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Impressionist Subjects: Leisure and the City

Rebecca Virag on inspiration gained from the rapid movement of urban life and a countryside touched by industrialisation

Rebecca Virag

Part 1: The City

Part 2: The Suburbs


Charles Baudelaire: poet, translator and literary and art critic (1821-1867). Best known for his collection of poems, Fleurs du Mal (1857)

Café-Concert: a kind of music hall

Plein-air painting: painting outside, on the spot directly from the subject

Reading list

T.J. Clark, The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers, pub. Thames and Hudson, 17/01/2000 www.amazon.co.uk

Francis Frascina, Nigel Blake, Briony Fer, Tamar Garb, Charles Harrison, Modernity and Modernism: French Painting in the Ninteenth Century, pub. Yale University Press, 18/02/1993 www.amazon.co.uk

Robert L. Herbert, Impressionism: Art, Leisure and Parisian Society, pub. Yale University Press, 01/08/1988 www.amazon.co.uk

Author's Biography

Rebecca Virag is an independent art historian based in Cambridge. She studied nineteenth-century French and British art and architecture at Reading University and later, at post-graduate level, at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She has recently completed a Ph.D. thesis at the Courtauld Institute about the impact of evolution theory and eugenics on the work of British artists working in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century.

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