Artist / Artwork

Impressionism

What does the word impression mean in general? By definition, it’s an unconscious thought, feeling, or even an idea about something with little information on it. In terms of art, impressionism is just that. A photo in an art style that appears as if the person had just gotten a glimpse of something – not a painting that is so detailed, it would feel as if that person studied that subject for years. The majority of impressionism paintings use bold and vibrant colors, like the mind tricks the eye during a quick flash.

Impressionism started in the 19th-century in Paris around the 1870’s to the 1880’s, and there were a great group of famous impressionists, some of which included Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and many others. Manet took inspiration from everyday life, things that we may normally see. He was one of the driving forces of this art style, bringing a new perspective on things we all know from every day, common life. 

While there were many notable impressionists that put forward the movement, in 1874, there was a group called the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers, etc. Also founded in Paris, they had begun to officially launch the movement that we know as impressionism. Even back then, there were anonymous groups that came together in the name of art. Some of these founding members of the group included names we’ve already mentioned: Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, although they weren’t the only ones. 

Trouble in paradise

While Manet was a very notable artist during this time, he grew very close with younger artists such as Monet, Degas, and Renoir, and inspired them. Unfortunately, all women except for one were not respected by other impressionist artists. Berthe Morisot was the sole female that was able to reign supreme with the men, as she came from a long line of successful painters. Whether they wanted to use her for her fame or actually respected her, we’ll never know, but we know for sure that all other women weren’t allowed in this “men’s club”. 

The techniques of impressionism

The style of impressionism is sort of less about perspective and more about technique. Without the technique, it wouldn’t be called impressionism. There were many techniques to a successful impressionist painting and that included:

- Short and thick strokes, causing the audience to look at the photo as if they’re trying to make something out that they haven’t seen before
- Side by side application of the colors with barely and mixing or blending.
- Wet paint is put onto wet paint
- The painting is always applied on a white background
- Enplen air paintings have bold shadows always and the sky will reflect onto it

These aren’t the only techniques found in impressionism paintings, but they are some of the more notable ones after the painting is finished. Together, they combine to form an image that appears as if it was someone taking in that scenery quickly, and for the first time. 


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