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‘In the Gardens of Impressionism’ explores the Impressionists’ fascination with gardens in the context of the changing political and cultural landscape in France. Drawing on sources such as gardening journals, novels by Zola and Flaubert, poetry by Baudelaire, and the artists’ personal letters, it describes how gardens influenced the artists as spaces which were both ‘modern’ and imbued with nostalgia. It also brings to life the tradition of floral symbolism in 19th-century France, and explores – for the first time – how this infiltrated the work of key Impressionists. A final chapter covers the spread of Impressionist garden painting outside France, exploring the exciting developments in Britain, Germany, North America and Japan.
With its new discoveries about familiar works by Manet, Renoir, Degas, Monet and Pissarro, thorough coverage of less familiar Impressionists such as Bazille, Caillebotte and Guillaumin, and spectacular illustrations, including period photographs, engravings from journals and cartoons, as well as paintings and drawings, this book will appeal equally to the scholar, student, art lover or gardening enthusiast.