Monet, Renoir, Degas, Rodin, Cezanne, Cassatt, Van Gogh, and other impressionist artists burst onto the art scene in the second half of the nineteenth century, creating shock waves with their rebellious rejection of the academy’s strict rules dictating subject matter, style, and even color. Their art, labeled impressionism, coincided with the Industrial Revolution, when the world was jettisoned into modernity. The young artists who gave rise to the movement confronted public disdain in Europe, but were applauded overseas for their radically contemporary aesthetic. This complete and accessible guide renews and refreshes conventional views on impressionism by placing this seminal moment in its historical context. Emblematic masterpieces are examined with a focus on each detail, allowing a deeper understanding of the artworks. Biographies of all the major artists of the movement provide insight about their life and significant works, and period photographs illustrate this rich and exciting time in art history. Organized thematically, the guide includes chapters on photography, fashion, female impressionists, exhibitions, galleries and dealers, writers, the movement’s influence on later artists, and recurrent impressionist themes including leisure activities, the garden, the city, and industry. Replete with illustrations and numerous firsthand accounts and quotations, this book recounts a story of emancipation.