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  • Writer's pictureMakalla Shernick

Impressionism

A Revolution in Painting

The Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers, etc.--a group of artists in the year 1874--organized an exhibition in Paris that launched a movement that would be called Impressionism. Its founding members included Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, among others. The term ‘Impression’ was initially an insult for the art—which displayed a new technique with less realistic rendering--that was displayed at the 1874 Paris exhibition.


Impressionism today is defined by is both the subject matter and the technique. Landscapes, and scenes of leisure from urban and rural life painted in bright, pure colors are typical of the paintings associated with this movement. Impressionists often began (and sometimes completed) their paintings outdoors rather than in a studio. Their rapidly applied brushstrokes are visible and create a signature look and feel in the paintings. By using this technique, Impressionist painters were able to convey an essence of the vibration of life; this was revolutionary for the world of painting at the time.

Impressionism is often characterized by certain techniques such as: thick short brush strokes, an absence of black, and using colors “straight from the tube.” This group of artists were also particularly interested in painting ‘light.’ Artists like Monet would often bring multiple small canvases on-site to paint the same scene during various times of the day. Impressionists were known for their asymmetrical compositions and depictions of everyday ordinary life.


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