Impressionists and Politics is an accessible introduction to the current debates about Impressionism. Was the artistic movement really radical and innovative? Is the term "Impressionism" itself an adequate characterization of the movement of painters and critics that took the mid-nineteenth century Paris art world by storm? By providing an historical background and context, the book places the Impressionists' roots in wider social and economic transformations and explains its militancy, both aesthetic and political. Impressionists and Politics is a concise history of the movement, from its youthful inception in the 1860s, through to its final years of recognition and then crisis.