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Impressionists

I'm continuing to read The Chronicle of Impressionism, and it continues to fascinate me. Most of the facts aren't sticking in my brain, but I'm enjoying each page for itself. I've been learning lots of stuff, like Manet was pretty much the big Impressionist in the 1860s (and possibly beyond, but I've only read through 1863-1871 thus far), but I don't like Manet much. Most of his figures have a sort of outline effect that doesn't appeal to me. I didn't really know who Manet was until reading this book. (Shannon says that Manet created a tasty sandwich spread, later known as "Manet's." Heh.)

I also learned that Monet (as opposed to Manet) had a close friend named Bazille, who was also an Impressionist, but who I had never heard of. Perhaps that's because he died at the age of 29 in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870.

And I learned that the Impressionists tended to gather in groups in Paris cafés, arguing intellectual ideas. They moved from one café to another as the years went on, but they pretty much always met regularly, usually once a week.

Also, Monet moved to London (and painted his famous Thames paintings) during the Franco-Prussian war, though it's unclear whether this was entirely to avoid the war. The book doesn't explicitly say.

Also, van Gogh was much younger than the Impressionists, which explains why he is classified as a post-Impressionist on Wikipedia. I wasn't sure about that until I started reading this book. I knew his paintings looked very different from most of the Impressionists, but then his stuff doesn't look like pretty much anyone else, so I never knew where he would be classified. According to the index of this book, there's going to be quite a bit of stuff about van Gogh later on, so I wonder if they consider him an Impressionist instead of a post-Impressionist.

Thus far, not much on Cézanne or Degas. Maybe they didn't hit their stride until later on. I'm a big Cézanne fan. Hence the icon. And I love Degas's ballerinas. I look forward to learning more about both artists.

When I started out, I was reading a novel at the same time, to give me something light to balance the date-heavy non-fiction, but now I'm reading The Chronicle of Impressionism pretty much exclusively. Just too interesting.

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