The Impressionists: A Retrospective

ISBN 13: 9780883639726

The Impressionists: A Retrospective

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9780883639726: The Impressionists: A Retrospective
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A group of young artists in 1874, in opposition to the established authority of the Salon and the Academy, decided to show their work directly to the public in an exhibition which they organized themselves. The artist forming the core of this group - Pissarro, Degas, Sisley, Cazanne, Monet, Renoir and Moriset - came to be known as "the Impressionists." Seen to be following the independent spirit of Manet, they were immediately identified as the Avant-garde and their first exhibition became an historic landmark in the development of modern art.

We now tend to see the landscapes of Impressionist paintings as perfect images of nature. It is easy to overlook their startling and fragmented appearance at the time they were painted. The documents in this book show how the paintings looked to contemporary eyes: to both the critics and the artists. Some of the criticism these paintings received is almost as famous as the works themselves, and several important documents appear here in English translation for the first time.

The book tells the story of the personal struggles, debates, problems and solutions involved in a new way of painting that quickly led in unforeseen directions and took enormous risks with the traditional means of representing the world in art. These experiences are revealed in the letters and recorded comments of the artists themselves, and in the writings of friends and contemporary critics, many of whom, such as Baudelaire, Zola, Valery, Mallarme, Huysman, Laforgue and Mirbeau, were also novelists and poets.

The continuing interpretation of Impressionism within the changing art and art criticism of the twentieth century is examined through the writings of artists suah as Leger, Kandinsky, Masson, Matisse and Hofmann as well as recent critics, philosophers and art historians including Meyer Schapiro, Gaston Bachelard, Clement Greeneberg and Lawrence Gowing.

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From Library Journal:

Another big book on Impressionism? Why not--even art book publishing has been going through some rough economic patches lately. This new tome is a "safe" work, with lots of handsome color plates of popular works by the mainstream Impressionists and a compilation of contemporary commentary by notable artists and critics. The comments and criticism are nicely arrayed in a chronological log of the triumphs and despairs encountered by the Impressionist artists. There are even a few previously untranslated documents offered up for the first time. Do not expect any revisionist summations or variations on the enduringly fascinating story of Impressionism; this book is meant to stand on the strength of its survey overview of the art movement as a whole. In many ways, it is really most effective as a gift book for the enthusiast. However, its virtues of plate and text make it a useful acquisition for large public and undergraduate libraries, although many may get by with Diane Kelder's The Great Book of French Impressionism ( LJ 1/1/81) if they already have it in their collections.
- Paula A. Baxter, NYPL
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

To critic Kenneth Clark, French impressionist painting was essentially paganism with a touch of magic. For Meyer Schapiro, the impressionists were prophets groping to reestablish the pervasive human sociability that capitalism had destroyed. How Zola, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Van Gogh, Kandinsky and modern critics have viewed the impressionists and how these renegade painters saw themselves is the subject of this stunning volume, which opens one's eyes anew to impressionism's fresh glimpse of the world. This documentary chronicle splices color plates with letters, journal entries, reviews and essays by or about the artists. The juxtapositions are often fruitful: for example, surrealist poet Andre Masson's critique of Monet ("the limpid eye,the Raphael of the waters") alongside Water-Lilies at Twilight. A light, feathery Berthe Morisot watercolor and Degas' powerful David and Goliath hold up well in the company of more familiar masterpieces. Kapos teaches at London's Chelsea School of Art.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780883637913: The Impressionists: A Retrospective

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ISBN 10:  088363791X ISBN 13:  9780883637913
Publisher: Hugh Lauter Levin Assc, 1991
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