Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Paul Ce´zanne, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and their colleagues made some of the most beautiful drawings in the history of art. This book sets drawings by the impressionists and post-impressionists in the context of late nineteenth-century France, explaining why these particular works are as important as these artists’ paintings in the representation of modernity.
A new approach to materials and a wholly inclusive attitude to exhibitions elevated drawing’s status higher in this period than ever before, which avant-garde artists welcomed in their preference for scenes from contemporary life. For the first time, painting and drawing shared the same stylistic principles of spontaneity, freer handling, and lack of finish. Pastels by Degas, watercolors by Ce´zanne, pen-and-ink drawings by Van Gogh, and mixed media works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec have an autonomy of their own, which proved instrumental in the development of modern art. With short introductory essays on twenty of the leading Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists, each followed by a portfolio of their drawings, Impressionist & Post-Impressionist Drawing highlights an aspect of French avant-garde art that was of immense importance for the art movements that followed.
Christopher Lloyd was surveyor of the Queen’s pictures in the British Royal Collection. He is the author of Edgar Degas: Drawings and Pastels and Paul Cézanne: Drawings and Watercolors.