Following the success of How to Look at a Painting and How to Understand a Painting, Francoise Barbe-Gall turns to one of the most popular art movements ever: Impressionism.
Six thematic chapters range over subjects like The Outdoors, Capturing The Moment, Representing Things as They Are, Finding New Subjects, Looking Beyond Nature, to conclude with a chapter on the influence of Impressionist painting on the next generation of artists.
Barbe-Gall reminds us of how radical this movement was in its day by starting each chapter with a discussion of one piece of Establishment art from the period, showing how fresh and shocking the Impressionists' work seemed in this context.
The book is sumptuously illustrated, with several revealing close-ups of details from each painting. The author's own attention to the detail of each of the 42 featured works is complemented by short general remarks about the artists, their themes and their context to form an accessible and wide-ranging introduction to Impressionism.