Impressionism In Art

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Impressionism: “a theory or practice in painting especially among French painters of about 1870 of depicting the natural appearances of objects by means of dabs or strokes of primary unmixed colors in order to simulate actual reflected light.” (“Impressionism.“) During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s a revolution in art began in France. Impressionism was a drastic change from the artwork from the Renaissance and the period of Romanticism in art. It was also the beginning of modern art. Famous Impressionistic artists include – a man dubbed the leader of Impressionism – Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Mary Cassatt, and Auguste Renoir.

Impressionism can be characterized by short, quick brush strokes that when being viewed from a very close distance looks disarranged and absurd. Yet, when these paintings are viewed from far away they are beautiful and organized. In the time period when Impressionism was rising, it was generally unpopular to paint in this way. Many people still painted in the way artists in the Renaissance painted – with long, sweeping strokes and attention to detail. Impressionists generally tried to capture the “impression” or emotion a specific scene or subject rather than delving into deep detail.

Paris was a main place for Impressionistic artists to be inspired. Paris was unlike many other cities at the time. It was individualized and current at the time. It was quietly beautiful at provided many places for these artists to paint landscapes, still life’s, and living subjects alike. They enjoyed depicting the daily lives of Parisians. Many artists were also born in Paris, and many others just preferred to work in Paris.

Oscar Claude Monet was born in Paris, France on November 14, 1840. This man,...

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...this, Renoir was a dedicated portrait and figure artist. In the early 1870’s many of his paintings were cast-off by the Salon. Because of this, Renoir joined Monet in forming the Impressionist movement.


“Impressionism.” Merriam-Webster. http://www.merriam-, January 20, 2012.

“Edgar Degas 1834-1917.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History., January 25, 2012.

“Paul Gauguin 1848-1903.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. January 25, 2012.

“Mary Stevenson Cassatt 1844-1926.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History., January 25, 2012.

“Auguste Renoir 1841-1919.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History., January 26, 2012.
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