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Impressionism: Not Just Another Pretty Face

April 21st, 2013. That’s it. That’s the last day to see the spectacular show, Impressionism from Monet to Matisse, at the Columbia Museum of Art. More than a showing of rarely seen paintings from the period, this exhibit aims to give the viewer an appreciation of both the traditional and revolutionary ways artists of this time saw their world, painted it, related to art, and chose their subject matter. An important aspect of the show is to illustrate how Impressionist artists created a bridge between academic and modern art, with many artists of the period having a brush dipped into more than one artistic world. Therefore, many of the paintings are by artists who were combining a portion of the traditional and accumulated knowledge of art with the new ways of seeing composition, applying paint, and using color that are so characteristic of the purely Impressionistic period. These are artists who were relishing in, and whose work reflects, the political and societal changes, and scientific advancements of the day. The paintings show the exquisite effort of artists truly at work within the context of their times, looking back, looking forward, and trying to see and paint their world uniquely and beautifully.

The first thing I was aware of as I went through the show (the first time) was how well the show is organized and how nicely it is hung. The fifty five paintings, on loan from the permanent collection of the Dixon Gallery in Tennessee, are set against the rich and varied coloring of the exhibit walls and are divided somewhat by subject matter. There is a sheer joy for me in looking at paintings by artists who, while no doubt having lively discussions about art, never found it necessary to write a treatise to explain any work. The work is at first visual, and as a result, each piece speaks for itself. As with any good painting, however, there is much to explore beneath the surface. If you wish to saturate yourself with more knowledge of the art and artists of this period, consider checking out some items from the library’s collection.

Subject headings for books and DVDs:

Impressionism (Art)

Art, Modern – 19th century

Post-Impressionism (Art)


Amazon Says: An illustrated chronicle of the artists, paintings, exhibitions, and events that marked the Impressionist period includes documentary material on the period, as well as four more...
Amazon Says: An illustrated chronicle of the artists, paintings, exhibitions, and events that marked the Impressionist period includes documentary material on the period, as well as four hundred illustrations. By the author of The Impressionists at First Hand. less...
Amazon
The Post-Impressionists by Belinda Thomson
Amazon Says: In this survey and reappraisal of an era, many minor as well as major artists are discussed and illustrated. By concentrating on what the artists and contemporary critics did more...
Amazon Says: In this survey and reappraisal of an era, many minor as well as major artists are discussed and illustrated. By concentrating on what the artists and contemporary critics did and said, and by looking at what the artists painted, the author raises very sharply the question of whether the term "Post-Impressionist" has any meaning. But what matters, of course, is not the label, but the ever-changing reality and the richness of individual achievement. This edition features 180 illustrations, including 80 in colour. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: In this splendid sequel to The Great Book of French Impressionism, Diane Kelder chronicles the brilliant innovations of the artist who challenged and extended the triumphs of more...
Amazon Says: In this splendid sequel to The Great Book of French Impressionism, Diane Kelder chronicles the brilliant innovations of the artist who challenged and extended the triumphs of Impressionism. 413 illustrations, 236 in full color. less...
Amazon

Impressionism A&I by James Henry Rubin
Amazon Says: Celebrations of city streets, tranquil vistas of the countryside and seashore, enchanting images of the leisured classes in domestic interiors or at fashionable Parisian cafes more...
Amazon Says: Celebrations of city streets, tranquil vistas of the countryside and seashore, enchanting images of the leisured classes in domestic interiors or at fashionable Parisian cafes - the work of the Impressionists gives pleasure to art lovers everywhere. But while Impressionism today may appear natural and effortless, contemporaries were shocked by the loose handling of paint and the practice of painting out-of-doors. In defiance of the conservative official Salon, the Impressionists, led by Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas, sought to capture the immediacy of experience. This fascinating, comprehensive study brings together the most recent research on Impressionism. James Rubin makes accessible its philosophical, political and social context. As well as the acknowledged masters, our attention is drawn to lesser known but important Impressionists such as Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt and Gustave Caillebotte. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The art world of the nineteenth century Paris was thrown into turmoil when a group of young painters first exhibited their work. The "Impressionists", as they have came to be more...
Amazon Says: The art world of the nineteenth century Paris was thrown into turmoil when a group of young painters first exhibited their work. The "Impressionists", as they have came to be known, revolutionized painting, portraying contemporary city life and depicting nature in a completely new way. The Impressionists caused controversy with their revolt against traditional painting methods, their extraordinary new techniques and styles, and their way of life in the cafes of Paris and in the French countryside.This book presents their stories and the work that made them famous. It describes their personal life and their relationships with each other, and their difficulties with official institutions and the conservative art world of the time. It also analyses their techniques, materials and subjects which ushered in a whole new way of looking at the world. Featuring the life and work of Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Pissaro, Sisley, Morisot, Cassatt, Guillaumin, and Caillebotte. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Like the inhabitants of fin-de-siecle Paris, we share the same kind of escapist urge for distraction, an urge with which the Impressionists were instinctively in tune. More ca more...
Amazon Says: Like the inhabitants of fin-de-siecle Paris, we share the same kind of escapist urge for distraction, an urge with which the Impressionists were instinctively in tune. More captures those times, inviting the reader to bring 19th century Paris to life.' less...
Amazon
Art Exhibit: Impressionism from Monet to Mattise
YouTube Says: The Columbia Museum of Art kicked off a major new exhibition on Friday, January 25, 2013 with Impressionism from Monet to Matisse - a collection of 55 masterworks from the Dix...
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