The Impressionists at Leisure

Pamela Todd


No group of painters pursued the civilized and sensual pleasures of life so avidly while reflecting them so deliciously in their paintings as the Impressionists. Here Pamela Todd skillfully interweaves diaries, letters, memoirs, and her own acute observations into a fresh take on these colorful characters—all illustrated with a captivating and unique selection of paintings, drawings, photographs, posters, and ephermera.

Nineteenth-century Paris and its environs are brought vividly to life. Here are the bustling bars and cafés, the dazzling Opera, the lively dances at the Moulin de la Galette, and raucous nights at the Moulin Rouge. These are balanced by the frequent escapes that the Impressionists made from the city for a day of boating on the Seine, a few weeks spent painting by the sea, or a vacation on the French Riviera.

The book includes the Impressionists and Impressionist-inspired artists of other countries—the United States, Germany, Italy, and the Scandinavian nations—amply demonstrating the enthusiastic spread of Impressionism outside France. It is completed with biographies of the key figures in the book and addresses and contact details for the most important sites discussed, allowing readers to plan their own pilgrimages to the haunts that captured the Impressionists’ hearts.

Pamela Todd, an English art historian, has written extensively on the art and culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Unique… a loving and engaging history.

— Library Journal


Pamela Todd