IMPRESSIONISM 101

Camille Pissarro’s Impressionist Boulevard Montmare at Night courtesy of The National Gallery of London
 
When one thinks of the impressionist era and painters, they think of fuzzy finishes, light colors, and simple paintings along the seine; but it is so much more. The Impressionist movement  was a reaction against the rigid conventions of academic painting and sought to capture the fleeting moment, the essence of light and color, and the atmosphere of a scene rather than a precise representation of it. Impressionist painters painted the outdoors using short, broken brushstrokes and a vibrant color palette to create a sense of movement in their paintings while capturing the changing effects of light and shadow. This new and groundbreaking method had a profound influence on the art world, paving the way for later modern movements such as Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism.
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Claude Monet's Water Lily Pond Courtesy of The National Gallery of London

 Auguste Renoir's Bal du Moulin de la Galette Courtesy of Musée d'Orsay

HISTORY:

The French term "Impressionism" was first used by critics to describe a painting by Monet titled "Impression, Sunrise." However, the artists themselves embraced the term and formed a group known as the Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs (Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Engravers) to exhibit their work independently of the official Salon exhibitions. The adoption of the method and term encouraged artists all over Europe to embrace colors and the simplicity that is every day life.

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Van Gogh's Starry Night, Courtesy of MoMA

“I must have flowers, always, and always. Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.”

- Claude Monet


Paul Cezanne's The Card Players, Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Emerge

Lauren Skunta

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Vintage Glass Candle Holder Set

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CHARACTERSITICS:

  • Emphasis on capturing the effects light and color have in a scene 
  • Use of quick and visible brushstrokes to create texture and movement
  • Depiction on everyday scenes and subjects, such as landscapes, city streets, and leisure activities
  • Emphasis on the artist's personal perception and interpretation of a scene 
  • Produce an unrefined & unfinished look in paintings

George Seurat's A Sunday on La Grand Jatte, Courtesy of the Art institute of Chicago 

"Torso" by Alexander Zadorin

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Boscage

Lauren Skunta

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Pierre Auguste Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party, Courtesy of Phillips
Impressionism represented a departure from traditional artistic norms and a celebration of individuality and creative freedom. Artists were encouraged to trust their own perceptions and instincts, to experiment with new techniques and approaches, and to express their unique vision of the world around them. The movement created an unexpected shift in the art world- to  embrace spontaneity, to appreciate the beauty of everyday moments, and to see the world with fresh eyes.

Edouard Manet's Olympia, Courtesy of Musée d'Orsay

Bedroom Shadow

Robert Farber

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Vintage Sterling Silver Candelabra

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ARTISTS TO KNOW:

  • Claude Monet
  • Pierre Auguste Renoir
  • Edgar Degas
  • Camille Pissarro
  • Mary Cassat
  • George Seurat
  • Berthe Morisot
  • Auguste Rodin
  • Paul Gauguin
  • Édouard Manet
  • Paul Cezanne
George Seurat's Bathers at Asnières, Courtesy of The National Gallery of London

“To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.”

— Pierre-Auguste Renoir

 

Edward Degas' The Dance Class, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Mary Cassatt's Young Mother Sewing, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Supermodel II

Isabelle Van Zeijl

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Marilyn Glass Set

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Gustav Caillebotte's Paris Street; Rainy Day, Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago

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