Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.


Impressionist Art originated from the idea that painter's job is to produce a convincing image of reality and that the true sensation of experiencing the effects of light, colour and realism could only be captured in the open air(En plein air) rather than from the dull surroundings of a studio.


Although ridiculed at first by the conservative art establishment in Europe, Impressionism became one of the most celebrated and popular art styles, because it allowed the artists a certain freedom to express their own creativity and imagination rather than draw from the rules of academic painting.


The Key components to this style of art are


Light  - Impressionists worked "en plein air", as they studied the effects of natural light on the scenery they painted


Color Theory - Used complementary primary, secondary, and tertiary colors on canvases to achieve color blends that were found in nature. Colours are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible, creating a vibrant surface. The optical mixing of colours occurs in the eye of the viewer


Technique - Used short, thick strokes of paint to quickly capture the essence of the subject, rather than its details


Subject Matter - Impressionists painted realistic scenes of modern life including still lives, women, children, everyday people and scenes in the opera, ballet, bars horse tracks.



Some of the famous French Impressionists are:


Claude Monet


Monet painting " Femmes au jardin - Women in the garden" reveals his attention to light effects and careful organization of details.


The women in the foreground sits in a toned shadow,

the result of light from the sky reflecting up from her white

dress, while in the figure on the furthest left flesh tones

show through her dress.The warm shadow of a tree cuts out a large grey piece from the paths and the sunlit dresses.









Edouard Manet 

Manet controversial painting "Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe - Luncheon on the grass"  rejected by the The Paris Salon but  exhibited at the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Rejected)  is one of the turning points in modern art. Manet in his painting attacked the academic conventions of the Salon therefore breaking away from the traditions of  the conservative thinking of that period.




Pierre-Auguste Renoir

One of Renoir best known Impressionist works is   "Bal du Moulin de la Galette - Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette". The painting depicts an open-air scene, crowded with people, at a popular dance garden on the Butte Montmartre, close to where he lived. This painting shows Renoir style for radiant paintings,  eye for detail and brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.







Edgar Degas


Degas was a master in his study of the gestures and poses of human figures in interior settings.   His works were prepared, calculated, practiced, developed in stages. Degas himself explained, "In art, nothing should look like chance, not even movement"








Paul Cezanne

Cezanne has been often called "The father of Modern Painting"                   

Cezanne's work demonstrates a mastery of design, colour, tone, and composition. His often repetitive, sensitive and exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable.


Cezanne was interested in the simplification of naturally occurring forms to their geometric essentials; he wanted to "treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone" (a tree trunk may be conceived of as a
cylinder, an apple or orange a sphere, for example).


Cezanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic movement, Cubism.



Berthe Morisot

Morisot was the first women to join the circle of the French

Impressionists painters. She focused on domestic life and portraits in which she could use family and personal friends as models.

She was known for her extremely free brushstrokes specially seen in this painting of a "Summer's Day". 


Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose inde
pendent exhibitions brought them to promine
nce during the 1870s and 188
0s. The name of the style is derived from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise),

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