I went to the library yesterday to pick up a reservation, The Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe. I’d written about the short course on the Impressionists I’m doing and Litlove recommended this book. It has a lovely front cover showing part of Eugene Manet on the Isle of Wight by Berthe Morisot. I’d love to see the original which is in the Musee Marmottan in Paris.
The course I’m doing is focussing on the sites the painters used and not much about their lives and as I know very little (nothing really) about them this book promises to enlighten me. It covers Manet, Monet (I get those two mixed up in my head), Pisarro, Cezanne, Renoir, Degas, Sisley, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, going into their homes, their studios, describing their love affairs and arguments, as well as their canvases and theories. It has some illustrations.
Whilst I was in the library I looked for other books on the Impressionists focussing on their actual works. There was plenty of choice and I came home with two large heavy books:
- The Impressionists by Robert Katz and Celestine Dars. This is full of colour illustrations in two sections, one on the history of Impressionism and one on the life and works of the artists in Sue Roe’s book plus Frederic Bazille.
- The Impressionists by Themselves, edited by Michael Howard. This is a massively heavy book containing a selection of their paintings, drawings and sketches with extracts from their writing. It’s arranged chronologically covering the years 1856 – 1924
I don’t think the three week loan period will be long enough for me to absorb these books but at least I’ll find out if I want to buy any of them for future reference.