The Macchiaioli : Italian Painters of the Nineteenth Century,  by Norma Broude

(A thorough study of this group of 19th-century Florentine painters, their working methods, influences, and the cultural-historical milieu that shaped them.)

Corot in Italy: Open-Air Painting and Classical Landscape Tradition, by Peter Galassi (Focuses on the period in which Corot traveled in Italy, painting his influential landscape studies. Traces the development of the tradition of artists traveling and painting in Italy.

Theory & Practice:

Hawthorne On Painting, by Charles W. Hawthorne
A clearer exposition on painting from observation has yet to be written.

Painting Methods of the Impressionists, by Bernard Dunstan (any of Dunstan’s books are excellent)
Intelligent, scholarly discussions of working methods, materials, and practices of not only the major Impressionist masters like Monet, Sisley, and Pissarro, but also those of their contemporaries like Sickert, Whistler, & Sargent.

Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice, by Mitchell Albala
In a genre over-populated by recipes and formulaic dogma about landscape painting, this book is a refreshing alternative.


Notes On Color, by Ken Kewley (Courtesy of Painting Perceptions)

Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists: Vol. 1: Corot, by Elbert Hubbard, 1902.

Talks About Art, by William Morris Hunt, 1824-79

Composition, by Arthur Wesley Dow, 1899

Memoirs of the Early Italian Painters, by Anna Jameson, 1890

Notebooks, by Leonardo da Vinci

Lives of the Artists,  by Giorgio Vasari, 1511-74

Alberti on Painting, by Leon Battista Alberti, 1435

L’Inferno, by Dante Aligheri, 1265-13212

The Decameron, by Boccaccio, 1313-75

The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance, Bernard Berenson, 1865-1959

Essays in the Study of Sienese Painters, by Bernard Berenson


The Macchiaioli, by Norma Broude

The Artistic Training and Methods of the Macchiaioli, by Norma Broude

Words on Art, by Alan Feltus

Seeing, by Annie Dillard (from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

What the Sixties Meant to Me, by Rackstraw Downes, b. 1939

What Have We Made of the Landscape, by Rackstraw Downes

Why I’m a Painter of Landscapes, by Norman Turner

Addicted to Defeat: Reflections on Painting Outdoors, by Norman Turner

On The Art of Sketching Landscape, by William Gilpin, 1724-1804




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