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The Private Lives of the Impressionists Hardcover – 6 Jul 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 6 Jul 2006
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; First Edition / First Impression edition (6 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701175052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701175054
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 667,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Sue Roe has chosen a compelling subject: her book does it justice and it is a pleasure to read." -- Literary Review

"Vivid, superbly researched ... it leaves you absolutely determined to visit art exhibitions at every opportunity" -- The Daily Mail

"[Private Lives of the Impressionists will] enormously enhance the interest of the next Impressionist exhibition we go to." -- Sunday Times

"vivid, superbly researched" -- Daily Mail

'will...enormously enhance the interest of the next Impressionist exhibition we go to' -- The Sunday Times

‘Her book is widely researched but has a neat, light touch.’
-- Independent on Sunday

Book Description

A vivid, intimate, evocative exploration of the hidden personal lives of the great Impressionist painters.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'd long thought I'd like to learn more about the Impressionists and the era in which they lived, and in particular to join the dots between who knew who, where they met and when. I got this and an awful lot more with Sue Roe's amazing book. I can't even imagine the amount of hours she must have put in in research - she appears to have read every letter any of the painters (not to mention their family & art dealers, families of art dealers...) had ever written, along with every biography, newspaper clipping... The danger could of course have been to collate all this into a dry, step by step account of what happened when. In fact, Roe weaves the tale together with the sights, sounds, smells, fashions, dining of the time; I felt transported to the streets of Paris and the bends of the river on it's outskirts, with the unexpected and entertaining sojourns to London, New York and New Orleans.

But mostly I feel grateful to this book for giving me such an insight into the personalities of those involved. Manet, always a favourite of mine, is now a true hero. I'm so pleased to have discovered Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassat and Frederic Bazille; was delighted by the darker character quirks of Degas and Cezanne (the latter's relationship with Zola was news to me!), and the relative carefree joie de vivre of Renior. It also confirmed my suspicions about Monet.

It is a moving history too, unblinkingly covering the horrors of the Franco-Prussian war and the poverty of the times. It's fair to say some of these men and women suffered for their art; some too, avoided suffering with the skills of con artists. I felt genuinely sad by their respective ends, despite of course knowing they were coming.

All in all, I was hoping for a competent account of the lives and times of the impressionist Parisian painters. I got that, as well as the best book I have read (and am likely to read) this year.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I make no pretence to be an art critic or historian of art; I just know what I like, and I like impressionists. Sadly, I'll never be able to afford one. A mixture of biography, art history and scene setting beautifully written; I'm sad that it has taken me so long to discover it. We learn about the painters, their lives, loves, money problems, with death often too close to hand; a book about the real lives of real people. It's good on the reactions of the critics of the times, people of (perhaps) great erudition but little real understanding. And of their dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, whose faith in this small group was—eventually—realised.
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By sph_77 on 30 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
Brilliant... i picked this up on the off chance and i'm very glad that i did. it's a great read; well written, informative and engaging. Roe charts the rise of the foremost individuals in the impressionist collective against the background of social change ongoing in France/Europe at the time. in so doing, she offers something for the novice and the more informed reader... recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting little book full of lesser known or even unknown facts about the Impressionists. Unfortunately the type face is so small you need excellent sight or strong reading glasses to enjoy it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really felt this book helped me feel part of this extraordinary moment when so many great artists met. Their families and constant fight to make ends meet. Inspite of having little to eat nothing stpooed them painting! The galleries who fell over backwards to help. The big question is why did nobody see how brilliant they were until much later????
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was in Paris in spring and visited the Quai D'Orsay to look at the Impressionist collection there. Then recently I visited the National Gallery in London and was impressed by the various paintings by many of the artists featured in this book. I didn't want a hefty tome, just some back ground material, and this book is ideal. A good easy read, that has encouraged me to explore further.
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Format: Paperback
An engaging and informative work. Sue Roe has researched well; there's much background to the Impressionist movement, and enough spicy titbits of detail to make this a thoroughly fascinating, informative & easy-to-read book. Only downside? most of the illustrations are in b/w - (and those in colour are a curiously chosen collection) but, if you're a lover of this type of art, it should only serve to make you more eager to see the real thing in the the flesh.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a joy to read. Sue Roe brings the artists and their time alive in such a readable and informative way.Packed with detail of all sorts, I feel that I have really come to know this fascinating band of men and women.
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