Friday, 31 August 2012

M/M Americans in Florence: Sargent and The Impressionsts of The New World

Image provided by Rizzoli. All rights reserved.

Review by the Editors of Manner of Man Magazine

Americans in Florence: Sargent and The Impressionsts of The New World is related to the exhibition held at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, which ran from March 3rd to July 15th, 2012 titled Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionsts.

This publication is unique in the sense that it runs as both a fine volume documenting the period but also as a rich catalogue not often seen today.

The opening begins with history presented in a manner congruent with the best of scholarly volumes on the period. The main body of the presentation covers exhibited works beautifully. It is informative and by virtue of the large reproduced images lends visual grandeur to the context in which they are included and to the portion of the volume the reader is next to be reviewing.

The images of both artworks and vintage photographs are largely presented full page with outstanding reproduction, which makes one feel like they are in the period. The formal appendix works well after the visual grand tour of the main body as it takes the reader deeper into important information (as it should but after what one has experienced it deepens the sensitivity and appreciate for the works and the period in which they were created in a scholarly way that is not dry or boring.)

This stated the book is highly unique in terms of the period covered, but moreover for being beautifully and sensitively written, without ever being dramatic.

Those who have both seen the exhibition and those who did not have the opportunity to do so will find it a pure joy to have in hand for a long time to come. Americans in Florence: Sargent and The Impressionsts of The New World is a rare visual luxury to behold and one we highly recommend unconditionally for your library.

Highly recommended

About This Book

The discovery of Italy by American artists of the late nineteenth century. The relationship American impressionists had with Italy, and with Florence in particular, became very intense in the decades spanning the close of the nineteenth and dawn of the twentieth centuries. Florence, Venice and Rome had been at the heart of the Grand Tour for centuries and had become legendary for all those eager to study the art of the past. The book features the works by painters who, while not explicitly subscribing to the new style, were nevertheless crucial masters. Among them were Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, John La Farge, and Thomas Eakins. They were to be followed by great precursors such as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, who could lay claim to considerable cosmopolitism. A place of honor is reserved for those artists who spent time in Florence and who deserve to be better known. Their number includes the American impressionist group known as the Ten American Painters. Besides them, Frank Duveneck also played an important role in fostering relations between American and local artists.

About the Author

Francesca Bardazzi is an art historian and an expert in the sculpture of the first half of the twentieth century. A scholar of Cézanne and of his collectors in Italy, she has studied the figure of Italo-American collector and painter Egisto Fabbri. Carlo Sisi was the director of the Galleria D’arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti in Florence until 2006. From 1999 to 2002, he was also the director of the Galleria del Costume. He has been president of the Museo Marini in Florence and has taught contemporary art history at Siena University.