The Private Lives of the Impressionists

The Private Lives of the Impressionists

Book - 2006
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Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Renoir, Degas, Renoir, Sisley, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt - this title tells their story. It shows how the early leaders of the group first met in the Paris studios and lived and worked closely together for nearly 20 years."
Publisher: London : 2006
ISBN: 9780701175054
0701175052
Branch Call Number: ANF 759.054 ROE
Characteristics: viii, 356 p. : col. ill., maps ; 24 cm

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quagga Oct 29, 2009

The French artists who dared to paint in an entirely new way in the late nineteenth century were scorned by the arts establishment. Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Renoir, Degas, Morisot and others struggled to make a living through their art. Their work was rarely accepted into the yearly Paris Salon, the main venue for exhibition and sales in France.

The parts I enjoyed most in this rather dry and lengthy collective biography were the quotes from art critiques and cartoonists of the period. When one of Manet's portraits of Berthe Morisot, Repose, was displayed in the Salon, it was ridiculed with "derogatory captions that played on Manet's depictions of Berthe's darkness and disarray: A Lady Resting after Sweeping the Chimney; Seasickness; The Goddess of Slovenliness."

A small number of colour plates are bound into the book, which is helpful, but I found myself googling many more images that were not included. Roe portrayed all of the artists in their very best light, which seemed rather unrealistic to me, but I gleaned interesting information from this book and will look elsewhere for the down and dirty.

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