In The Work of Art: Plein Air Painting and Artistic Identity in Nineteenth-century France (PDF) the expert author Anthea Callen explores the self-portraits, paintings, photographs, prints, portraits of fellow artists, and studio images of 19th-century French landscape painters, including the Impressionists. At the same time, Callen considers the emergence of modern artistic identity in the context of creative work. Artists and their paintings under the microscope here include Cézanne, Courbet, and Pissarro, as well as their followers and precursors. The ebook examines their painting methods and modes of self-representation to explore the formation of avant-garde art and modern artistic identity while paying particular attention to the painters’ mark-making and touches. She argues that the Plein air oil sketch in particular, and landscape painting in general, were key drivers of change in artistic practice in the nineteenth century, which in turn led to the Impressionist revolution.
In this highly readable, and beautifully illustrated volume, Callen offers fresh new insights into the development of avant-garde French painting and the concept of the modern art and artist, delving deeper into the topic than any before.
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