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John Rewald

(1912—1994)


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Impressionism

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(b Berlin, 12 May 1912; d New York, 2 Feb. 1994).

German-born American art historian, a professor at the University of Chicago 1963–71 and thereafter at the City University, New York. He was the doyen of the field of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist scholarship, and is famous for two magisterial works, The History of Impressionism (1946; 4th edn. 1973) and Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin (1956; 3rd edn. 1978). These show his total command of the voluminous material and his remarkable powers of organization and exposition in forming it into a highly readable narrative, and are, by common consent, among the greatest works of art history ever written (even though some critics have accused him of being strong on facts but weak on interpretation); The History of Impressionism used to enjoy the ‘distinction’ of being the book most frequently stolen from the Courtauld Institute library. Rewald's other writings include books and articles on many leading 19th-century French artists, particularly Cézanne (he received a gold medal from Aix-en-Provence, Cézanne's home town, in 1984). Two collections of his articles have appeared: Studies in Impressionism (1985) and Studies in Post-Impressionism (1986).

Subjects: Art.


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