Synopses & Reviews
Painting with light and color
On April 15th, 1874, in the Parisian studio of photographer Nadar, was the opening of the first group exhibition that was uninhibited by government interference and the dictates of an official selection committee. This date has gone down in the annals of art history because it marks the birth of the Impressionism
. Impressionistic paintings now rank among the most popular works of art and are the pride of any museum or collection worldwide. However, in 1874 the public response to the exhibition, and to Impressionist painting, was not adoration but rather shock and even outrage. The Impressionists and the succeeding Neo-Impressionists were avant-gardist and revolutionary, paving the way for modern art. Present-day viewers, hardly realizing this revolutionary potential, can be content to enjoy the aesthetic of light and color.
Artists featured in detail: Frederic Bazille, Marie Braquemond, Gustave Caillebotte, Mary Cassat, Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh, Armand Guillaumin, Max Liebermann, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Guiseppe de Nittis, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Medardo Rosso, Giovanni Segantini, John Singer Sargent, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Walter Richard Sickert, Alfred Sisley, Max Slevogt, Fritz von Uhde, Federico Zandomeneghi About the Series:
Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Genre Series features:
- a detailed illustrated introduction plus a timeline of the most important political, cultural and social events that took place during that period
- a selection of the most important works of the epoch, each of which is presented on a 2-page spread with a full-page image and with an interpretation of the respective work, plus a portrait and brief biography of the artist
- approximately 100 colour illustrations with explanatory captions
This monograph covers the full scope of Impressionist painting. It outlines the history of Impressionism in France, addressing not only the work of the acknowledged masters, but also that of such unjustly neglected artists as Frédéric Bazille, Gustave Caillebotte, Berthe Morisot or Lucien Pissarro. The monograph also examines the Impressionist movements that emerged in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, Eastern and South-East Europe, Italy, Spain, Britain and North America. A 64-page "Directory of Impressionism" is appended, containing bibliographies, portraits and biographical data on all 236 artists.
Along with Turner, no artist has sought more than Claude Monet (1840-1926) to capture light itself on canvas. Of all the Impressionists, it was the man Cézanne called "only an eye, but my God what an eye!" who stayed completely true to the principle of absolute fidelity to the visual sensation, painting directly from the object.
It could be said that Monet reinvented the possibilities of colour, and whether it was through his early interest in Japanese prints, his time in the dazzling light of Algeria as a conscript, or his personal acquaintance with the major painters of the late 1800s, what Monet produced throughout his long life would change forever the way we perceive both the natural world and its attendant phenomena. The high point of his explorations were the late series of waterlilies, painted in his own garden at Giverny, that, in their moves towards almost total formlessness, are really the origin of abstract art.
This biography does full justice to this most remarkable and profoundly influential of artists, and offers numerous reproductions and archive photos alongside a detailed and insightful commentary.
About the Author
Berlin-based Karin H. Grimme works as a historian, art historian, and author for museums, exhibitions, and media, focusing on the history of the 19th and 20th centuries and in particular on the history of the Jews in Europe. She is the author of numerous journalistic and academic publications in the press, in broadcasting, and in the multimedia sphere; as author and editor she has produced works on, among other things, the Jewish bourgeoisie in the 19th century.Norbert Wolf graduated in art history, linguistics and medieval studies at the universities of Regensburg and Munich, and earned his PhD in 1983. He held visiting professorships in Marburg, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Nuremberg-Erlangen, and Innsbruck. His extensive writings on art history include many TASCHEN titles, such as Diego Velázquez, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Caspar David Friedrich, Expressionism, Romanesque, Landscape Painting and Symbolism.