The Impressionists Movement

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Impressionist painting grew out of artists’ discontent with the strict standards of the French Academy of Fine Arts. These artists wanted the freedom to paint what they see and felt while painting. Claude Monet and Edgar Degas were just two of the many artists who transitioned into impressionism. Although Monet and Degas painting styles were markedly different, they both showed artistic freedom in their work. The impressionist movement in the arts brought fresh ideas, subjects, and techniques into painting. I will discuss impressionism and how this type of painting is used in Claude Monet’s Rouen Cathedral and L’absinthe by Edgar Degas. The impressionist movement, born in France, occurred in 1874 when artists who did not follow the criteria for showing at the Salon were shut out of the exhibitions. The Académie des Beaux-Arts was founded in 1648 by Charles Lebrun (1619-90) and they decided whose work would be placed in the annual Salon. Works by the impressionist artists to be akin to a sketch or an unfinished piece of art and not suitable for exhibit. Their reaction to being excluded was to have their own exhibitions. The City of Paris became the principal location for impressionists as it had been renovated under Napoleon III between 1853 and 1870. “Its many facets and varied participants make the Impressionist movement difficult to define. Indeed, its life seems as fleeting as the light effects it sought to capture.” (Samu 2000) Impressionists used everyday scenes for their subjects in an attempt to capture reality. They chose, for their subjects, natural scenes and included the effect light had on their subject. The colors they used were light, vibrant colors to show luminosity. Artists attempted to represent t... ... middle of paper ... ...captured the spirit of the scene. Unlike Monet, he painted indoors and used sketches. They both were great impressionists and showed artistic freedom in their work. They had different ideas, subjects and techniques, but both brought real life of the middle class into their paintings. Works Cited Auricchio, Laura. Claude Monet (1840-1926). In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. 2000. www.metmuseum.org Carroll, Colleen. Claude Monet 1840-1926. Times of Day in Art. Arts & Activities. Sept 2008. Vol 144. Issue 1. P 24. Moffat, Charles. French Impressionism. The Art History Archive – Impressionism. 2007. www.arthistoryarchive.com Potter, Polyxeni. Alone Together Then and Now. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Oct 2009. Vol 15. Issue 10. Social Studies and Language. Nashville: SW Advantage/Great American, Inc. 2012. Print.
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