Ce diaporama a bien été signalé.
What is impressionism?
Impressionism is a 19th century artistic movement that swept much of the painting and sculpture
styles of the period. It was not just a passing fad but has defined an entirely modern way of
expressing one’s artistry that eventually rubbed off in other art forms like literature and
Impressionism is a light, spontaneous manner of painting which began in France as a
reaction against the restrictions and conventions of the dominant Academic art.
Concerned with capturing light and a fleeting moment in time.
Artists used small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.
April 15, 1874, the first of eight exhibitions for a group of artists opened in Paris. The artists that
exhibited their works were called “rebels”, “intransigents”, “the Japanese painters” and the
The exhibiting artists were rejected by the Salon Juries. (The Academy) They formed a
Cooperative Society of Artists-Painters. Thirty artists showed their work at that time, including
Monet, Renoir, Degas and Pissarro.
The public, at first hated the paintings. But the tide was turning. Gradually they came to believe
that the Impressionists had captured a fresh and original vision. The art critics of that time,
continued to disapprove calling the paintings unfinished sketches.
Development of Photography:
The history of photography commenced with the invention and development of the camera and
the creation of permanent images starting with Thomas Wedgwood in 1790 and culminating in
the work of the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826.
Impressionist artists felt the new technology of Photography was ruining the art of painting.
They felt the need to create a new style of painting in which accurate rendering of the subject
was not the main focus.
The availability of new pigments and tubed paints made it easier for artists to paint outdoors.
Impressionism used this tubed paints.
The Influence of Japanese Art:
In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy lead a fleet of frigates to Edo, Japan,
where he threatened to open fire upon the town if Japan did not agree to a trade agreement with
the U.S. (it was a “closed country” that did not trade with Europe/U.S.)
Once trade begun, woodblock prints made by Japanese artist’s such as Hokusai, made their way
into the United States and Europe, where they were eagerly collected by artists.
Ways in which European art was influenced by the newly available Japanese
• Asymmetry of compositions
• Dramatic cropping of image/picture plane
• Use of flat areas of color/pattern. Less traditional modeling
• Leaving large areas “empty” in a composition.
Henri Riviere, ‘La Tour Hiroshige, ‘Gion Shrine in the Snow
en construction, vue de Trocadero’
Claude Monet ‘Water lilies and Japanese Bridge', 1899
Impressionist Color Theory:
• Light is the source of our experience of color – white light is made up of colored light.
• Local color (the actual color of an object) is modified by the quality of the light &
reflections from other objects.
• Shadows are not black/grey but composed of colors modified by reflections & other
• Two complementary colors in small amounts placed next to each other blend in the eye to
look like neutral tones.
• Juxtaposition of colors on canvas for the eye to fuse at a distance produces a more intense
hue then mixing them
Characteristics of Impressionist painting:
Rendering the visual world as it appears to the eye, not as it actually exists. Capturing a quick,
spontaneous “impression” of an image: Optical sensations.
• Visible brushstrokes
• Light Colors
• Emphasis on Light and the changing qualities of it
• Ordinary Subject Matter
• Unusual Visual Angles
• Open Compositions.
Impressionist Themes and Subjects:
• Everyday life
• Landscape painting
• Countryside and seaside: often focus on modern life in suburban scenes
• Bourgeoisie at leisure (sailing, café life, modern entertainment)
• Cityscapes – especially Paris.
In paintings made en plain air (outdoors), shadows are boldly painted with the blue of the sky as
it is reflected onto surfaces, giving a sense of freshness and openness that was not captured in
painting previously. (Blue shadows on snow inspired the technique.)
Masters of Impressionism:
1. Claude Monet: Lily ponds & Gardens
2. Auguste Renoir: People Outdoors
3. Edgar Degas: Dancers and Theater
4. Camille Pissarro: Cities and Streets
5. Alfred Sisley: Rivers and Landscapes
6. Mary Cassatt: Mothers and Children
Claude Monet: (b. 1840 – d. 1926)
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting (often called “The Father of
Impressionism”, and the most consistent and prolific painter of the movement's philosophy.
In the latter half of his life, Monet bought house in Giverny (rural France), where he constructed
a large, lush garden in which he painted.
Auguste Rodin: (b. 1841– d. 1919)
Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the predecessor of
modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was schooled traditionally, took
a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition, although he was never
accepted into Paris's foremost school of art. His work is considered Impressionist because of the
rough surfaces and the multiplicity of plans.
In Rodin’s opinion, beauty in art consisted of a truly depiction of the internal state and for
achieving that aim he used a certain distort of the anatomy.
Edgar Degas: (b. 1834 – d. 1917)
• Instead of painting outdoors, Degas painted in a studio from sketches and photographs in
both oil and pastel.
• Degas's only showing of sculpture during his life took place in 1881 when he exhibited
The Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, only shown again in 1920; the rest of the sculptural
works remained private until a subsequent exhibition in 1918.
• Subjects: the racetrack, the music hall, the ballet/opera, and series of bathing women.
Camille Pissarro: (b.1830 –d.1903)
Many of Pissarro’s painting depict where urban meets nature. He focused on using lighter colors
and loose, short, choppy brushstrokes.
Mary Cassatt: (b.1844 – d.1926)
• American-born artist that studied in Pennsylvania, then moved with her sister to France.
• Became friends with Edgar Degas who became her mentor.
• Subjects are mainly of domestic scenes: women and children.
• Paintings often show quiet moments between mother and child.
• Strong sense of translucency in the skin tones of her figures.