Impressionist: Masterpieces in American Museums

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9780883631560: Impressionist: Masterpieces in American Museums
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Born in mid-19th century France as a movement in direct opposition to the academic directives of the Paris Salon, Impressionism appealed immediately to the pioneering taste of American collectors. The subsequent generosity of these early collectors has made museums in the United States extraordinarily rich with many of the finest examples of this most popular style of painting. The forty-eight full-color illustrations in Impressionist Masterpieces in American Museums vividly exemplify the diversity and richness of Impressionist painting from the late 1860s through the beginning of the twentieth century. Commentary accompanying each illustration explores the historic and artistic roots of this revolutionary movement; an introductory essay examines the world of the first American collectors.
In 1874, a group of painters, frustrated by their rejection from the official Paris Salon exhibitions, banded together to show their works independently. Drawing upon subjects from modern life, without ennobling them, and painting them in a manner that appeared direct and spontaneous, these innovative artists including Claude Monet, Eugene Boudin, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, Berthe Morisot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley, pointedly challenged official art and ultimately changed traditional conventions and standard expectations of painting itself. The group - all represented in this book - came to be known as the Impressionists.
Although easily recognizable, Impressionism is not a single style, but rather a diverse approach to representation. Even among the artists who first exhibited together in 1874, there was a remarkable variety of styles, with each painter working in a distinct and individual mode. From Monet's early landscapes of the 1860s to his series paintings of the 1890s; from Cezanne's bathers from the 1870s to Renoir's figure paintings of the 1880s, from Degas's depictions of modern life during the 1860s to Seurat's development of neo-impressionism, together they show the quality, scope, and magnificence of Impressionist masterpieces in American museums including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Washington's National Gallery, the Chicago Art Institute, and many others.

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About the Author:

Robert Boardingham is the assistant curator of European paintings at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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In 1874, a group of painters, frustrated by their rejection from the official Paris Salon exhibitions, banded together to show their works independently. Drawing upon subjects from modern life, without ennobling them, and by painting them in a manner that appeared direct and spontaneous, these innovative artists (including Claude Monet, Eugene Boudin, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, Berthe Morisot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissaro, and Alfred Sisley) pointedly challenged official art and ultimately changed traditional conventions and standard expectations of painting itself. The stunning images offered in Impressionist Masterpieces In American Museums provide visual reinforcement for the continued popularity of French Impressionist painting. Together they show the quality, scope, and magnificence of Impressionist Masterpieces In American Museums including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Metropolitan Museum in New York, Washington's National Gallery, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and many others. The 48 full-color illustrations in Impressionist Masterpieces In American Museums vividly exemplify the diversity and richness of Impressionist painting from the late 1860s through the beginning of the twentieth century. An introductory essay and insightful commentary accompany each of the 48 color plates exploring the historic and artistic roots of a revolutionary art movement. Impressionist Masterpieces In American Museums is an astonishing tour-de-force that would grace any private or public art book library. -- Midwest Book Review

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