Impressions Of Light: The French Landscape From Corot To Monet
Essays by Fronia E. Wissman, Karen E. Haas, Anne Havinga, Sue Welsh Reed and Barbara Stern Shapiro. Introduction by George T.M. Shackelford.
This large, lavish journey through the art of the 19th-century French landscape offers a host of masterful works, among them Corot's Forest of Fontainbleau, Millet's End of the Hamlet of Gruchy, Renoir's Rocky Crags at L'Estaque, and Monet's Rue de la Bavolle, Honfleur. As is often the case, however, some of the most wonderful things to see are also the least expected: rare and unusual monotypes by Degas, three states of a softground etching by Pissarro, and numerous works by some of their lesser-known but equally important contemporaries. Unlike previous books on the topic, Impressions of Light presents a unique and stunningly complete group of work that introduces a new level of complexity into the discussion of French landscapes. Rather than considering the landscape as a steady, linear development and the product of a single medium, it takes into account the many crosscurrents and intersecting developments in French art, from the Barbizon school through the post-Impressionist period. In addition, it studies the landscape in a variety of media--painting, prints, and photography--exploring both the individual artists' perceptions and the ways in which they influenced each other. With over 80 paintings and 70 works on paper from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's collections, and published to accompany a major exhibition, Impressions of Light encompasses more than 100 years and 56 artists working in a dozen different media. It holds the broadest possible view, yet never loses sight of the extraordinary intricacy that makes the landscape so enduringly appealing.