Impressionists on the Water has a cover seemingly expansive enough to step right through it and onto the grass into Monet’s idyllic painting Le bassin d’Argenteuil. Not all of the art in this book is idyllic though–it seems that water and its channels have been used to describe nearly every mood and temperament available to man, and no matter what you’re feeling, there’s sure to be a painting in between these covers that perfectly complements it.
The book is split into two parts: the first is a fascinating section on the way in which water’s representation changed with the evolution of impressionism, and the second is a luxurious gallery populated with beautiful works from artists including Paul Signac, Georges Seurat, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Camille Pissarro. Taking in this gallery is where you realize water isn’t just water, which is exactly what these impressionists meant to convey. In these paintings, women are bathing, children are playing, merchant ships sail to harbor, and you, the viewer, feel more closely connected to the water just by observing all of these scenes. Although tranquility isn’t water’s only quality, it’s certainly what I was left with upon flipping the last page.
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