches the "solid ground" he seeks remains open to debate. A fine bibliography includes both primary and secondary sources; the illustrations, which were not available for review, are incidental. Recommended for research-level art history collections (index not seen).
P. Steven Thomas, Sangamon State Univ., Springfield, Ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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