Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting

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This book examines the encounter between Impressionist painting and Parisian consumer culture. Its analysis of Impressionist paintings depicting women as consumers, producers, or sellers in sites such as the millinery boutique, theater, opera, café-concert and market revises our understanding of the representation of women in Impressionist painting, from women¹s exclusion from modernity to their inclusion in its public spaces, and from the privileging of the male gaze to a plurality of gazes. Ruth E. Iskin demonstrates that Impressionist painting addresses and represents women in active roles, and not only as objects on display, and probes the complex relationship between the Parisienne, French fashion, and national identity. She analyzes Impressionist representations of commodity displays and of signs of consumer culture such as advertising and shop fronts in views of Paris. Incorporating a wide range of nineteenth-century literary and visual sources, Iskin situates Impressionist painting in the culture of consumption and suggests new ways of understanding the art and culture of nineteenth-century Paris. Ruth E. Iskin holds a PhD from UCLA. She has received the Andrew W. Mellon fellowship at the Penn Humanities Forum. Her publications include essays in The Art Bulletin, Discourse, and Nineteenth-Century Contexts. She teaches art history and visual culture at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a wide-ranging, interesting and often original book. For specialist ‘consumers’ of nineteenth-century culture, this book is a compulsory purchase.”
–-Journal of European Studies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521840804
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 10.24 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth E. Iskin holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has received the Andrew W. Mellon fellowship at the Penn Humanities Forum. Her publications include essays in The Art Bulletin, Discourse and Nineteenth-Century Contexts. She teaches art history and visual culture at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Impressionism, consumer culture and modern women; 2. Selling, seduction, and soliciting the eye: Manet's Bar at the Folies-Bergère; 3. Degas's dazzling hat shops and artisanal atelier: consumers, milliners and saleswomen, 1882–1910; 4. Inconspicuous subversion: Parisian consumer culture in 1870s city views; 5. Nature and marketplace: Zola, Pissarro, and Caillebotte; 6. The chic Parisienne: a national brand of French fashion and femininity.
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