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Impressionist Still Life Paperback – September, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0943044279 ISBN-10: 0943044278

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Famous for outdoor scenes bathed in light, the impressionists are hard to imagine as dedicated still-life painters. By and large, they weren't. But Monet's rare small paintings of flowers were snapped up by contemporary collectors. And several artists who exhibited with the impressionists, influenced them, or were influenced by them--including Manet, van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cézanne--devoted a sizable portion of their oeuvre to the genre. While Impressionist Still Life is a somewhat misleading title--yet another marketing ploy to attract lovers of a popular style, it seems--this book makes a good case for the importance of this intimate genre of painting to major themes and techniques of later-19th-century art. Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. (September 22, 2001, to January 13, 2002, then traveling to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), this volume is lavishly illustrated and rich in detailed information. Five essays trace themes ranging from the influence of 18th-century painter Jean-Baptiste Chardin on still-life composition and the use of color to the strikingly modern way Cézanne's famous apples devalued subject matter to emphasize the physicality of brush strokes. The stunning paintings featured in full-page plates include some rarely seen canvases, such as Monet's Jar of Peaches from 1866. In this tour de force of illusionism, the flattened look of peaches packed in a glass jar contrasts with fuzzy whole peaches that cast reflections on a marble table scribbled with bold white veins. A genre that could encompass both the luminous intimacy of Eva Gonzalès' White Shoes and the restless drama of Cézanne's Still Life with Ginger Jar and Eggplants turned out to be uniquely suited to individual perceptions of modern life. --Cathy Curtis --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Not merely a survey of impressionist still-life painting, as suggested by its title, this handsome and valuable catalog of an exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, that then travels to Boston, is an intelligently wrought overview of this genre in late 19th-century France. Apart from the luminous favorites of the impressionists, their great realist predecessor Gustave Courbet and their post-impressionist successors are also amply represented in the show's 92 works. Accompanying the catalog are five essays that explicate the development and formal qualities of these paintings within a context of art historical tradition and social currents. Although the essays are of some service in articulating the sources and influences leading up to this period, the significance of the enigmatic Manet, and the achievement and impact of C?zanne, none of these discussions comes to grips with the quintessential Impressionism of Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Morisot. The dereliction, however, of the not equally accessible essays is more than compensated for by the refined analyses that accompany the excellent reproductions. The thoughtful organization of the paintings into small congeries further enhances the pedagogic and aesthetic value of this eye-delighting opus. Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phillips Collections (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0943044278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943044279
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 10 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was surpised to learn new information that Manet made still lifes with the same-like object used in Chardin's paintings. They were arranged differently or presented in a different manner. There is infomation you cannot obtain when visiting exhibits or museums. It is hard to put the book down once you start reading. This is the first still life book on impressionism I have ever seen. And, it gives more information on still life in general. I am a professional artist and have felt still lives were boring and couldn't really get into them. Because this book excited me to look at still lives and do them, it deserves and 5-star rating.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Impressionist Still Life showcases more than 80 masterworks of still-life painting by seventeen Impressionists working in the latter half of the nineteenth-century. The featured artists include Cezanne, van Gogh, Monet, Cassatt, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Pissarro, Caillbotte, and Gauguin. Impressionist Still Life is the companion book to a traveling exhibition currently touring the United States beginning with The Philips Collection, Washington, DC (September 22, 2001 - January 13, 2002) and then traveling to The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (February 17 to June 9, 2002). A strongly recommended addition to academic, personal, and community library artbook collections, the superbly reproduced paintings comprising Impressionist Still Life are enhanced with informative essays by noted art scholars Eliza Rathbone (Phillips Collection); George Shackelford (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston); Jeannene M. Pryblyski (independent art historian and critics based in San Francisco); John McCoubrey (University of Pennsylvania); and Richard Shiff (University of Texas, Austin).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alana London on December 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is just gorgeous! The essays are interesting and engaging and the plates are beautiful. Besides the most well known impressionists, you will find an Eva Gonzales, and BEST OF ALL--GUSTAVE CAILLBOTTE!! Buy it, you will not be disappointed.
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By jk on October 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Impressionists are well known for outdoor scenes - such as Monet's landscapes. The still life paintings of most of these masters are far less well known. This book brings attention to this less commonly examined subject. The book has many strikingly beautiful illustrations of still life paintings by impressionist masters. The cover illustration, for example, is of a Monet painting.

The text discusses the development of still life from Chardin to Monet and to Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Cezanne, and into the 20th century with abstract expressionism. The author groups and discusses paintings by different artists on similar subjects - for example paintings of bouquets of flowers and women by Degas and Courbet, or another set of floral paintings by Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Bazille. There are also discussions of similar paintings by the same artist - for example a set of still lifes with fruit by Gauguin. By presenting the paintings in this way you can see the themes and techniques of the artist and compare and contrast them with each other. I especially enjoyed the discussions of Cezanne. Two of the paintings shown are unfinished, allowing you to see the artist's process of building up a painting.

Altogether this was a most illuminating and enjoyable book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful collection. Very good essays accompany the beautiful reproductions.
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