Henrietta Garnett

A Palette of Painters

The Private Lives of the Impressionists

By

Chatto & Windus 368pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Sue Roe has written an enjoyable and well-informed account of the private lives of the French Impressionists. She threads their lives together with dexterity and skill: Monet, Pissarro, Cézanne, Renoir, Bazille, Berthe Morisot and Degas. They were a group of young, idealistic art students who rebelled against the hidebound restrictions of the mid-nineteenth-century Salon des Beaux-Arts. They outraged the public, who viewed their paintings as childlike daubs of unedifying scenes of everyday life: washing hanging out to dry; a dish of apples; steam trains at Saint-Lazare.

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