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3. Whistler and the Impressionists
It was as an American in Paris that Whistler absorbed, though never totally followed, the ideas of the Impressionists. Already influenced by the Realism of Courbet, he qualified this with a new emphasis on expressive delicacy of brush-stroke and a selective, almost decorative approach to harmonies of colour. He also shared the Impressionists’ attraction to themes of contemporary life, especially in urban settings, yet he was never a documenter of the trivial everyday. This talk looks as the artist as a painter of Impressionist landscapes and portraits, relating his work both to his French contemporaries and to the wider development of Impressionistic traits in British art.
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