Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas, Sisley, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt. Though they were often ridiculed or ignored by their contemporaries, today astonishing sums are paid for the works of these artists, whose paintings are celebrated for their ability to capture the moment, not only in the fleeting lights of a landscape but in scenes of daily life. Their dazzling pictures are familiar—but how well does the world know the Impressionists as people? The Private Lives of the Impressionists tells their story. It is the first book to offer an intimate and lively biography of the world's most popular group of artists.
In a vivid and moving narrative, biographer Sue Roe shows the Impressionists in the studios of Paris, rural lanes of Montmartre and rowdy riverside bars as Paris underwent Baron Haussmann's spectacular transformation. For more than twenty years they lived and worked together as a group, struggling to rebuild their lives after the Franco-Prussian War and supporting one another through shocked public reactions to unfamiliar canvases depicting laundresses, dancers, spring blossoms and boating scenes.
This intimate, colorful, superbly researched account takes us into their homes and studios, and describes their unconventional, volatile and precarious lives, as well as the stories behind the paintings.
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Sue Roe is the author of several books, including a widely praised biography of the artist Gwen John. She lives and teaches in Brighton, England.Review:
“Exceptionally detailed and thoroughly researched....Roe has done an admirable job of unearthing...countless...source materials.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“The title suggests titillation and does not disappoint...Intelligent and well-crafted portraits of some of history’s most intriguing geniuses.” (Kirkus Starred Review)
“Roe constructs a penetrating group portrait...scintillatingly detailed and empathic.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Meticulously researched and vividly written...a comprehensive and revealing group portrait.” (Publishers Weekly)
“An entertaining, informative read...this [is a] wonderfully written biography.” (Bookseller)
“Charming... a decidedly readable work that should engage lay readers and spur undergraduates to conduct authentic research of their own.” (Library Journal)
“A compelling subject: Sue Roe’s book does it justice and is a pleasure to read.” (Henrietta Garnett, Literary Review)
“An illuminating insight into the lives of aesthetic revolutionaries” (Daily Telegraph (London))
“Vivid, superbly researched...Sue Roe transports us back to their Paris” (Daily Mail (London))
“Roe synthesizes the welath of published...work on half a dozen artists into a coherent narrative of kith and kinship” (Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian)
“Widely researched...[Roe] has a neat, light touch.” (Tom Rosenthal, Independent on Sunday)
“Wonderful...Roe has a lively writing style and does a good job of delineating the personalities of each artist.” (Providence Journal)
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