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Bibliophile price: £22.00
With masterworks by artists such as Bonnard, Cassatt, Cézanne, Corot, Daumier, Van Gogh, Manet, Matisse, Monet and Seurat, many of these artists were themselves gardeners and they painted parks and gardens as the distinctive scenery of contemporary life. Here they are presented in relationship to the 19th century horticultural revolution that transformed the landscape of France. Paris transformed into a city of tree-lined boulevards and public parks which gave crowded, displaced urban dwellers green spaces to enjoy. As exotic botanical specimens arrived from abroad, and local nurserymen pursued hybridisation, the availability and variety of plants and flowers grew tremendously, as did public interest in them. A revival in floral still-life easel painting, rarely practiced since the 17th century, brought the garden's beauty indoors. Occupying whole pages on bright white large paper, enjoy such masterworks as Alfred Stevens's The Glass Ball with a Victorian woman with bustle and black parasol checking her mirrored image in a garden scene with great perspective and reality or Daumier's A Man Reading in a Garden, a watercolour over black chalk and lithograph crayon, also evoking a sense of tranquillity, mindfulness and pleasure in nature. Some particular favourites of ours at Bibliophile are the dappled colours created by Gustave Caillebotte. Page after page of beautiful greens and colours and benches and flowers and ponds and perspectives. 216pp, 172 colour illus. and useful exhibition and illustration checklist.
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