Impressionism as an historical art period is best described as a shift in thinking and focus. This paradigm shift, away from realism and toward individualism, began a centuries long transformation of self-expression in art as a whole. Impressionism is generally considered a French movement and is typically defined as spanning from approximately 1867 to 1886. Impressionism is best embodied by and was perhaps initiated by Claud Monet in such world-renowned works as Impressions: soleil levant which lent its name to the style and subsequently the art period as a whole. Impressionism in its simplest form is characterized as an artist’s impression of an actual scene, using smaller than average painting strokes to help simulate the reflection of natural light. Impressionist paintings typically utilize primary colors which tend not to be mixed or blended (Nicolas, 2006). Historically, art schools in France placed value only on live subjects, religious icons or symbolism and historical figures. Conversely, practically no value was placed on works of art that contained simple landscapes and still-life. Impressionists prided themselves on being a bit of a rebel bunch by breaking free of the constraints of standard teachings of art which also placed a great deal of importance on the use of lines and the linear depiction of live subjects or historical items. Beyond subject-matter, impressionism as an art form is most easily identified by the use of simple color combinations, angles of reflected light, and small, deliberate brushstrokes. The reflection of light is typically the most highly indicative tenet of “pure” impressionism.
Post-Impressionism, as the name clearly implies, is in its simplest form an extension of Impressionism itself. Upon further research though, one can find that post-impressionism, although a direct descendant of Impressionism, is far more than a continuation of its patriarch. Post-Impressionism shares...
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