Impressionism - McCray Art

The Impressionists were interested in
natural colors and landscapes that they
painted outdoors. They realized that
___had a tremendous effect on the color of
objects. The color of the atmosphere at
different times of the day changed the
appearance of objects they were painting.
The Impressionists painted color as they
saw it with colored light even penetrating
the shadows. Sometimes solid form was
lost in the brilliance or mistiness of the
light. The Impressionists wanted to express
an immediate impression, not a detailed
The name Impressionism was first used in
jest when Monet exhibited a work called
Impression: Sunrise in an 1874 show. The
painting’s colored streaks and blobs on a
pale blue ground represent what a person
sees when taking a quick look at the a
sunrise over a harbor. Critics derisively
called the works impressions and not
paintings. The title stuck, although several
Impressionists did not like it.
Impressionism was the first artistic
revolution since the _____. It gradually
built up a following in Europe. It was
especially popular in the United States.
Impressionism lasted about 15 years before
artists started following different
Monet, Rouen Cathedral, 1894, oil on
canvas, 39” x 26”
Monet simply painted the color he saw – a
little blue square, an oblong of pink, a
streak of yellow or green dots. Monet took
dabs of yellow and put them next to dabs of
green and did not smear them together.
Instead he let the viewer’s eye blend them
from a distance into a shimmering green.
This technique, called ____ ______ or the
applying of broken color, was the basis for
Impressionist theories of color and light.
Monet became the leading force in the
Impressionist movement, bridging the span
from the Realist world to the contemporary
world of abstraction. Monet loved to work
outdoors and confront the environment he
was painting.
To analyze the change of color of a subject
during various times of the day, he painted
the west façade of Rouen Cathedral. One
no longer sees the heavy stone, but rather
the light and color reflected. Monet
recorded the light and color changes on the
church in more than thirty canvases.
Manet, Gare Saint-Lazare, 1873, oil on
canvas, 36” by 45”
Manet wanted to make paintings that could
be enjoyed for their color and arrangement,
as well as for the fact they were paintings
and not imitations of nature. His early
works had ______ new to the world of
painting. This flatness was hard for his
contemporaries to understand and accept.
Manet was influenced by _____ woodcuts
that were popular imports in France. His
Gare Saint-Lazare, done in mid-career, has
a flatness that is fascinating. The woman’s
face has little to no shadow, a stark contrast
with the figures of the Renaissance. The
light source is probably behind the artist.
The format of the painting is like a
snapshot of a young woman and a girl at
the train station. The dominant vertical bars
are fresh and startling. Manet, like Monet,
often worked outside. All four sides of the
canvas seem to have been _____ much as
one would crop a snapshot. Manet’s work
occasionally seems unfinished and casual, a
stark contrast with Ingres and David.
Degas, Blue Dancers, 1899, pastel on
paper, 25” by 25”
Edgar Degas shared the Impressionists
interest in casual subjects and candid
glimpses of people in action, but Degas
more carefully considered design and the
positioning of people and objects on the
canvas. Degas was a master of line and
drawing and was reluctant to abandon this
in favor of Impressionism’s soft contours.
One series Degas spent much of his time
on was the ____. The views are from
peculiar vantage points, such as from
wings, balcony boxes or from below the
stage. This enhances Degas’ candid
glimpses of dancers working at their craft.
Degas’ soft blending of costume into
background is an Impressionist technique
for showing light bouncing off of form.
However, as a line around a foot or down a
leg suggests, Degas only uses softness to
express action or to describe the material.
An ______ balance is often carefully used
in the composition. Degas worked a great
deal with _____ rather than with oils. He
was the first artist to exhibit them as
finished works instead of preliminary
sketches for paintings.
Cassat, Sleeping Baby, 1910, pastel on
paper, 25” by 20”
Cassatt studied with Degas. Mothers and
children were Cassat’s favorite subjects.
She worked in oil and pastel. Like Degas,
Cassatt used ____ along legs and arms to
strengthen the design and add solidity to
the figures.
Whistler, Arrangement in Gray and Black
No. 1: The Artist’s Mother, 1871, oil on
canvas, 56” by 63”
Whistler, Nocturne in Black and Gold: The
Falling Rock, 1874, oil on panel, 23” by
James Abbott McNeil Whistler was
especially influenced by Japanese
woodblock prints and the stark
arrangements of Degas. He looked to
simplification, realistic portraits, thin
glazes of color and restricted palette, often
of blacks and grays. Nocturne in Black and
Gold: The Falling Rocket created much
controversy. The painting is an
impressionistic view of rockets bursting in
the English night.
Rodin, The Three Shades, 1881-86, Bronze
Rodin transformed the instantaneity of
Impressionism into powerful __________.
Rodin’s best works were caste in bronze,
but were first formed with his hands in
clay, plaster or wax. He loved the
immediacy of these materials, which he
could manipulate, push, stab and form.
Impressionist paintings may seem
unfinished but are complete. In the same
way Rodin often left his sculptures
seemingly ______. Often the surfaces of
his bronzes shimmer with light reflecting
from his fingerprints and rough surfaces.
Rodin’s work was not accepted during his
lifetime, but has since his death been
important to the history and progression of
sculpture and modernist art.