FANS of Monet, Dagas and Renoir are in for a treat next Sunday as a three-part drama on their lives begins on BBC One.
The Impressionists will provide an insight into the rivalries, the romance and the struggle for recognition the group experienced when their paintings shocked the art world.
The programme was shot on location in Provence and Normandy, at Monet's garden at Giverny, and draws upon archive letters, records and interviews from the time.
To modern eyes, Impressionist paintings possess a familiar, well-loved beauty - Monet's exquisite water lilies, Renoir's smiling girls, Degas' delicate ballerinas.
However, to contemporaries, Impressionist paintings were seen as scandalous and heretical.
The series reveals how Monet took just 40 minutes to paint his seminal work Impression: Sunrise in a race against time to capture the light; why Manet's depiction of Olympia, in which his model brazenly gazes out of the canvas, so outraged Parisian society; and how Cézanne's 60 paintings of one mountain, Montagne Saint-Victoire, laid the foundations for cubism and modern art.
The story is told through the eyes of Monet, who at 80-years-old looks back on his past life in an interview with a journalist at his garden in Giverny in the 20s.
The Impressionists starts on Sunday, April 30, at 6.35pm on BBC One
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