Impressionism Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists. Their independent exhibitions was a turning point in art culture, and brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s. The French community was very critical of this new art theme, and was not popular when it first came to light. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant , which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a sarcastic review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari. Soliel levant Claude Monet Early Impressionists were radicals in their time, and violated the rules of academic painting. They constructed their pictures from freely brushed colors that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix and J. M. W. Turner. They also painted realistic scenes of modern life, and often painted nature scenes. Previously, still lives and portraits as well as landscapes were usually painted in a studio. The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air. They portrayed general visual effects instead of details, and used brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed color - not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary - to achieve an effect of intense color vibration. Claude Monet Claude Monet (November 14, 1840 – December 5, 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to en plein air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant. Monet rejected the traditional approach to landscape painting, and instead of copying old masters, he learned from his friends and from nature itself. Monet observed variations of color and light caused by the daily or seasonal changes. Water Lilies Water Lily Pond San Giorgio Maggiore At Dusk Wild Poppies Argenteuil Water Liles in the Evening La Promenade The Rock Needle The Beach at Pourville Cliff Near Fecamp The Costoms House Morning Effect Impressionism in America Soon after Americans began to collect and emulate European art, the French Impressionists made their debut in a private exhibition in Paris in 1874. Rejecting the academics' devotion to invented subjects and meticulous technique, Impressionist painters depicted landscapes and intimate scenes of everyday middle-class life using natural light, rapid brushwork, and a high-keyed palette. Young Americans in Paris in the 1870s, studying with academic teachers such as Jean-Léon Gérôme, ignored Impressionism. The few who took note of the radical style were repelled. Later, during the mid 1880s, French Impressionism lost its radical edge. American collectors began to value the style, and more American artists began to experiment with it. Exhibitions of Impressionist works were held in American cities and sales were strong. By the early 1890s, Impressionism was firmly established as a valid style of painting for American artists.