Picks and Pans Review: The Private Lives of the Impressionists

UPDATED 11/20/2006 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/20/2006 at 01:00 AM EST

By Sue Roe

Anyone who has ever lost themselves in Monet's color-saturated gardens or swooned over Degas's dancers will enjoy this revealing group portrait of the artists who founded the Impressionist movement in mid-19th-century Paris. Roe takes readers into the studios where Manet, Pissarro, C├ęzanne, Cassatt and Morisot met, honed their craft and struggled to make ends meet. Responding to the societal upheaval that marked the reign of Napoleon III, these artists democratized the idea of what paintings could be about; ordinary life served as inspiration. Roe brings her own subjects to life with revealing details. Renoir began training as a teenager by painting Marie Antoinette's portrait onto porcelain teacups. Monet was once so depressed about his family and failing finances that he threw himself into the Seine but "was too good a swimmer to drown." Taking in the large cast and the wealth of information sometimes feels a bit like trying to see the entire Louvre in a single day, but for the armchair dilettante, as well as the art-history student, this is lively, required reading.

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Chelsea Clinton is Pregnant!
  • Exclusive Royal Tour Diary

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters