- Recommended Books on Impressionism and the French Impressionists by Shelley Esaak
- Herbert, Robert L. Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.
A lively, engaging read on how the architectural, civic and societal innovations of mid-to-late 19th-century Paris aided in the formation and development of Impressionism. More a social than an art historic approach, which I, for one, found rather refreshing in a steady diet of the latter.
- Roe, Sue. The Private Lives of the Impressionists.
New York: HarperCollins, 2006.
ISBN-13: 978-0060545581 I loved that this book presented the French Impressionists as a group (rather than concentrating on one specific artist), with all the funky dynamics - friendship, rivalry, poverty, wealth, varying social statuses, "office" romances and clashing political views - that any group contains. Well-written and researched, and highly entertaining (read: a gossip lover's treat).
- Thomson, Belinda. Impressionism: Origins, Practice, Reception.
London and New York: Thames & Hudson, 2000.
Though not exactly light reading, this informative volume pulls together recent scholarship on primary source documents from and concerning the original French Impressionists, and presents all in context.