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Art historians’ approach to French Impressionism has changed significa

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New post Updated on: 18 Aug 2019, 22:11
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Art historians’ approach to French Impressionism has changed significantly in recent years. While a decade ago Rewald’s History of Impressionism, which emphasizes Impressionist painters’ stylistic innovations, was unchallenged, the literature on impressionism has now become a kind of ideological battlefield, in which more attention is paid to the subject matter of the paintings, and to the social and moral issues raised by it, than to their style. Recently, politically charged discussions that address the impressionists’ unequal treatment of men and women and the exclusion of modern industry and labor from their pictures have tended to crowd out the stylistic analysis favored by Rewald and his followers. In a new work illustrating this trend, Robert L. Herbert dissociates himself from formalists whose preoccupation with the stylistic features of impressionist painting has, in Herbert’s view, left the history out of art history; his aim is to restore impressionist paintings “to their sociocultural context.” However, his arguments are not finally persuasive.

In attempting to place impressionist painting in its proper historical context, Herbert has redrawn the traditional boundaries of impressionism. Limiting himself to the two decades between 1860 and 1880, he assembles under the impressionist banner what can only be described as a somewhat eccentric grouping of painters. Cezanne, Pisarro, and Sisley are almost entirely ignored, largely because their paintings do not suit Herbert’s emphasis on themes of urban life and suburban leisure, while Manet, Degas, and Caillebotte—who paint scenes of urban life but whom many would hardly characterize as impressionists—dominate the first half of the book. Although this new description of Impressionist painting provides a more unified conception of nineteenth-century French painting by grouping quite disparate modernist painters together and emphasizing their common concerns rather than their stylistic difference, it also forces Herbert to overlook some of the most important genres of impressionist painting—portraiture, pure landscape, and still-life painting.

Moreover, the rationale for Herbert’s emphasis on the social and political realities that Impressionist paintings can be said to communicate rather than on their style is finally undermined by what even Herbert concedes was the failure of Impressionist painters to serve as particularly conscientious illustrators of their social milieu. They left much ordinary experience—work and poverty, for example—out of their paintings and what they did put in was transformed by a style that had only an indirect relationship to the social realities of the world they depicted. Not only were their pictures inventions rather than photographs, they were inventions in which style to some degree disrupted description. Their painting in effect have two levels of subject: what is represented and how it is represented, and no art historian can afford to emphasize one at the expense of the other.
1. Which one of the following best expresses the main point of the passage?

(A) The style of impressionist paintings has only an indirect relation to their subject matter.
(B) The approach to impressionism that is illustrated by Herbert’s recent book is inadequate.
(C) The historical context of impressionist paintings is not relevant to their interpretation.
(D) impressionism emerged from a historical context of ideological conflict and change.
(E) Any adequate future interpretation of impressionism will have to come to terms with Herbert’s view of this art movement.



2.According to the passage, Rewald’s book on impressionism was characterized by which one of the following?

(A) evenhanded objectivity about the achievements of impressionism
(B) bias in favor of certain impressionist painters
(C) an emphasis on the stylistic features of impressionist painting
(D) an idiosyncratic view of which painters were to be classified as impressionists
(E) a refusal to enter into the ideological debates that had characterized earlier discussions of impressionism



3.The author implies that Herbert’s redefinition of the boundaries of impressionism resulted from which one of the following?

(A) an exclusive emphasis on form and style
(B) a bias in favor of the representation of modern industry
(C) an attempt to place impressionism within a specific sociocultural context
(D) a broadening of the term impressionism to include all nineteenth-century French painting
(E) an insufficient familiarity with earlier interpretations of impressionism



4.The author states which one of the following about modern industry and labor as subjects for painting?

(A) The impressionists neglected these subjects in their paintings.
(B) Herbert’s book on impressionism fails to give adequate treatment of these subjects.
(C) The impressionists’ treatment of these subjects was idealized.
(D) Rewald’s treatment of impressionist painters focused inordinately on their representations of these subjects.
(E) Modernist painters presented a distorted picture of these subjects.



5.Which one of the following most accurately describes the structure of the author’s argument in the passage?

(A) The first two paragraphs each present independent arguments for a conclusion that is drawn in the third paragraph.
(B) A thesis is stated in the first paragraph and revised in the second paragraph, and the revised thesis is supported with argument in the third paragraph.
(C) The first two paragraphs discuss and criticize a thesis, and the third paragraph presents an alternative thesis.
(D) a claim is made in the first paragraph, and the next two paragraph each present reasons for accepting that claim.
(E) An argument is presented in the first paragraph, a counterargument is presented in the second paragraph, and the third paragraph suggests a way to resolve the dispute.



6.The author’s statement that impressionist paintings “were inventions in which style to some degree disrupted description” (Highlighted) serves to

(A) strengthen the claim that impressionist sought to emphasize the differences between painting and photography
(B) weaken the argument that style is the only important feature of impressionist paintings
(C) indicate that impressionists recognized that they had been strongly influence by photography
(D) support the argument that an exclusive emphasis on the impressionists subject matter is mistaken
(E) undermine the claim that impressionists neglected certain kinds of subject matter



7.The author would most likely regard a book on the impressionists that focused entirely on their style as

(A) a product of the recent confusion caused by Herbert’s book on impressionism
(B) emphasizing what impressionists themselves took to be their primary artistic concern
(C) an overreaction against the traditional interpretation of impressionism
(D) neglecting the most innovative aspects of impressionism
(E) addressing only part of what an adequate treatment should cover




  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 4 (February 1992)
  • Difficulty Level: 650

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Originally posted by lahoosaher on 12 Sep 2009, 13:00.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 18 Aug 2019, 22:11, edited 7 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (200).
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New post 12 Aug 2015, 08:42
1
NickHalden wrote:
Hello samichange / arundas / krishireddy

Can you please share the version of the passage that you read in the first go by omitting all that you neglect in the first read ?
It will certainly help me to understand what you need to ready & what you can skip to attempt such long pasaages....

Thanks in advance.



I do not think that we can skip anything while reading.I tried and found the skipping strategy useless.
Generally, I read a para , stop for 3-6 seconds, try to para-phrase what I have read and get the main point.
At the end,I think it is best to get a hang of the structure and organization of the passage.
But all the above comes with practice.
I do not skip any part but may slow down to read difficult part and speed up to read the easy part.

Hope the above helps!!!!
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New post 05 Jan 2016, 04:10
1
the question is pretty much easy

Quote:
Moreover, the rationale for Herbert’s emphasis on the social and political realities that Impressionist paintings can be said to communicate rather than on their style is finally undermined by what even Herbert concedes was the failure of Impressionist painters to serve as particularly conscientious illustrators of their social milieu. They left much ordinary experience—work and poverty, for example—out of their paintings and what they did put in was transformed by a style that had only an indirect relationship to the social realities of the world they depicted. Not only were their pictures inventions rather than photographs, they were inventions in which style to some degree disrupted description. Their painting in effect have two levels of subject: what is represented and how it is represented, and no art historian can afford to emphasize one at the expense of the other.


To grasp the meaning of the question,i.e what it does ask to you, is important to read the entire last paragraph.
From the highlighted sentences is clear that painters not only distort the reality, but also disrupt it. And this as a consequence never should be done

Is clear now ?? :wink:
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New post 10 Sep 2019, 02:07
1
Explanation


1. Which one of the following best expresses the main point of the passage?

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation.

In line 17, the author calls Herbert’s approach to the analysis of French Impressionism “not persuasive,” which is simply another way of saying “inadequate.” The rest of the passage explains why the author thinks this.

(A) focuses on a detail in para 3.

(B) Is the correct answer

(C) distorts the passage. The author claims that Herbert’s work hasn’t successfully placed Impressionism in an historical context. That’s not the same as saying that historical context is irrelevant to interpreting Impressionist works.

(D), too, distorts the passage. The “ideological conflict and change” alluded to in the passage concerns the interpretation of Impressionist works, not the works themselves.

(E) The author is critical of Herbert, so it’s not likely that she would endorse the notion that future analyses of Impressionism will have to take his work into account.

Answer: B


Hope it helps

Apoorva2801 wrote:
How can answer to Q1 be b ? Please explain :(

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New post 08 Jul 2011, 21:59
I have a doubt here, somebody clarify please?

In my view, the passage broadly flows as below:
1. Art historians approach changed significantly in recent years.
2. How? - (A decade ago - stylistic innovations (Rewald), Now - more attention to the subject matter)
3. Support to above - Recent discussions about impressionists not depicting modern labor & industry - (the discussions are more focussed on the subject matter than the style which is favored by Rewald and his followers)
4. Herbert - redrew the traditional boundaries ( However, is not persuasive)
5. Why - (limited himself to some people, overlooked important genres of impressionist painting)
6. Support that these couldn't illustrate their social milieu, etc..

From this I thought the main point of the author is to prove that - the art historians approach changed from stylistic innovations to more focus on the subject matter of the painting.

I am not very clear about how the main point of the passage is - Herbert not being persuasive

Could somebody make this clear to me, please?

Thanks in advance
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New post 22 Nov 2011, 08:02
theforrestgump wrote:
can someone explain???


Q 5:

Para I:The claim is
His(Herbert's) arguments are not finally persuasive

Para II : The main idea of para two is rephrased in its last sentence
it also forces Herbert to overlook some of the most important genres of impressionist painting

Para III: The main idea of para three is empasized in its first sentence

Herbert’s emphasis [strike]on the social and political realities that Impressionist paintings can be said to communicate rather than on their style[/strike] is finally undermined by what even Herbert concedes was the failure of Impressionist painters to serve as particularly conscientious illustrators of their social milieu

Clearly the last two para's aim at supporting the claim that Herbert's arguments are not persuasive.

Hence the correct answer is D.
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New post 11 Aug 2015, 13:51
I think the longer humanity passages are actually easier than the short ones :) Got all correct.

Best approach is to not get involved in too much detail and just try to get the main point.

The shorter hard passages tend to pack detail and hence may be tougher.
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New post 12 Aug 2015, 08:31
Hello samichange / arundas / krishireddy

Can you please share the version of the passage that you read in the first go by omitting all that you neglect in the first read ?
It will certainly help me to understand what you need to ready & what you can skip to attempt such long pasaages....

Thanks in advance.
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New post 05 Apr 2016, 04:06
Thanks a lot carcass, after your explanation, I gave it a thought myself, and discovered the trick to answering it - to align the option with the main point of the the para!

carcass wrote:
the question is pretty much easy

Quote:
Moreover, the rationale for Herbert’s emphasis on the social and political realities that Impressionist paintings can be said to communicate rather than on their style is finally undermined by what even Herbert concedes was the failure of Impressionist painters to serve as particularly conscientious illustrators of their social milieu. They left much ordinary experience—work and poverty, for example—out of their paintings and what they did put in was transformed by a style that had only an indirect relationship to the social realities of the world they depicted. Not only were their pictures inventions rather than photographs, they were inventions in which style to some degree disrupted description. Their painting in effect have two levels of subject: what is represented and how it is represented, and no art historian can afford to emphasize one at the expense of the other.


To grasp the meaning of the question,i.e what it does ask to you, is important to read the entire last paragraph.
From the highlighted sentences is clear that painters not only distort the reality, but also disrupt it. And this as a consequence never should be done

Is clear now ?? :wink:
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New post 18 Jan 2019, 16:17
Could someone who got Q5 correct share their thought process?
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New post 20 Mar 2019, 03:58
Hi.. Can anyone explain Q5 & Q7. Thanks
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New post 23 Mar 2019, 02:57
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New post 23 Mar 2019, 03:18
Hello

goforgmat
Amanrai93
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PAVANIJOSHI374

Here is Q5 and 7

Explanation


5. Which one of the following most accurately describes the structure of the author’s argument in the passage?

Explanation

Difficulty Level: 700

In the last sentence of Para 1, the author claims that Herbert’s arguments are unpersuasive. In Para 2 and 3, she explains why. (A), (B), (E) Para 2 doesn’t present a second argument (A); revise a thesis (B); or present a counterargument (E). Like Para 3, it simply fleshes out an argument made in Para 1. (C) Like Para 2, Para 3 supports the argument made in Para 1. Moreover, this Para doesn’t contain an “alternative thesis.” The author simply suggests that art criticism must take into account both stylistic and content issues; but that hardly qualifies as an “alternative thesis.”

• When describing the structure of a passage, watch out for answer choices containing features that weren’t mentioned (in this case, (A), (B) and (E)).

ANSWER: D


7. The author would most likely regard a book on the impressionists that focused entirely on their style as

Explanation

Difficulty Level: 700

This choice nicely paraphrases the last sentence of the passage, in which the author says that critiques of Impressionist paintings must take into account both their style and
content.

(A) Herbert’s book, which is based on the content of Impressionist paintings, wouldn’t lead to a book on Impressionist style.

(B) The passage reveals what art historians think about Impressionism; it doesn’t provide any genuine insight into what Impressionists themselves thought should be their “primary artistic concern.”

(C) The traditional interpretation of Impressionism, like that found in Rewald’s book, emphasizes stylistic issues.

(D) The author simply says that critiques of Impressionism must address both stylistic and content issues; she doesn’t comment on what constitutes the most “innovative” part of Impressionist painting.

• This question highlights the importance of reading the entire passage. The answer to a question or two often appears in the last few sentences of the text.

ANSWER: E


Hope it Helps
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New post 09 Sep 2019, 21:13
How can answer to Q1 be b ?
Please explain :(
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New post 15 Sep 2019, 06:55
SajjadAhmad

Can you please post answer of Q. 6

Thanks
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New post 15 Sep 2019, 08:17
Explanation


6. The author’s statement that impressionist paintings “were inventions in which style to some degree disrupted description” (Highlighted) serves to

Difficulty Level: 650-700

Explanation

Para 3’s general thrust is that not too much about society can be inferred from Impressionist paintings because Impressionists consciously distorted reality for stylistic reasons.

(A) and (C) touch on a distinction made by the author, not by Impressionists themselves.

(B) This quote comes up in the context of an argument that denies the validity of exclusively concentrating on the substance of Impressionist paintings.

(E) If anything, this quote supports the claim that Impressionists ignored certain subjects to concentrate on others.

Answer: D


Hope it helps

hero_with_1000_faces wrote:
SajjadAhmad

Can you please post answer of Q. 6

Thanks

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