Impressionism Essay

949 Words2 Pages

During the 19th century, Paris went through a series of change as the medieval city developed into a modern metropolis. Innovations throughout this period as well as a change of attitude towards social classes and Academic art became the catalysts that birthed the artistic movement, Impressionism. Paintings such as Le Pont de l’Europe by Gustave Caillebotte, Interior View of the Gare, St-Lazare: The Auteuil Line by Claude Monet and Boulevard Montmartre, matin d’hiver by Camille Pissarro encapsulated the artistic and social contexts of Impressionism.

Artistic Contexts
Claude Monet and Camile Pissarro were two of the founders of Impressionism, a movement that was largely influenced by its predecessor, Realism. Originally, Monet’s career in art started with him drawing caricatures of the townspeople of Le Havre. Then in 1857, he met en plein-air painter, Eugène Boudin. He urged a reluctant eighteen year old Monet to paint outdoors, encouraging him to “see the light.” Boudin’s teachings would later influence Monet as he met artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley in 1862. Together they refined plein–air painting; they investigated the effects of light as they painted with broken colours and rapid brushstrokes across a canvas. In contrast was Pissarro as his earliest works were rendered in the more traditional Academic style-invisible brushstrokes, and realistic subject matter. Though in 1859, his works became looser and freer, greatly influenced by Camille Corot’s rural scenes and Gustave Courbet’s plein-air paintings.

Gustave Caillebotte, however, was an Impressionist that did not rely on painting en plein-air. He turned towards the innovation that was photography, invented during the mid 1930’s, to guide him i...

... middle of paper ...

...rd Montmartre, matin d’hiver. Paris as a modern metropolis was evident in the wide street and bustling sidewalks in Pissarro’s work, as well as the grand townhouses and cafés lining the street.

Paris became the centre of the newly prosperous bourgeoisie and the Impressionists captured it all across their canvases. Evidence of this could be seen in Caillebotte’s Le Pont de l’Europe as it depicted a bourgeois couple strolling in Paris. The urbanization of Paris also brought about a freedom of mobility for the Parisians as they could utilize the new railroads to travel in and out of the city for their leisure. In Monet’s Interior View of the Gare, St-Lazare: The Auteuil Line, the coming and going of trains displayed the importance of this invention to the city’s roaming inhabitants. Many Parisians took advantage of this innovation, such as art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the artistic and social contexts of impressionism in paris during the 19th century.
  • Explains that claude monet and camile pissarro were the founders of impressionism, a movement that was influenced by its predecessor, realism.
Show More
Open Document