Impressionism Presentation

Welcome to the next
100 years of art history
The Age of
c. 1870-1970
Don’t confuse the word “modern” in Modern Art with the definition of modern,
meaning up-to-date or Contemporary Art….that comes in the 100 years after Modern
What is Modern Art? There is no precise definition of the term "Modern
Art", although it usually refers to works produced during the approximate period 18701970. Typically, modern artists rejected previous Renaissance-based traditions, in favor of
new forms of artistic experimentation. They used new materials, new techniques of
painting, and developed new theories about how art should reflect the perceived world,
and what their functions as artists should be. In addition, entirely new types of art were
developed during the period.
When did the Modern Art Movement begin?
According to most art critics, Modernism in painting first started with the Frenchman,
Jean Claude Monet, and the French Impressionists, for its rejection of traditional
academic art forms of the 18th and early 19th century.
Modern Art - the rejection of traditional academic art forms
Modern Art saw a shift from the traditional art forms to :
- different use of media, like photography, collage, assemblage
- Different use of space in architecture – the high rise building (sky scrapers)
- Significant rise in Abstract and Non-Representational Art
- Social and political transformation/ non-conformity
- Artists were eager for change
We will start with the Impressionism Art
Movement followed by
Abstract Expressionism
Pop Art
Color Field
(aka. Impressionist ArtMovement)
The beginnings…In the middle of the 19th century—a time of change… Historical
subjects, religious themes, and portraits were valued (landscape and still life were
not), and the Académie (art jury) preferred carefully finished images that looked
realistic when examined closely. Color continued to be somber and conservative, and
traces of brush strokes were suppressed, concealing the artist's personality,
emotions, and working techniques.
Then….a group of young rebellious painters interested in painting landscapes and
still life. Experimented with a lighter and brighter manner – both in color and
technique. These ‘kids’ are known as the….
The Impressionists
Check out this video
•Everyday - subjects and events
•Lighting - Captures effects of natural light . Color in artwork is illuminated…or seems to glow
•Brushstrokes - Artists have broken the solid shape into smaller pieces and blurred the edges,
creating dabs of color that blend together.
•Outdoor – en plein air was a common setting
•Weather – weather and atmosphere were ‘captured’
(remember ELBOW)
Claude Monet
b. 1840 – d. 1926
- He wasn’t the first to paint this way, but the first to be
“accepted” and called an Impressionist
- Main subjects were nature and landscapes- en plein air
- Painted same scenes day after day to capture changing of light
weather, atmosphere and the changing of seasons
Check out this video
Woman in a Garden, 1867, Hermitage, St. Petersburg; This was a
study by Monet to show the effect of sunlight and shadow on color
Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), 1872; the painting that
gave its name to the style, IMPRESSIONISM
Studies - Rouen Cathedrals, 1890’s
1919, Le Bassin aux Nymphéas
Claude Monet, Le Palais Contarini (1908)
$165-Million in 2013
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
b. 1841– d. 1919
In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely
brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their
• vibrant light
• saturated color
• most often focused on people in intimate and candid
• Females were his primary subjects.
• Later in life he went back to more traditional style of
*Suffered from arthritis badly - he continued to paint
with brushes tied to his wrists.
1876, Le Moulin de la Galette, oil on canvas
Sold $71.1
MILLION in 1990
Edouard Manet
b. 1832 - d. 1883
He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in
the transition from Realism to Impressionism …he was a classical artist, but then
‘adopted’ the notions of impressionism. ..he became friends with other Impressionist
artists and they influenced each other.
Most well known for his social scenes.
His self-portrait sold for over $22 million dollars in 2010
The Cafe Concert, 1878
(early) Manet, Le Chemin de Fer (The Railroad) 1872-73
Manet, Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère 1881-82
Edgar Degas
b. 1834 – d. 1917
Early work
Edgar Degas - Self-Portrait in a Green Jacket,
1856. Oil on canvas
cropped subjects awkwardly
Showed emotional tension
chose unusual viewpoints.
Linked to his fascination with photography.
He captured ‘snapshots’
Painted ballerinas because they sold well!
Sold for $27.9 million in 1999
Edgar Degas, Dance Class at the Opéra 1872
Dance Class at the Opéra
Degas Ballerinas to Music
Singer with a
Glove, 1878
Mary Cassatt
b.1844 – d.1926
American Painter, born in Allegheny City, PA
Went to Art School in Philadelphia where only 20% of the students were female, none of
which were as determined as Mary Cassat, to make painting a career.
Moved to Paris and met Degas…who influenced her painting.
1894, Summertime
1880-1881, The Cup of Tea
Impressionism - the Big Break in the History of Art
Discussion Question:
Did you notice I included an ‘adjusted’ price of some paintings in the
presentation? The approx net worth means if they were up at auction in the
near future, that approximately what they would sell for.
How does one put WORTH on a work of art?