Cover image for Impressionists side by side : their relationships, rivalries, and artistic exchanges
Impressionists side by side : their relationships, rivalries, and artistic exchanges
White, Barbara Ehrlich.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : A.A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, Inc., 1996.
Physical Description:
x, 292 pages : illustrations (some color), color map ; 30 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6847.5.I4 W49 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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In this extraordinary volume, art historianBarbara Ehrlich Whiteconsiders the achievements of the Impressionists from an entirely fresh perspective.  She focuses on the personal and professional relationships between seven pairs of artists: Degas and Manet, Monet and Renoir, Cézanne and Pissaro, Manet and Morisot, Cassatt and Degas, Morisot and Renoir, and Cassatt and Renoir.  Looking at the work of each pair, she finds, in their treatment of identical subjects and in their portraits of each other, a new illumination of their art and they relied on each other for comradeship, support, inspiration, ideas, and they were bound by the ties of friendship...and how, at times, these same associations could include envy, antagonism, and even deep dislike. To tell this storyBarbara Ehrlich Whitehas assembled hundreds of illustrations, scores of which are reproduced here in full color for the first time.  All the canvases the artists painted of identical subjects are reunited side by side in this volume--many for the first time since they were created more than a century ago.  Moreover, in another publishing first,Impressionists Side By Sideincludes all the artists' portraits of one another, a marvelous means of conveying the emotional truth of their relationships.  And, by delving into hundreds of letters (some previously unpublished, some appearing in English translation for the first time), diaries, and interviews, the author enriches our sense of the artists' lives on the most intimate level. Twelve years in the making,Impressionists Side by Sideis a singular contribution to the world of art, presenting the lives and work of some of the most important Impressionist artists in a dramatic new context.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Impressionism, asserts Tufts art history professor White, was born of the synergistic friendship of Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who pooled their expertise to develop a new style that combined Monet's feeling for nature with Renoir's coloristic gifts. Friendships, tense rivalries and working relationships among the impressionists are the focus of this revelatory, gorgeously illustrated study. Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet belittled each other to third parties, yet they pushed each other to greater heights of creativity. Apolitical conservative aesthete Paul Cézanne and magnanimous anarchist outsider Camille Pissarro shared a bohemian outlook and made 10 paintings each side by side. Mary Cassatt built her style on the manner of Degas, while Berthe Morisot leaned on Manet and Renoir for emotional support; both women, argues White, were pioneers but venerated their male mentors' work to the detriment of their own egos. Juxtaposing similar canvases by friendly duos, and quoting extensively from their letters and diaries, White shows that the impressionists were more interdependent and cross-pollinating than was hitherto suspected. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

White (Renoir, Abrams, 1988) explores some one-to-one relationships among major Impressionists through their letters and other footnoted sources. In separate chapters, she links Degas and Manet; Monet and Renoir; Cezanne and Pissarro; Manet and Morisot; Cassatt and Degas; Morisot and Renoir; and Cassatt and Morisot. Manet, the aristocratic bourgeois, was the most refined of the group; Renoir, the aspiring peasant, the most sociable and reliable. Least intense was the cordial relationship between the beautiful, moody, upper-class Morisot and American outsider Cassatt, whose wealth, talent, and friendship with Degas helped her penetrate this circle of self-involved French painters. The book is replete with color reproductions demonstrating the artists' influences on each other, their differing points of view, and their development as artists as tastes diverged. Additional photographs from private albums provide unique glimpses of the people behind the art. Taken as a whole, the book allows the reader to experience these complex personalities in human dimension. Recommended for special and public collections that already possess collections of the individual artists' works.‘Ellen Bates, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.