Inspiring Impressionism The Impressionists and the Art of the Past Xavier Bray, Michael Clarke, John Collins, John House, Ann Dumas, Frances Jowell, Richard Rand, George T. M. Shackelford, Lesley Stevenson

Publication date:
05 Dec 2007
Denver Art Museum
280 pages: 305 x 279mm
12 b-w + 217 color illus.
Sales territories:


Inspiring Impressionism explores links between Impressionists and the major European art-historical movements that came before them, demonstrating how often beneath the Impressionists’ commitment to capturing contemporary life there lay a deep exploration of the art of the past. Presenting Impressionist works by artists including Manet, Monet, Degas, Bazille, Cassatt, and Cézanne alongside those of Raphael, El Greco, Rubens, Velázquez, and others, the book shows that while the Impressionists moved toward modernity and spontaneity, they remained conscious of and interested in the traditions, techniques, and subject matter of their predecessors.


Essays by leading scholars reveal the ways Impressionists drew inspiration from earlier artists from periods ranging from the Italian Renaissance through the early 19th-century Classical and Romantic traditions. A detailed chronology and fascinating comparisons of landscapes, portraits, nudes, still lifes, and genre paintings provide readers with new opportunities to understand the work of both the Impressionists and Old Masters.

Xavier Bray is assistant curator at the National Gallery, London. Michael Clarke is Keeper of the National Gallery of Scotland. John Collins is assistant curator at the National Gallery of Canada. Ann Dumas is a freelance art historian based in London. John House is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Frances Jowell is an authority on Dutch 17th-century art. Richard Rand is senior curator at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Lesley Stevenson is principal lecturer at Thames Valley University.

... is therefore a timely summary of the present state of knowledge.' Christopher Lloyd,