Impressionism: Beneath the Surface
The art of the Impressionists is beloved of experts and non-experts alike. Paul Smith reexamines this popular group of artists in light of recent scholarship on the social context of late nineteenth-century France. He begins with Edouard Manet, often seen as a forerunner of Impressionism: a sophisticated, detached, ironic observer of the social scene in Paris. He then examines various key artists of the Impressionist movement - Renoir, Degas, Morisot, Cassatt, Monet, Pissarro - to offer a lively reading of such topics as the role of women in Impressionism, the influence of industrialization, the invention of modern color theory, the social position of the artist, and the use of psychoanalytic theory in the understanding of art. The result is to make this very familiar art movement seem fresh and new. To conclude, he proposes Cezanne's art as the culmination of, and heir to, the Impressionist experiment.
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INTRODUCTION Defining Impressionism
ONE Manet Baudelaire and the Artist as Flaneur
TWO Impressionist Women and Women Impressionists
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