American impressionism

by William H. Gerdts

Paper Book, 1984




New York Artabras cop. 1984


This popular book offers a wealth of beautiful images, with even more color illustrations than the original edition. This exquisite little volume will satisfy the ever-growing passion for American Impressionism. The concise text-written by Dr. William H. Gerdts, the preeminent scholar in the field-provides a vivid summary, starting with the roots of American Impressionism and its relationship to French Impressionism. The book then recounts how American Impressionism progressed from an avant-garde aesthetic assaulted by critics to its years of triumph and its diverse manifestations throughout the country. All of the master works are here, in full color, from Childe Hassam's sun-drenched gardens to John Twachtman's snow-silenced landscapes, from Edmund Tarbell's coolly elegant ladies in dim, luxurious interiors to Frederick Frieseke's light-dappled nudes. With its wealth of breathtaking illustrations, American Impressionism offers lasting pleasure to anyone beguiled by the loveliness of this incomparable style. William H. Gerdts has written extensively on American Impressionism and related topics. He is Professor of Art History at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. 425 illustrations… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member presto
This impressive volume has much to recommend it; well written the very readable text is both illuminating and interesting and the high quality reproduction of the paintings is a delight. The author divides the text into four sections: Prelude, to 1886; Rising Perceptions 1886-1893; The Years of Truth 1893-1898; and The Impressionist Establishment 1889-1915.
It concludes with an extensive general and artist specific bibliography.

The illustrations run with the text, and as is often the cases in such publications the text and the illustration to which it refers rarely appear on the same page. A large number, but by no means all, of the images are reproduced in colour; and they vary in size from little more than thumb-nail to the impressive full page. In some cases the photography is superb, and the reproduction vividly conveys the richness of the original along with the brush work and texture of the paint, but the standard here is not consistent and some reproductions appear flat by comparison, and the black and white images are not inspiring. It is a well laid out book with good typography, and it certainly has a feel of quality.

American Impressionism is a fine most valuable volume, but put alongside the recently revised Soviet Impressionist Painting by Vern G Swanson, ISBN 0789207370, the quality and consistency of the reproductions is shown to be lacking.
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LibraryThing member RaskFamilyLibrary
Remarkable how much information and how many tiny paintings are included.


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