The Relationship between Impressionism and Post Impressionism The art movement of Impressionism paintings began in Paris, France during the 19th century (1874-1882). The Impressionist period is what many believe influenced and marked the beginning of the Western art period, or modern art period. The Impressionist style was developed due to dissatisfaction with the classic, traditional and precise techniques of painting monotonous subjects or items indoors. The new art technique was inspired by painting outdoors to show effects in natural light. (MindEdge, 3.20, 2013). The new innovation of paint stored in tubes liberated painters so they could paint outdoors, in open air or “en plein air”, and not be restricted to painting only indoors. Many landscapes, street scenes, and ordinary people in parks and gardens were Impressionists’ main focus. The style of painting had changed focus to concentrating more on light, instead of precise paintings, by painting with a variety of brush strokes such as thick and bold, and some thin and small strokes, in short quick left to right movements. Another characteristic of Impressionists’ paintings are the use of primary colors that are not mixed or blended. Impressionist painters used vibrant, bold and light colors and left thick areas of paint to create textures on their paintings to add depth and dimension. (Impressionism, Wikipedia, 2013).
Social conditions contributed to the Impressionist art movement during the 19th century. The Academie des Beaux-Arts is a French academic organization who controlled French art at that time which judged and selected artwork for awards and artistic achievements. During the 1870’s to the 1880’s Impressionist painters were criticized for their radical artwork that strayed from conventional art of the time. Impressionist painters were rejected by the annual Salon de Paris where artists could display their works and be judged each year. The Impressionist painters, such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne and others, were unified in their rejection by the Academie des Beaux-Arts. (Salon de Paris, Wikipedia, 2013). Napoleon III viewed the rejected art work by the Impressionist painters and commanded the public to judge the paintings that had been rejected by the Salon de Paris. In 1874 the Salon de Refuses was created for the rejected Impressionist artwork and drew more visitors than the Salon de Paris. Soon after the Salon of Refuses opened, art critic Louis Leroy coined the name “Impressionism” after reviewing a painting by Claude Monet, named “Soleil Levant” or “Impression Sunrise”, which was painted in 1872. Although Impressionists gained more popularity among the public they were not financially rewarded and did not sell many paintings. (Salon de Refuses, Wikipedia, 2013).
Post-Impressionism was the art movement that immediately followed Impressionism later in the 19th century (1886-1905) and originated from the Impressionism era. The Post-Impressionism period began from the backlash of young painters who were against using naturalistic colors and light that gave rise to Impressionism and evolved from disagreements about style and conflicts of personality among the artists. During the Post-Impressionism art period some artists experimented with the arrangement of lines and colors to become more of a visual equivalent of nature without looking like a still-life or replicating exact images. This experimental style of painting played a role in decorating interior living spaces, and provided the foundation for the 20th century contemporary art style that evolved from the Post-Impressionist artists. The style of Post-Impressionist artwork continued using bold, primary colors, different brush strokes, and thick paint for textures. Paintings continued being real-life daily activities but displayed more meaning and emotional content as the former Impressionism period had, yet still had the artificiality of the...
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Copplestone, Trewin (1998). Masters of Impressionism. Renoir, Monet, Degas and Cezanne. England: Modern Publishing.
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