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Women Impressionists [Hardcover]

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Item description for Women Impressionists by Max Hollein Ingrid Pfeiffer...

The female members of the nineteenth-century Impressionist movement are usually painted out of official art history, although Edouard Manet for one testified to the talents of his friends Berthe Morisot (whose "Harbor at Lorient" of 1869 he so admired that she gave it to him) and Eva Gonzales (the only pupil Manet ever took), and discussed matters of painting with them as readily as with male peers like Edgar Degas. Even Degas himself, notoriously misogynistic, invited Mary Cassatt to exhibit with him (she was the only American to do so); and Marie Bracquemond also exhibited at the Impressionist exhibitions of 1879, 1880 and 1886, despite the discouragement of her husband. All of these women practiced and supported Impressionism from its earliest days, when it was still a popular sport to deride it. Nonetheless, for Morisot, Gonzales, Bracquemond and Cassatt, the chances of equivalent long-term recognition were predictably slim, and while their own individual oeuvres were too strong and too omnipresent in their own time to be entirely eradicated from the annals of art, they have rarely received due attention in the hands of subsequent commentators. This stunning 400-page compendium, published to accompany the important traveling exhibition which goes to San Francisco in the summer of 2008, corrects this longstanding oversight, presenting these pioneering painters alongside each other for the first time, reproducing their oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, drawings and etchings and offering a cogent rebuttal of familiar Impressionist narratives.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   360
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.57" Width: 9.69" Height: 1.18"
Weight:   4.37 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2008
Publisher   Hatje Cantz
ISBN  3775720790  
ISBN13  9783775720793  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Schools, Periods & Styles > Impressionism
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Schools, Periods & Styles > Modern
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Museums & Collections > General

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Great Women Impressionists  Jun 30, 2008
When it comes to research into art history it is lamentable that the accomplishments of male artists are over-represented in scholarly publications and that those of women artists are by and large glossed over or just plain ignored. This failing of traditionally conservative male art historians to address this imbalance is slowly being re-evaluated and corrected. A fascinating task, it is being carried out by a new generation of scholars and authors (mainly female) who are giving a revealing and inclusive perspective on the history of Western art. The story of the French Impressionist movement is no different, the names of male artists like Renoir, Degas, Sisely, Manet, Monet and Pissaro are well known around the world and their vividly painted canvases are represented in important international art galleries. But when it comes to the women Impressionists who painted alongside their male peers, history is surprisingly silent and there is a lack of awareness of their unique place in early modern art. There is an unspoken consensus amongst some academics that these women artists were not quite as talented as their male colleagues, and that there certainly were no creative geniuses amongst their number. Based on a travelling exhibition, this well researched volume aims to improve the art loving publics knowledge and understanding of these pioneering women artists who struggled against restrictive social conventions and entrenched misogyny to achieve their painterly visions of the world around them.

In the 19th century and well into the 20th century women were solely expected to fulfill the complimentary roles of motherhood and obedient housewife. The limited work available to them was primarily of the menial or nurturing kind: as governess, nannies, teachers, maids, nurses or midwives. And when marriage loomed women were dutifully expected to give up their jobs, and so their fragile sense of independence. Thus when a woman wished to pursue a career (such as painting) they invariably had to forgo almost any prospect of starting a family and having a "respectable" life as a devoted wife and mother. Throughout Western art history up until the Impressionist era women were barred from attending most art schools for some absurdly prudish and moralistic reasons. When women were allowed the privilege of studying alongside men, there was a hidebound social etiquette in place to "protect" them from anything that may have affronted their delicate sensibilities. This stiflingly Victorian attitude discouraged many women from pursuing art in a professional manner, sadly relegating them to the margins of the art scene... as amateurs. Still, there were a significant but yet small number of women who chose to become professional (and successful) artists in this oppressive environment. Undaunted these resolute women studied and practiced their craft against almost all odds, and eventually won the begrudging respect of their male peers.

This timely book focuses on the handful of female artists who belonged in the French Impressionist art circle and includes beautiful examples of their oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, sketches and etchings, many in full and vibrant colour. The likes of Bertha Morisot, Eva Gonzales, Marie Bracquemond and the American Mary Cassatt are all included and due attention is given to each artist. The contribution of these four women to this revolutionary movement has been largely (but not entirely) omitted from the annals of art history, and is indicative of a wider cultural bias against the accomplishments of women in all walks of life. It is a shame that this wonderful book does not have more of an international scope, for I'm sure that in the 19th century there were many women Impressionists around the developed world whose names and creative oeuvres have been painted out of official histories of art. This engaging book with its lucid essays will open your eyes to the artistic legacy of these gifted yet undervalued women artists, and its publication will be most welcome by those interested in women's issues. If like me you admire and appreciate the Impressionists with their fresh and progressive approach to painting, Women Impressionists will be a fine addition to your library.

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