refers to an artistic movement that took place in France from
the 1860s to the 1880s. The term impressionism was
exploited by newspaper critics based on Monets 1873 painting,
Impression: Sunrise. The term was used in a negative sense;
critics implied that the paintings were mere impressions and not
finished works of art.
of the work comprised by the impressionist artists was created
from 1867 to 1886. This group of artists shared similar approaches
and techniques. There were individual differences in goals, but
all of the artists rejected the notion of traditional art held
by the Salon of the French Academy. They were driven portray modern
life and to focus on various aspects of their paintings.
most prominent Impressionist painters were Edouard Manet, Camille
Pissarro, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Paul Cézanne, Mary
Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Frederic Bazille
and Armand Guillaumin. In the late 1860s, Manets works showed
a new aesthetic. He shifted attention to color, tone and texture
as the main details of his work. This became the driving force
Pissarro, and Renoir began painting landscapes and river scenes
in the late 1860s. They abandoned the traditional approach to
landscapes by painting with light, bright colors as opposed to
the dull greens, greys, and browns commonly used. They also painted
in dabs and dots and used complementary colors for shadowing instead
of blacks and greys. The impressionist style was rooted in the
practice of painting en plein air, painting rapidly
and wielding broad strokes. Light and atmosphere was the primary
focus of the works of Monet and Renoir. In contrast, Degas and
Cassatt tended to emphasize the primacy of form and line over
light and atmosphere.
of the Salon, the group held its first exhibition in 1874. The
impressionists managed to hold seven subsequent shows. Their last
show was in 1886. During the mid-1880s, the Impressionist group
started to go their separate directions. Every artist further
pursued his or her own technique and mastery.
work of the Impressionists and their vision for what they believed
art should be opened the doors for Vincent van Gogh and Georges
Seurat as well as artists in the West. The bravery of the Impressionists
to go against the norm in painting has given the world not only
a new appreciation for a different style of art, but also a template
for further change.