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A Comparison of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism Essay

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A Comparison of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism


In this essay, I will contrast and compare the two art movements, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. I will be concentrating on the works of the two leading artists of these styles Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

The impressionist movement is often considered to mark the beginning of the modern period of art. It was developed in France during the late 19th century. The impressionist movement arose out of dissatisfaction with the classical, dull subjects and clean cut precise techniques of painting. They preferred to paint outdoors concentrating more on landscapes and street scenes, and began to paint ordinary everyday people and liked to show the effects in natural light.

Claude Monet is often considered one of greatest most dedicated of the Impressionist painters. His aim was to catch the light and atmosphere, something that was scarcely done before. He enjoyed painting outdoors and developed a free and spontaneous painting technique. His brushwork is remarkably flexible and varied. He often changed his technique, sometimes broad and sweeping other times dappled and sparkling.
Le Grenouillere is a typical example of how much the style of painting had changed. The piece has been painted outdoors using light and bright colours, and is of a fairly ordinary everyday scene. It is a work in which we see his art losing the last of its stiffness and clean cut edge.

The composition concentrates mainly on the foreground .It has three main points of interest, the small rowing boats, the artificial island and the floating barge .It also has a stretch of trees and foliage in the background painted in a much lighter fashion. Monet?s painting has a very different composition from Renoir?s painting of Grenouillere, which was done at the same time; Renoir?s painting is focussed much more on the artificial island and the people on it. Monet uses a combination of thick bold brushstrokes and small short soft brushstrokes; this creates a nice varied look and helps give a good impression of perspective. The tone is also very varied as it is Very light in some areas, but it is also quite dark in others, such as the shades on the barge. The use of dark shades in the foreground makes the boat look so realistic and quite 3D. Although the middle ground is flatter this helps add to the perspective. The water ho...


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...m each other. I like the way in which the Impressionist painters managed to break away from the traditional ways of painting. Their careful ways painting which show the effects of light (especially on water) so well are really to be admired. Their use of light bright colours made the way for future painters to become free and express their artwork how they choose. They used short sharp brushwork similar to the Post-Impressionist painters and I feel that Post-Impressionism seems to be almost like a more extreme version of Impressionism. However of the two styles I think that I prefer the Post-Impressionist style as I feel it is freer, bright and shows more emotion. I especially like the long broken and sometimes swirly brushwork which gives everyday scenes a more interesting and exciting feel .The use of bright and vibrant colours brings the paintings to life and creates a range of moods .The artist which I like the most is Van Gogh as I feel his artwork is really quite outstanding .He creates whole new and exciting visions of his interpretations on the things he sees. Not only did he create vivid and intense paintings but also he could express his moods and feelings through them.


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