In a vivid and moving narrative, The Private Lives Of The Impressionists shows how the early leaders of the group first met in the Paris studios, working closely together for twenty years.
Painting outdoors, meeting in cafes, they supported each other and shared emotional and financial difficulties.
Defying the hide-bound rules of the salon, they staged joint exhibitions and rebelled against artistic prejudice, moral tyranny and social hierarchy.
Often rejected by their horrified parents, they led volatile and precarious lives: their wives were servants, models, flower-sellers and, although their paintings today sell for millions, they were barely able to support their families.
This intimate, colourful, superbly researched account takes us into their homes as well as their studios and describes their love affairs and arguments, heartaches and dreams as well as their canvases and theories.
Over the years there were divisions and rows, but in the end, this constellation of talent shone through, giving the world a new, exhilarating form of art.