On Wednesday the 3rd, the watercolor society got a special docent-led tour of the Cincinnati Art Museum. Our guide was wonderful - funny, interesting, knowledgeable - everything you'd want. She also recommended this book, which I purchased at Borders (they are going out of business and are having some sales plus I have a Rewards card so get a bit more off each time).
The book, The Judgment of Paris, tells how impressionism began in France and who were the movers and shakers of the time. It tells the story in the lives of two artists: Ernest Meissonier, who was the most famous and well-paid artist of his time before impressionism took hold - and Edouard Manet, who was one of the leaders in the impressionist movement.
Those of you who belong to clubs and societies know that all is never rosey when any group of people are involved. Art groups are no different. And it was quite a dogfight in those early days of impressionism with artists signing petitions against the newly instituted rules of the Paris Salon and even boycotting the Salon entirely! What fun!
Although I'm only in Chapter 7, I'm enjoying it and learning a bit more of the history of the time, and what some of the artists were like - some were wonderful, open, sharing; others, not so much! ha ha There was infighting and jealousy; and those that were at the peak of their careers did not want to open the doors to upstarts who painted quickly and without much detail :) You may want to pick up a copy at your local Borders - or at the library.