The Impressionist Print


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Michel Melot; Translated by Caroline Beamish

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $110.00
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Degas, Pissarro, Cassatt, Renoir, Morisot, Bracquemond, Manet, Whistler—these and other Impressionist painters often experimented with printmaking techniques, producing black and white etchings, aquatints, dry points, and color lithographs that exhibited the same easy yet subtle attraction that makes their oil paintings so beloved. In this beautiful book, an eminent authority examines the prints of these painter-printmakers, providing a new understanding of Impressionism and of contemporary printmaking.

Drawing on discoveries of the last two decades and on his own research, Michel Melot locates the sources and influences of the prints and analyzes their techniques—particularly in monotypes and embossed prints. In so doing he reveals the close ties between the Impressionist movement and the rebirth of artists' prints in the second half of the nineteenth century. His analysis of the relations among artists, the art market, art criticism, collectors, and political institutions makes Impressionism appear less like a miracle and more a response to the social and economic upheavals of the nineteenth century.

Michel Melot was director of the Prints and Photography Department of the Bibliothèque Nationale, where in 1974 he organized the major exhibition L'Estampe Impressioniste and wrote the catalogue that accompanied it. He later became director of the Public Library at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and he is now president of the National Council of Libraries. He is the author of some fifty articles and a dozen works on archaeology and art history.

"In this truly comprehensive book, Melot . . . demonstrates the impact of the political, technological, and economic conditions of 19th-century France on Impressionist printmaking."—Library Journal

"This is the first comprehensive look at the role of the print in Impressionist art as a whole. Melot . . . analyses the relationships between artists and between them and the art market, the critics, the collectors and the political institutions of the time. A valuable contribution on the Impressionist movement as well as the history of the print."—Art Times

"This erudite, strongly bound volume takes stock of the contribution of printmakers to Impressionism, which increases our knowledge of that great movement. . . . A very thorough book and carefully annotated."—Byron Ireland, Day By Day

"A valuable contribution on the Impressionist movement as well as on the history of the print."—Art Times

"This beautifully written and produced book is most worthy of its subject, prints by artists associated with the Impressionists, from 1850 to 1900. . . . Without being overly technical, the author clarifies the various techniques and stages in making prints and demonstrates how commercial success could develop from artistic endeavors that cultivated spontaneity, expressiveness, uniqueness, and invention. Highly recommended."—Choice

"This book is an important addition to the literature on Impressionist prints, not least because it underlines the integral role that printmaking played in the development of some of the major painters of the period."—William Weston, Art Newspaper

ISBN: 9780300067927
Publication Date: January 31, 1997
296 pages, 9 1/4 x 12
240 b/w + 60 color illus.