In the Gardens of Impressionism : From Manet's earliest depictions of the Tuileries Gardens in Paris to Monet's late waterlilies painted at Giverny, the Impressionists had an ongoing love affair with gardens. As places of rest, relaxation, and beauty, gardens were the Impressionist subject par excellence. This beautifully illustrated volume is the first consideration of this beloved theme in the Impressionists' work. Here the artists' fascination with gardens, parks, and flowers is explored in the context of the contemporary craze for horticulture and the changing political and cultural landscape in France. Drawing on archival sources such as horticultural journals as well as literature, poetry, and correspondence, the book describes how gardens, simultaneously "modern" and imbued with nostalgia, were central to the Impressionists' discovery of their distinctive plein-air (out-of-doors) style. At the same time, by bringing to life the 19th-century tradition of floral symbolism and exploring how it infiltrated the work of key Impressionists, the book gives familiar works radical new interpretations. This vital contribution to our understanding of the Impressionist world is sure to delight art and gardening enthusiasts alike.
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