Impressionism Essay, Research Paper
Early in the twentieth century, Impressionism brought about the artistic revolution, which included the world’s finest painters. The art of Impressionism strives to create a sensation or evoke a mood that is significant to the artist. Although, developed chiefly in France during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the impressionistic movement was not exclusively French artists. Eugene Boudin, Jongkind, and Stanislas Lepine were among the forerunners of the Impressionistic movement. Eugene Boudin, one of the founders of the art, held a major role in the development of Impressionism. Through the many influences of Eugene Boudin, artists expressed themselves through the utilization of color and light, a technique still used today. World famous Impressionists were inspired by Monet, Manet, and Renoir. Through the advancements of the Realists, Impressionism became a state of mind, in which artists could convey their personal visual reality through the effects of color and light.
The post-renaissance period is largely considered one of the most influential precursors to
Impressionism. The founders of the Impressionistic society were animated by the will to break away from the traditional style of art. The influence was great out of France, especially in Germany, Liebermann, Corinth, and in Belgium. Impressionists were largely responsible for a major shift in the development of western art, influencing other artists who admired their work.
Eugene Boudin began teaching artists such as Monet, Manet, Courbet, Bazille, Sisley, and Renoir how to observe the changing lights. Distinctive atmospheres in France that were afforded by the constantly changing nature of the landscape made way for a more Impressionistic approach to the canvas.
Possibly the most obvious precedent to Impressionism was the art of the Realists. The Realists fundamental objectives “to open a window on the world,” and “to paint a message” were similar, in many ways to the ideals held by the impressionists (Janson, 1992, p.57). Charles Suisse founded a school of art, the Academie Suisse, to provide an inexpensive and productive place in which aspiring artists could exchange new and progressive ideas. Here Pissaro, Monet, Guillaumin, and Cezanne first came to know each other, later becoming close friends. Academie Suisse provided a place to air new and controversial attitudes in the aritists paintings, that otherwise may have never been exposed to a traditional art world community (Pioch, 1996, p.1).
In 1855, the second World Fair was held. A distinguishing element to this second fair was the focus on art. This served in highlighting Paris as the center of the art world. This was the place for artists to come to express new and innovative ideas. Among those attracted by the World Fair in Paris, was the group of young artists, soon to be labled, “the impressionists.”
Impressionniste was printed for the first time in a French newspaper, Charivari, on the twenty-fifth of April, 1874 by Louis Leroy, after Claude Monet’s landscape entitled, Impressions: soleil levant, was seen at Exposistion des Impressionistes, an exhibition held in the salons of the photographer Nadar and organized by the societe anonyme des peintres, sculpteurs et graveurs (Anonymous society of painters, sculptors and engravers).
Paintings produced between 1867 and 1886 by a group of artists who shared a set of related approaches and techniques are called Impressions. Impressionism is more a state of mind than a technique, thus, artists other than painters have also been qualified as Impressionists. The Impressionists played a major role in establishing the idea that visual and expressive effects of a painting were more important than subject matter. Once this idea caught on, artists were able to express their personal view of the world more freely, and were able to create the environment that produced the diverse painting styles that followed.
Impressionism’s official theory, color should be dropped pure on the canvas instead of getting mixed on the palette, was only respected by a few of the artists for a couple of years. The style of painting is characterized by concentration on the general impression produced by a scene or object and the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to stimulate actual reflected light (Nissen, 1998, p.3).
The sketches, used as the base of the painting, capture the basic form and general layout of where the objects are positioned. The sketch also focuses on the locations of the shadows and the lines of light in the sky.
The main characteristic of Impressionistic art was an attempt to accurately and objectively record visual reality in terms of transient effects of light and color. Impressionists’ paintings are typically snapshots of real life, full of color and light.
The expressions “independents” or “open air painters” may be more appropriate than
“Impressionists” for those artists continuing a tradition inherited from Eugene Delacroix, who thought that the drawing and the colors were a whole (Pioch, 1996, p.2). These artists were drawn together by a common desire to bring a new kind of realism to painting. Impressionists astonished their contemporaries with their revolutionary treatment of color and light. Sunlight dappled water, the evanescent atmosphere of outdoor scenes and fleeting moments on everyday life characterize their work at its most delightful (Nissen, 1998, p.1).
Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissaro, Alfred Sisley, Berthe Bazille, and Edouard Manet were world famous Impressionists. The established painter Edouard Manet, of the 1860’s, greatly influenced the group by adopting the Impressionistic approach during the 1860’s. The Impressionists worked together, influencing each other, and exhibiting their work together. In Paris, Manet painted the Seine River with Monet. Under Manet’s influence, Monet adopted the open-air work.
The war of 1870 split the Impressionists. Bazille was killed in battle, Renoir was mobilized, Degas volunteered and Cezanne retired. Pissaro, Monet, and Sisley moved to London, where they met Paul Durand-Ruel, a merchant, who analyzed and sold their paintings. A few years later, Monet and Sisley decided to go deeper into the analysis of light changes and its effects on appearances. It was around this time that Impressionists were becoming appreciated.
Monet’s famous Impressions: soleil levant is generally thought to have prompted the naming of the whole genre (Tucker, 1995, p.4). It was first used as a name of an exhibition, Exposition des Impressionnistes. Then impressionniste was printed in the Charivari after the exhibition.
Through both many influences of Eugene Boudin and the advancements of the Realists,
Impressionism became, not only an art form, but a state of mind. Through Impressionism, artists could convey their personal visual reality with the use of color and light. Among the inspired were Monet, Manet, and Renoir, who later became artists of world famous Impressions. Still utilized today, Impressionism strives to create a sensation or evoke a mood significant to each artist, and capture the audience.