Bibliographical Essay

Scholarly studies on the art of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries abound. They are scattered in publications in different fields and of very different types, and are thus difficult to survey. The following bibliography, as that of the previous volume in this series, in no way aims at completeness; on the contrary, it is highly selective, and to a considerable extent personal. I have designed it to assist the reader who wishes to study the sources of the theories discussed, and to follow up on the problems raised in this volume. I should also like to record some of my major intellectual debts in the study of reflections on art during the four crucial decades to which this volume is devoted.

I have excluded all publications of a general nature—on the history, culture, and even the art of the period discussed in this volume—although interesting suggestions for our specific subject may be found in some of them, and have kept close to our theme, the main trends and developments in the theory of art.


The literature on impressionism, scholarly as well as popular, is large, but not always easy to use. Though many discussions, usually brief ones, on problems of impressionistic art theory are found in the various studies, there is no easily available comprehensive and systematic work devoted primarily to the theoretical foundations and the conceptual implications of this movement in art. In the present essay I can mention only a small sample of the literature.

John Rewald, The History of Impressionism (New York, 1973; original edition 1946; revised edition 1961) is essential not only for the study of impressionism as an art movement, but also for our specific subject, the theory of art. This work contains a great deal of texts (notes, letters, memoirs)


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Modern Theories of Art


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