Courage Impressionists

Courage Impressionists

by Steven Adams

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this fresh, enlightening group portrait of the impressionist circle, University of London art historian Adams views their art in the context of the social and cultural transformation France underwent in the second half of the 19th century. Baron Georges Haussmann's radical rebuilding of Paris made the ``city of light and space'' a laboratory of accessible social observation for the impressionist painters. Far from being isolated figures, they had strong links with writers, were steeped in the music of their time and were deeply affected by the Franco-Prussian War, the Prussian occupation and the swift collapse of Napoleon III. What was revolutionary about their art, contends Adams, was not so much its technique or content as the unshackled artist's changed relationship to society. This handsomely illustrated survey ends with a gazeteer that uses color photographs and maps to document the impressionists' extant studios and the sites they painted. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The main text of this book provides a fairly standard history of Impressionism, although it is marred by a number of glaring editorial errors. The special inserts or ``Features'' in each chapter help raise the book above the ordinary by focusing on various social influences on the artists, such as ``The Changing Face of Paris,'' ``Japan and the Impressionists,'' ``The Impressionists and Entertainment,'' etc. The many contemporary photographs used in these sections are of great interest, but the inserts interrupt the main text so frequently that they become rather annoying. A unique feature is the ``Gazeteer of Impressionism,'' which is designed to help today's tourist locate the haunts and painting sites of the Impressionists and is illustrated with contemporary and modern photographs of the locales. Lack of footnotes and bibliography limit the book's usefulness. Most readers would be better served by Robert L. Herbert's Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society ( LJ 10/15/88).-- Lynell A. Morr, John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art Lib., Sarasota, Fla.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
YA-- A lavishly illustrated, large-format addition to the growing body of literature on the French Impressionist painters of the middle and late 19th century. However, this book has a unique difference, as it explores not only the styles, techniques, and subjects of the artists themselves--Monet, Renoir, Manet, Degas, etc.--but also the close relationship of them and their art to the whole cultural and sociopolitical milieu in which they worked. Explained are the connections between Impressionist art and politics, music, architecture, literature, the cabarets, and the opera. The book also features a gazetteer of the towns and regions of France that were painted, illustrated with current photographs. A wonderfully written and illustrated source book for YA students not only of art but also of French and European history and culture.--Richard Lisker, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

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