May 15th 1863 is a key date in the history of art. The Salon des Refusés opened, marking the beginning of a vast undertaking to win the public on behalf of the painters hitherto ignored by the institutions. We can see them gradually gather, organise, choose one another and exchange opinions. The first exhibition of the group that would become that of the Impressionists, in 1874, opened a series of events (eight in all) that up to 1886 would deeply influence the artistic life of the period in an atmosphere of scandal and controversy. The whole story of this astonishing page of art history is told in “The Adventure of Impressionism”, featuring the places connected with it (Barbizon, the Butte Montmartre, the Nouvelle Athènes, the banks of the Seine, the salons of the femmes fatales, the places of entertainment of the capital) and the men who made it happen : Bazille, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Renoir, Caillebotte, Degas, Berthe Morisot, Cézanne, but Manet, Mallarmé, Zola, Nadar, Père Tanguy as well. An adventure that is also that of the men of these times, approaching the modern world with an awareness of its upheavals, inventing for reality a new kind of beauty. More than an aesthetic analysis of the movement, this book concentrates on its human and sociological aspects. It is enhanced by a very rich dictionary of all the figures who played a role in this authentic turn-of-the-century novel. We discover that everyone was more or less involved in this adventure.