Radical Republicanism, Darwin's Science, and the Evolution of Impressionist Aesthetics
Many have contributed to the eventual completion of this project and are thus deserving of recognition here in its opening pages. I am indebted first to Brigham Young University’s College of Humanities for its generosity in funding trips to museums in Europe as well as here in the U.S. There is no substitute for seeing a Monet in person; no image in a book can ever reproduce the subtleties of color, surface textures, and light effects that the artist achieved with his paints. One memorable evening spent at the Art Institute of Chicago chatting with conference colleagues while staring simultaneously at a wall of Monets yielded more insight into his aesthetic theory than a year of studying Wildenstein’s books.
My students have been especially helpful in the refinement of my approach to Monet’s oeuvre. I am grateful to all those who took my Impressionism in the Arts senior seminar over the last twenty years and who listened to and critiqued my ideas as they developed. Two in particular deserve special thanks: Michael McKeon whose master’s thesis helped deepen my understanding of the philosophical implications of Monet’s aesthetic choices, and Brittany Atkinson who, as my research assistant, helped me sift through Monet’s extensive—and rather mundane—personal correspondence in search of the rare and often embedded comment that hinted at the artist’s political leanings. ← xi | xii →
I have profited too from the public forum in which to test my ideas provided by conferences sponsored by...
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