Archive for the ‘Impressionism’ Category

Impressionist Painters

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Renoir - Monet painting in his garden at ArgenteuilThe Impressionist movement was a movement started by young radical painters and rejected by most traditionalists, including the academie, until Napoleon decreed that the public should be the one to give their own opinion. Most of these painters were friends and companions and even in some cases painted together.

These artists painted in a light, bright and quite original manner, quite different form the preceding generation.

In the mid 1870’s these painters decided to do a collective exhibit, the first of the Impressionist movement. Among the participating artists were Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, Pissaro, Manet and others. In total there were thirty. This was the first of eight exhibits that brought to light Impressionism.

To distinguish the best painter of the group would be difficult as all of them were among the best, and yet they were all criticized and hated for a long time.

Of all of these it could be said that Monet, Morisot, Pissaro, and Sisley are to be considered the strongest painters to adhere to the style. They worked more consistently with the show of color, sunlight, and spontaneous representations.

Other painters like Renoir left the movement after a time, and Degas focused more on drawing than on color at later times, and Edouard Manet continued to use black in his paintings which the true impressionists did not.

Best Impressionist Artist: Claude Monet

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Self Portrait - Claude MonetClaude Monet is the most known painter of the French impressionism era. When most people think of Impressionism they think of Monet. In fact the term for the Impressionism movement came from one of Monet’s paintings “Impression Sunrise.” He is well known for his rapid brush strokes and his study of light through color. The term was actually used in a derogatory way when his work was first viewed. It took Monet and others like him over twenty years to find acceptance in the world of art.

He was the first to develop the technique of “plein air” painting, where the artists goes to the scene and paints landscape on sight.

Among his most known works are the series of paintings he did known as the water lilies. These were done later in his life and at a time when he was a true master of the impressionist style. As his style and work progressed, he also grew to love the art of gardening and his work reflects this love. His works like the “water lilies” reflect this love of gardening.

Even today many artists love and admire Monet’s work and use techniques he set fort with the use of light and color in their modern day works.

Important Characteristics of Impressionists Paintings Which Changed the way Artists Work

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

The Rue Mosnier Decorated with Flags, 1878 by Edouard ManetImpressionists were among the first to truly think outside of the box. The techniques they began to use are techniques that many artists still use in painting today.

Among those most noted in the era were:

  • Thick short strokes of bright color. These strokes were taken to get a quick impression of the essence of the subject. Impressionism did not focus on the intricate details of an image
  • Color – Color is not mixed. It is laid against another color which thus creates a vibrant overall look. The mixing of the colors is supposed to take place when the viewer looks at the painting
  • No use of Black – There is no black used in impressionism. Grays and dark colors are obtained by mixing contrasting colors together.
  • Previously after applying certain paint, the painting is left to dry and this did not happen with Impressionism. The painters tended to blend the colors right on the canvas by mixing in wet colors
  • Because Impressionists took painting outdoors, they began to realize the importance of natural light in their paintings and played up the emphasis of light.

Previous to the Impressionist period painters had used some of their methods, but never all of the methods together with such bold brush strokes.

Another influence in Impressionism may have been a new invention in regards to the paints themselves. Previous to this time most painters had to mix their paint from scratch. During this era paints began to appear as premixed in lead tubes. This allowed the artists more freedom in transporting their paints and allowing them to take their materials outside.

Impressionism and the Portrait

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Claude Monet- Woman with a parasol -1875The Impressionist art movement started as a rebellious art movement by four students, and yet today it is considered one of the most important art movements of our time. Even today we are inspired with awe when we see a piece by Monet or Manet.

The four that began the movement were Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Auguste Renoir, and Frederic Bazille. At the time conventional painting was done in doors, in the studios with subjects set within non existent historical Greek or Roman scenes.

One day these four artists took their work outdoors. They went to the forest of Fontainbleu and started painting out in the open. The object was to paint swiftly, to capture the light and the impression of the moment. As they began to further work in the style portraits that were commissioned were painted outdoors or in their natural setting. The painters began to see that capturing the natural light in a portrait gave the painting a certain energy.

Many of the time did not like Impressionism. The painters were ridiculed and the paintings were considered unfinished. It took 20 years for the movement to catch on and to become quite the in thing.

This is probably the reason not many portraits were commissioned, but many of the famous portraits of today were of the common people the artists knew at the time. The artists of this era were diverse both in style and in their temperament but they were all unified by their rebellious nature and their independent spirit.

Impressionist Art

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Impression Soleil Levant - Claude Monet, 1873Impressionism was an art movement that began in the 19th century and had its roots in Paris. It began as a collective movement when artists began to show their art publicly during the mid 1800’s. The name came from the title of an Impressionistic painting done by Claude Monet called Impression Sunrise or (Impression Soleil levant).

The impressionist painters were the outcasts of the time. In the beginning the movement did not go over well and was strongly criticized by traditionalists. Most of their paintings were rejected by the Academie for a very long time.

Impressionist painting is known for its strong brushstrokes, different lighting techniques, and ordinary subjects. The movement focused on the unusual side of the ordinary by painting ordinary scenes from different angles.

These painters took painting to the next level, by taking their painting to the scenes instead of bringing the scenes into the studio. These impressionists painted their still lifes and their portraits in natural outdoor settings. Before this time even landscapes had been painted indoors. The style emphasizes life and the effect of life and does not go into the details of the painting, which was quite a contrast from the preferred neoclassical, and classical painting of the time.


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