Impressionists on the Water

An unprecedented new book celebrating the Impressionist themes of water and boats including works by the movement’s most renowned artists, such as Manet and Monet, Renoir and Seurat. Plein-air painting allowed the Impressionists to capture a vibrant outdoor world with startling immediacy; and water, boats, and all things nautical provided natural fodder for these artists, many of whom were sailors and yachtsman themselves. This unprecedented new volume, published in association with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, traces the history of these delightful, light-infused water scenes within the social context of the latter nineteenth century. A new and expansive exploration of Impressionist themes of water and boating, this catalogue examines the changing depictions of water from pre-Impressionism (Corot, Daubigny) through Impressionism (Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Caillebotte) to neo- and post-Impressionism (Cézanne, Seurat, Signac). Throughout, connections to contemporary life, such as the literature of Zola and Maupassant and the growing use of boats as leisure craft at yacht clubs and locales such as the famously depicted Argenteuil, clarify the social and cultural implications of the nautical themes embraced by the Impressionists. This handsomely designed book will be a welcome addition to the libraries of water-farers everywhere and will appeal to scholars and connoisseurs of one of the most beloved periods of art history.

About The Author

Phillip Dennis Cate, former director of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in New Jersey, is a specialist in nineteenth-century French art. Daniel Charles is a noted historian of innovation and technology, with a particular expertise in maritime heritage. Christopher Lloyd is Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures. Previously he was an instructor and curator in the department of Western art of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University

  • Publish Date: June 11, 2013
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions - General
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 10 x 12
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $50.00
  • CDN Price: $50.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4025-0


"A brilliant synthesis of boating and aesthetics, this book will be cherished by coastal admireres, scholars, and connoisseurs of one of the most beloved periods in art history." ~Artfix Daily 

“They focus on boating imagery, a strikingly pervasive theme, and expand the discussion to explore the social and literary context. This approach offers fascinating insights in the Impressionist enterprise, enhancing the reader’s enjoyment of this beautifully produced book…they make you think about the curious relationship between art and reality.” ~American Arts Quarterly

"Through essays by noted art historians, the book illuminates historical and cultural aspects of the nautical themes embraced by the Impressionists, including their connections to contemporary life such as the literature of Zola and Maupassant, leisure, and technology."

"After devouring this book, I've gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Impressionist movement. To have so many paintings collected in one book is a gift. It was sheer joy to sit and leaf through the pages over and over again. Honestly, because of Impressionists on the Water I've seen paintings by artists that I really wasn't familiar with before. I learned the stories behind some of the paintings by Monet, Manet, Caillebotte, Renoir and Pissarro. I have a deeper understanding of how the paintings and the water are linked and how important these works of art are to the history of sailing. Having my own copy of Impressionists on the Water is almost like having a private miniature art studio in my living room. I urge you to pick up a copy of the book... You will be intrigued and delighted." ~Snug Harbor Bay

Author Bookshelf: Phillip Dennis Cate, Christopher Lloyd