Impressionism -Monet and Renoir

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  • Topic: Impressionism, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
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  • Published : May 14, 2013
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ressionism monet The work of Monet (1840-1926) and Renoir (1841–1919) epitomized the visual characteristics of Impressionism. Discuss this statement making detailed reference to one painting by each artist.

Illustrate your answer.
Impressionism was the name given to one of the most important movements in art history. It was the first of modern movements. Its aim was to achieve ever greater naturalism by a detailed study of tone and colour and, by an exact rendering of the way light falls on different surfaces. This interest in colour and light was greatly influenced by the scientific discoveries of the French physicist 'Chevreul' and by paintings by Delacroix. Instead of painting dark shadows using mainly different tones of grey and black, the Impressionists- like Delacroix - realised that when an object casts a shadow, that shadow will be tinged with the complemntary colour of the object. They did not use firmly drawn outlines but instead applied paint in small brightly coloured dabs, even in shadowy areas of their pictures. This lack of outline and multiplicity of small dabs of pure colour, when combined wih the impressionists interest in fleeting effects of light, give their pictures a constant air of movement and life, but also of Impermanence.

There was nothing as formal as a manifesto or even an agreed programme among the Impressionists. They were all individual artists working in their own way, developing their own style. They were, however, agreed in a general way on a number of points regarding subject matter. Their work should be modern, observed with detachment, and not historical or emotional. The view being that the subject itself is not of particular interest, but the way in which the light and colour decorate it, as described by Monet, "for me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value". The impressionist artists often painted together in small groups, depicting open-air scenes on the banks of the Seine and...
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