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The painters of modern life



No other movement in history has been so controversial, so adored, and so significant to the development of modern art than Impressionism. Impressionist art originated with a group of Paris-based painters whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during a period spanning from the 1870s to 1880s. The characteristics of Impressionism can de defined as a combination of visible brush strokes, an emphasis on realistic representation of natural light, and everyday subject matter.

TASCHEN’s book collection includes numerous titles on the subject of Impressionism - from an Art Historical survey publication to books on individual artists who were at the forefront of the movement, such as Manet, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Beckman. These publications come in a range of editions, from the Basic Art Series to the Bibliotheca Universalis books, as well as a gorgeous postcard set. TASCHEN titles reflect on the legacy and impact of the movement, including Post-Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism.

The Impressionists strove to capture human perception and experience of the natural landscape as well as urban space at the dawn of modernity, during which vast changes in society and culture were taking place. Instead of painting in a studio, artists sought a naturalism by working outdoors or en plein air. Here they were able to capture the momentary and transient effects of light. Similarly, bars, cabarets, and other scenes of leisure in Parisian society, provided portraits of the ephemeral nature of life in the city at the turn of the century. Impressionism lay the roots for foundational change in 20th century painting and theory and ruptured conventional ideas about visual representation. In innovating techniques for communicating the world around us, the Impressionists gave birth to Cubism which would itself clear the pathway for the development of Surrealism.