Impressionist and Post Impressionist Art

Topics: Impressionism, Vincent van Gogh, Post-Impressionism Pages: 5 (1363 words) Published: April 11, 2013

Impressionist and Post Impressionist Art

Roger Waters

Florida State University

The art movement known as Impressionism began in the 19th century with a group of artists in Paris repelling from the traditional art of the period and its severe rules. (, 2005). Through the 1870s and 1880s, they exhibited their art independently receiving bitter criticism from the prevailing art community of the time in France. The name “Impressionism” was coined by art critic Louis Leroy in a scathing review of Claude Monet’s Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) in the newspaper Le Charivari. (Wikipedia, 2012). Impressionist artists were seen as radical. They strayed from the conventional art of the time by painting landscapes, still life, portraits and scenes of modern life, with colors loosely brushed and unstructured contours and lines. They also painted outside, allowing a different perspective of light. The interaction of light was given priority. Details were inconsequential, small brief brush strokes of mixed and unmingled pure color were used to give the overall impression of vibrant, impassioned hues. (Wikipedia, 2012). The Academie des Beaux-Arts controlled French art at that time, while Napoleon III was warring and rebuilding Paris, this era saw expanding industrialization, urbanization and economic growth. The Academie held the annual Salon de Paris where artists could display their works. This was a judged event which represented the standards of the Academie. The Salon jury would reject the paintings of early Impressionists each year, while praising the artists who utilized the approved content and style. In 1863, Edouard Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l'herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass) was rejected by the jury along with a remarkably large number of paintings that upset French artists. Napoleon III


saw the works that had been rejected and commanded that the public should be able to view the paintings and judge for themselves. The Salon de Refuses was born, soon drawing more visitors that the Salon de Paris. It was after the Salon de Refuses in 1874 which art critic Louis Leroy gave his review which lent the name to the artists of this time period. Impressionists slowly gained more popularity with the public but never saw much financial reward. By 1890, Impressionist works were stereotypical of Salon displays. (Wikipedia, 2012). Characteristics

• Small, brief brush strokes, Impasto (thick dollops of paint) letting go of detail • Unmixed colors, displaying vivid hues
• Composition was of free structure and balance
• Differing perspective of light and the interplay of light indicating time passage • Everyday subjects, landscapes, still life, portraits and scenes of modern life (Wikipedia, 2012). The key artists that were considered Impressionists of that time period included: Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Armand Guillaumin, Frederic Bazille, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, Gustave Caillebotte, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley. Edouard Manet is often brought up in the discussion of this time period; however, he was not an Impressionist but was an advocate and is given credit for the tremendous impact he had on the Impressionists. (Wikipedia, 2012).


The age known as Post Impressionism was born from the backlash of young painters against the naturalistic use of color and light that gave rise to Impressionism. Evolving about 1886 to 1905, this movement became...
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