Robert L. Herbert is professor of art at Mount Holyoke College.
"A fresh and penetrating look at the Impressionist painters-in
particular, those who identified themselves and their art with
Parist and the cultural ferment that began in the eighteen-sixties.
. . . This is a thoroughgoing study, a milestone in art and social
history."-The New Yorker
"This patient, generous book brings into focus some of the most urgent questions that can be asked about art. If the ultimate test of any critical or scholarly approach is its ability to illuminarity art. . . . Mr. Herbert more than succeeds. Setting the context and then undertaking dense visual analyses with an eye that is rare among art historians, he gives ample evidence of all that social art historians can reveal. This is social art history that does not judge or label but rather considers the ways in which artists gave the experience of conflict pictorial form, the more subtle and profound the formulation, the greater the art history, and the greater the art."-Michael Brenson, New York Times
"In distilling over 20 years' research, Herbert has written that rarity, an absolutely outstanding academic study that is also vividly accessible to the general reader. His lucid exposition is sumptuously illustrated by over 300 plates, most in colour, whose high quality records the most intricate details of brushwork."-Alan Robinson, Times Higher Education Supplement
"Herbert's study is densely fascinating and informative . . . handsomely produced and copiously illustrated."-William Packer, Financial Times
"A wholly absorbing, wonderfully detailed and quite fascinating examination . . . marvellous, fresh-minted new material, beautifully illustrated."-Sunday Times
"Long awaited, Herbert's brilliant book will dominate the study of Impressionism for a generation. . . . Herbert has returned Impressionism to history, placing the pictures within the kaleidoscopic social contexts of Haussmann's rebuilding of Paris, sprawling suburbanization, the capitalization of leisure. His method is to fuse intricate, sophisticated picture analysis with socio-historical material, a delicate operation that has defeated others. Herbert handles it remarkably. Impressionism is a big book in every respect. Lavishly and magnificently illustrated, it is a rich seam of historical and pictorial analysis, a varied yet controlled pattern of approaches, imaginative and enthusiastic, dense and inventive. One will return to it again and again."-Richard Thomson, Art International
"Professor Herbert's social history of Impressionism has been long awaited. Dense with information, rich in suggestive comment, enjoyable to read, very well illustrated, Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society is certainly a major work, based on the author's extensive personal research and encyclopaedic reading over more than twenty-five years."-Alan Bowness, Burlington Magazine