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Impressionism

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 1 year, 6 months ago

 

Topics on the Page

 

What is Impressionism

 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

 

Eva Gonzales

 

Claude Monet

 

Mary Cassatt

 

Vincent Van Gogh and Post-Impressionism

 

 

Monet's Impression Sunrise, 1875

 

Monet's Impression Sunrise, 1875

 

What is Impressionism

 

What do you think of this painting?  Can you tell what it depicts? 

 

It was painted in a style that came to be known as "Impressionism," which got its name from this painting. 

 

The name came about when the art critic Louis Leroy wrote a negative review of an exhibition featuring this and similar paintings by the likes of Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, and Edgar Degas. 

 

See an explanation of this painting and of this story here.  Think about the non-representational art of today.  Some people reject it just as Leroy rejected this now loved style of painting.

 

So what is Impressionism? 

 

  • Impressionism was an artistic movement that started around 1876. 

 

  • The artists that made up the movement had been rejected by the French Academy.  They sought to capture the essence of a scene, what might be remembered if it was only glimpsed. 

 

  • They focused on the use of natural light, and often painted series of the same subject in different lighting, like Monet's series on haystacks.  Impressionists also differed from tradition by painting modern, urban scenes.

 

  • Artists of other sorts, like Charles Baudelaire (author of The Flowers of Evil) and composer Claude Debussy were inspired by the same approach.

 

By the 1880s, another group of artists started the Post-Impressionist movement.  Among the artists of the new movement were Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and George Seurat.  This and the previous paragraph draw their information from this video.

 

For any overview of impressionism, click here!

 

Who were the key impressionists and what are some of their works?

 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir:

 

Coming from humble beginnings, Renoir started as a porcelain painting apprentice.  Later he briefly served in the Franco-Prussian war before getting dysentery.  He went on to help found this movement.  He was friends with realist/romanticist authors Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary) and Emile Zola (J'accuse, a key piece in the Dreyfus Affair).  Here is his biography.

 

 

Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881

 

Dance in the City, 1883

 

Bal du Moulin de la Gallette, 1876

 

Eva Gonzales: Like other female artists, Gonzales could not attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.  She was fortunate, though, to meet avant-garde painter Edouard Manet, and to be accepted as his only student.  In another misfortune only affecting women, she died at 34 during childbirth.  Despite such a young passing, she produced many brilliant works.  For these and other details of Gonzales' life, see here.

 

A Box at the Italian Theater, 1874.

 

The Donkey Ride, 1880

 

Roses in a Glass, c1880-1882

 

Monet Portrait by Renoir, 1875

 

Monet Portrait by Renoir, 1875

Claude Monet: Monet struggled with depression throughout his life, and following the death of his wife Camille he made a dark Ice Drift series.  He did several studies of the same object in different lights, like the Haystack series discussed above.  For these and other details of Monet's life, see here.

 

 

One of the Ice Drift series

 

 

The Water Lily Pond, 1899

 

 

San Giorgio at Dusk, 1908

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Cassatt Self Portrait (1878)

 

 

Mary Cassatt:

 

Cassatt grew up in Allegheny City, PA, though she later moved to France.  She was able to go to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, but was patronized by her male colleagues.  She was friends with an inspired by Edgar Degas, but achieved her own distinctive style. 

 

Much of her art focuses on female subjects and on the tender love of mothers for children.

 

Biography here.

 

Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878

 

Young Mother Sewing, 1900

 

The Cup of Tea, 1880

 

Explore a collection of her works on Wikipedia

 

Try this lesson plan from the Getty Museum in which students examine Impressionist paintings that depict adolescent workers.  They can then compare the subjects' experiences to their own.

 

For insights into changes in art in the last half of the 19th century, see Monet and the Impressionists from the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Go to the bottom of page and click on the link to Monet Education Slideshow (including Monet short film).

For more, see Impressionism from the WebMuseum, Paris.

See also Impressionism: Art and Modernity from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.

 

Vincent Van Gogh and Post-Impressionism

 

Welcome to the Vincent Van Gogh Gallery

 

 

Listen to Vincent Van Gogh performed by Jonathan Richman 

 

Here is the same song by The Squirrels

 

 

Impressionist Jeopardy!

 

Click Here to see a timeline of impressionist artwork.

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