Impressionism
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19th century
1870-1880’s
Paris, France
Term comes from Monet’s painting
Impression-Sunrise
• Photography invented in 1826 affected the
art world
• Rejected by art critics
• First total artistic revolution since the
Renaissance
• Radical change from traditional art schools
– Salon Art Exhibition
• Departs from tradition by rejecting
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Renaissance perspective,
Balance
idealized figures
Chiaroscuro
Religious, historical, or mythological subjects
• Exhibited their Art Independently
• Represented immediate visual sensations
through color and light
• All started as Realists
Characteristics
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Realistic, everyday scenes
Painted outdoors “en plein air”
Short “broken” brush strokes
Overall visual effects instead of details
Mixed and pure unmixed colour.
Immediacy and Movement
Interest in Light and colour
Optical Mixing of colour
Doesn’t use black, uses complimentaries to make
shadows and highlights
“No shadow is black, it always has a color. Nature knows
only color, white and black are not colors.”
Artists
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Monet
Degas
Pissarro
Rodin
Cassat
Eduardo Manet
• Father of Modern Art
• Had a great influence on the
Impressionist movement
• Never exhibited with the Impressionists
• Attempted to exhibit at the Salon
• Utilized Black in his work
• Wanted viewer to look at his paintings,
not through them like a window
Eduardo Manet, Luncheon on the Grass,1863
• Marked him as a “danger” to
public morality
• Based on Renaissance
paintings
– Triangle composition
– Still life
– Illusion of depth
• Her contemporary look and
direct gaze made it scandalous
• Nude female in an everyday
setting with two clothed men.
Luncheon on the Grass
Eduardo Manet, Gare Saint-Lazare, 1873
Gare Saint-Lazare
• No chiaroscuro
• Light source
• Layout of
depth/composition
• Dichotomy of the two
figures
• Cropped like a photo
• No black
• Eduardo Manet,The Waitress, 1878
• Looser, longer
brushstrokes
• Directional Snapshot
effect
• Lots of movement give
impression of scene
The Waitress
Manet, Bar at Folies Bergere
Claude Monet
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Leader of Impressionism
Only painted outside
Did not paint objects, only the colors he saw
Optical Mixing/Broken Color
– Putting pure color next to each other so they are
visually blended
• Basis for Impressionist theories of color and
light
• Painted many series of the same subject
Claude Monet, Argenteuil, 1872
Monet, Rouen Cathedral
• Did 30+ paintings
• Depicted the heavy
massive stone as
only light and color
Monet, Water Lily
Monet, Houses of Parliment
Monet, Venice Twilight
Monet, Waterlilies
Monet, The Water Lily Pond
Camille Pissarro
• Father of the Impressionists
• Only artist to show work at all 8
Impressionist Exhibitions
• Oldest member
• Considered both an Impressionist and PostImpressionist
Pissarro, Boulevard at Night
• Liked to paint street
scenes from second
story windows
• Shimmering light
and color of the
busy street
• Wanted to capture
the instantaneous
sensation of the
scene
Boulevard at Night
Pissarro, Country
Pissarro, Portrait of Madame Pissarro Sewing at a Window
Pissarro, Sunset at St. Charles
Pissarro, Portrait of a Pork Butcher
Edgar Degas
• Different than most Impressionists
• Did not like to paint outside
“Art is not a sport.”
• Carefully considered design and positioning
of people and objects
• Master of line and drawing
• First artist to display his pastel drawings as
finished works
• Did many drawing of the Ballet Dancers
Degas,Rehearsal on the Stage,1874
• Softness of costumes is
contrasted with lines
and edges of figures
and background
• Seemingly unbalanced
composition
– Asymmetrical feel
• Creates a feeling of
immediacy and
unplanned
• Uses pastel to convey
the color and
excitement of ballet
Rehearsal on the Stage
Degas, Carriage at the Races,1873
Carriage at the Races
• Used a great sense of
design
• Painted outdoors
• High-keyed palette
• Contrasts with darker
tones
• Horse and carriage are
off-center to give the
feeling of a momentary
glimpse
• Balanced by partial
carriage on left
Degas,The Absinthe Drinker,1876
• Shows darker side of
Paris
• Looks like snapshot, yet
is carefully planned
• Diagonals draw viewer in
The Absinthe Drinker
Degas,Dance at the Moulin de la Galette Montmarte,
1876
Degas,In the Meadow, 1892
Degas, Blue Ballerinas
Degas, The Rehersal
Degas, The Dancers
Degas, The Star
Mary Cassatt
• American Artist
• Traveled to Paris to study Impressionism
• Portrayed the social and Private Lives of
Women
– Mother and Children
• Highly influenced by Degas
Cassatt, Breakfast in Bed
Cassatt, Woman with a Pearl Necklace
Cassatt, In the Box
Cassatt, At the Theatre
Cassatt, La Toilette