Impressionism History Research Paper
Impressionism, an art movement, was born in France in the 19th century specifically in the period between 1860 and 1880 with its major goal being to popularize the impressionist art style, which was a deviation from and a contrast to the more popular and traditional academic art style that had dominated the French art scene of the time. Before the impressionism period painting was known to be done indoors only, however, this changed with the impressionist art style.
To early impressionists the element of light had to be captured in their paintings and thus, they were inspired to paint outdoors (or “en plain air” in French). The author Oak in his/her article credits these early impressionists as having shown art the outside world (Oak par. 3). A critical examination of Oak’s article reveals that the impressionist art style has three main distinctive features (Oak par. 3).
The first of these features is that the visual angles in impressionist art paintings are unique so because it is in this way that movement is depicted in impressionism artworks. The second feature of impressionist art style is according to Oak the ” prominently evident brush strokes” (Oak par. 2), which according to Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com are done with pure colours (Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com par. 5).
The open composition evident in impressionist paintings, which is mainly because the paintings are done outdoors is the third feature of the impressionist art style. Oak continues and points out that the impressionist art style lays its emphasis on ” the changing patterns of light ” and by doing this a single impressionist work is able to capture multiple instances of time.
The impressionist art form usually gives few details about what was being painted this is because impressionists paint from vivid images generated from glimpses they had of something. Some examples of famous impressionist paintings are Dance at Le Moulin de la Galett done in the year 1876 and Impression, Sunrise done in the year 1872 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet respectively.
History of impressionism
In the 17th century an informal element of impressionism existed in paintings done by Dutch painters as these works exhibited as Oak points out a “vivid distinction between the subject and the background” (Oak par. 4). This is common with impressionist paintings. The art of Photography was born and it became an inspiration to painters as they were more challenged to capture the different moments and themes that constituted daily life.
With photographers, being able to reveal details and facts through photography painters would interpret these (and other) details and facts in their paintings. Oak, again, credits early impressionists as having been ” the first to bring in subjectivity to paintings ” (Oak Par.4). French and Japanese art are considered the starting point of the impressionist art style.
In mid 19th century, the French art scene was strongly dominated by the traditional academic style, which was pioneered by the Academie des Beaux-Arts. This institution strongly held the philosophy and belief that the use of art was solely for the purpose of depicting historical and religious entities and matters and as a consequence its paintings according to Oak ” lacked vibrancy and brightness ” (Oak par.5).
The Academie des Beaux-Arts was a very conservative institution that was vehemently opposed to new forms of arts, which it considered liberal. These new form of arts were mainly from new, upcoming and young artists. The Academie des Beaux-Arts frustrated these artists by denying them support owing to its conservative views and nature.
The Academie des Beaux-Arts annually held an art show during which a panel of selected judges would review the art exhibits of different artists. At the end of their reviews the judges would compile a list of artists who according to them had the best exhibits and present it to the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
Such like artists would be awarded prizes by the institution. According to Oak, noticeable from the judgements made by the panel of judges was the fact that they were vehemently opposed to paintings that Oaks describes as portraying unconventionality (Oak par. 6).
This attitude by the judges had the resultant effect of suppressing the freedom of expression of some and mainly young artists. This was notoriously displayed in the Academie’s art show of the year 1863 in which lots of exhibits from young artists were rejected to such an extent that Emperor Napoleon III had to commission a huge exhibition known as Salon des Refuses to display to the public those rejected exhibits. The Salon des Refuses was an attraction to mainly liberal artists and inspired a new trend in art.
In 1873 an association of Paris-based artists was formed which included painters (impressionists included), sculptors and engravers to enable them exhibit their work following the failure of the Salon des Refuses to be held twice (in 1867 and 1872) (Oak par. 7). The association put together its first exhibition in 1974, which displayed the work of 30 artists.
Initially, the society criticized the exhibitions put together by the association owing to its background however, this changed later. Internal conflicts threatened the stability of the association a case in point being the break away of one its pioneers and impressionist, Renoir. In the following decade Renoir would abandon and oppose the impressionist art style. Oak notes that, all of the eight exhibitions put up by the association to display the impressionist art form displayed the work of Pissarro (Oak par. 7).
Not only did these exhibitions popularize the impressionist art form but as Oak points out they presented impressionists with monetary benefits as well (Oak par. 8). Impressionists did not do it all on they own but benefited significantly from the efforts of their dealer Durand Ruel who was instrumental especially in popularizing the impressionist art form among the society through the art shows he arranged specifically for the two parties (impressionists and the society) (Oak par. 8).
The determination of the early impressionist and the efforts of Durand Ruel is what popularized the novel art form that is impressionism, which is to-date is considered in the world of art as a major breakthrough.
One pioneer impressionist who contributed greatly to impressionism is Claude Monet who was born in Paris, France in the year 1840. Claude Monet was educated in art. Initially, in Nomandie where is family had moved to, Monet according to Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com was renowned for his art in charcoal caricature (Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com par. 3).
In 1858, Monet met and joined Eugene Boudene an expert in oil paints and out door painting. In Paris in 1862 Monet started working under the supervision of Charles Gleyre. According to Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com, it is during this time that Monet made the acquaintance of Renoir, Bazille and Sisley who are also considered pioneers of the impressionist art form (Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com par. 4).
The four of them began work on a new art form inspired by a new approach to art. The new art form they developed is what later became impressionism and according to Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com it was a style in which they attempted to ” paint the effects of light with broken colour and rapid brush strokes ” (Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com par.4).
During his adult life, Monet is reported to have travelled as far as England and Holland. When Monet got older, he developed a serious eye condition for which he was operated twice in an effort to improve his eyesight. Paintings Monet does after his operations have an unusual reddish tone, a situation which could have arisen from his persistent eye problem (Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com par. 6).
Monet married Camille, the model posing in many of his art works like the “Camille” and “ Camille Monet on her deathbed ”. With Camille, Monet bore two children both of them boys. Though he remarried following the death of Camille, Monet never bore children with his second wife.
According to Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com Claude Monet died of lung cancer on the 6th of December 1926 in Giverny, France at 86 years of age ( Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com par. 8). One of Claude Monet’s famous art work is the Impression, Sunrise (or in French ” Impression, soleil levant “) done in the year 1872 and which is a sunrise view of the Le Havre harbour in France. The term “impressionism” was coined from Louis Leroy’s criticism of this painting.
Another pioneer impressionist who contributed greatly to impressionism is Camille Pissarro who was born in the Danish West indies in the year 1830 (A+E Television Networks, LLC. Par 1). Interested so much in painting Camille Pissarro moved to Paris in the year 1955 where he did landscapes and pioneered impressionism.
Oak notes that, all of the eight exhibitions put up by the association of Paris-based artists to display the impressionist art form displayed the work of Pissarro (Oak par. 7). Camille Pissarro last works are considered by experts to be part of his best. Camille Pissarro died on the 13th of November the year 1903 at the age of 73. One of Camille Pissarro famous works is the “Boulevard Montmartre” which he did in the year 1897.
Another pioneer impressionist who contributed greatly to impressionism is Alfred Sisley who was born in Paris in the year 1839. Alfred Sisley though greatly faced with poverty took on painting as a career and did it full-time (A+E Television Networks, LLC. par. 1). Alfred Sisley is one of the artists who put up the impressionism movement.
Alfred Sisley died in the year 1899 at the age of 60. One of Alfred Sisley’s famous works is the “Lane Near a Small Town” which he did in the year 1864. Another pioneer impressionist who contributed greatly to impressionism is Pierre-Auguste Renoir who was born in Limoges, France in the year 1841 (A+E Television Networks, LLC. par 1).
Renoir initially did not start out as a painter but later became a highly regarded artist. Though at one time he struggled with painting, Renoir was instrumental at the beginning of impressionism but he later abandoned and opposed the impressionist art style. One of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s work is ” the Dance at Le Moulin de la Galett” which he did in 1876.
Impressionism though faced with grave challenges has succeeded in popularizing the impressionist art form and has additionally inspired other art movements in France. The impressionist art style is described as novel form of art and which to-date is considered in the world of art as a major breakthrough and phenomenon.
A+E Television Networks, LLC. (2012). Alfred Sisley.biography. 2012. Web.
A+E Television Networks, LLC. (2012). Camille Pissarro.biography. 2012. Web.
A+E Television Networks, LLC. (2012). Pierre-Auguste Renoir.biography. 2012. Web.
Oak, M. (2012). History of impressionism. 2012. Web.
Show-Your-Own-Art-Gallery.com. (2011). Claude Monet. 2011.Web.
Modern Art: From Impressionism to Contemporary Essay
Impressionism is a style of art often known as optical realism. It is denoted by a unique visual experience with light effects and movements in the manner objects appear. Key highlights of this art style include pure primary colors and little strokes to compliment the light reflected (Wildendstein, 2010).
Claude Monet, a key French painter, was among the founders of this style of painting. He was well able to incorporate elements of art which involved bright distinct colors, small strokes to create unique and elaborate pieces of art work that fall under this style of art (Kelder, 1978). Most impressionists perceive that the human eye is a tremendous vessel.
“The Stroll, Camille Monet and Her Son Jean (Woman with a Parasol)” is one of the great works of Monet. The portrait is of the wife Camille and his son Jean who are on the hillside against a cloudless sky. In this masterpiece, it is evident that it was painted outside on a summer day in open air where Monet’s family seems to be out strolling in the meadow.
Monet, in his pursuit to capture the son and wife’s likenesses, uses strokes of bright color creating a spontaneous effect throughout the portrait. The folds on Camille depict the breeze which seems to blow the thin fabric across her face. Light is seen to come from the right side creating contrasting breeze from the left side. This unique feel from the wind and the sun converge at the middle of the canvas (WebMuseum, 2002).
Another aspect depicted from this painting is that of perspective. It is seen to be upward as the view from the bottom is able to shield the images away from the sky which gives it a great feel of both light and sun. Depth is yet another aspect highlighted in this painting. The son seems to appear from his waist upwards, enabling Monet to comfortably create a feel of depth into the work of art. Color and line are well highlighted in this painting bringing a contrast of light, sun and the wind (WebMuseum, 2002).
Green as the dominant color appears on the parasol and the grass on the hillside signifying nature. This color unifies the parasol and the grass on the hill, creating a flow of the eyes from one point (the parasol) to the bottom (the hillside) (Monet & Gattinara 2004). This flow attracts the eyes to concentrate on the art work as denoted by the shadows on the grass. The painting appears to be blurry as one cannot tell if Mrs. Monet is walking or not.
On scrutinizing the painting from a distance, clarity diminishes. The presence of light compliments the wind and movement in this portrait. One cannot be in a position to pinpoint exactly where the clouds seem to seize existence as the wind gently blows Mrs. Monet’s scarf. Light seems to bring in a feel of perspective as the portrait is viewed from the bottom where the grass is, all the way to the top where the clouds lie. Green as the prevalent color unifies the parasol and the hillside.
This makes it bring in rhythm as the eyes flow from the parasol’s handle to its top, then slowly to the green that appears on the hillside. The sun rays shining from behind Mrs. Monet seems to give the parasol a bright white look that also compliments her veil, as reflections from the flowers beneath radiantly give her front a nice touch of yellow (Monet & Gattinara 2004). The vibrant colors and light used by Monet are key features in accentuating this painting style known as impressionism.
Philosophy is defined as determining the truth; which involves a number of years of studying some of the greatest minds of history, which we eventually uphold in life (Wildendstein, 2010). The impressionist style of painting concentrates on the impression as a whole, created by a scene through a rigorous use of pure (unmixed) primary colors in conjunction with small brush strokes to intensify the actual reflected light. Monet in his painting, “The Stroll, Camille Monet and Her Son Jean (Woman with a Parasol)”, is scrupulous enough to convey this style through the use of vibrant colors; a key feature of style. The short broken strokes of the brushes used also depict form which is a key element of art in this painting technique.
Effects of light are also amplified through the extensive use of color. This, in Monet’s “The Stroll, Camille Monet and Her Son Jean (Woman with a Parasol)” when the shadow in the grass, was rendered through the effect of light. The use of brushes in a relaxed manner leaves the piece of art with a touch of naturalness (Monet & Gattinara, 2004). However, he has thoughtfully been able to blend in light with these colors to bring in a feeling on perspective.
In Monet’s work, it is quite clear that philosophy creates a beautiful illusion in our minds which in turn opens up tremendous possibilities for art through representation (Issacson & Monet, 1978). This is achieved though the reality of knowledge. Impressionism clearly comes out as the greatest form of art when combined with philosophy because it gives everything a sense of change yet preserving the time line.
In conclusion, the bright distinct colors, small strokes and effects of light incorporated in this unique painting technique make the lovers of art appreciate the impressionist’s expertise that involves the “minds eye” dexterity. This goes a long way in retaining a mental picture of the viewed work of art.
This technique of painting is viewed both brightly and full of life. Art as a language brings out that which nature cannot bring forth. Impressionalism as a form of art qualifies as it not only represents the outward physical view of things but highlights their inward significance.
Issacson, J. and Monet, C. (1978). Claude Monet, observation and reflection. London: Phaidon
Kelder, D. (1978). Great masters of French impressionism. London, UK: Crown Publisher.
Monet, C. and Gattinara, F. C. (2004). Woman with a parasol. New York, NY: Barrons
WebMuseum. (2002). Monet, Claude: The stroll, Camille Monet and the son Jean (Woman with a parasol). Retrieved from http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/monet/later/parasol/
Wildendstein, D. (2010). Monet, or, the triumph of impressionalism. Los Angeles, CA: Taschen America LLC
The World Though the Prism of Ideas: Impressionism as It Is Essay
One of the world’s most mysterious and at the same time elegant branch of arts, impressionism, is both a riddle and an answer to it. Suggesting people to take a closer look into their own minds, impressionism offered that the spectator could incorporate his vision of the world together with that one of the author.
Despite its seeming simplicity and inspiring shapes, impressionism conveys the most complicated ideas and bases on philosophical and cultural foundation that has a history of its own. Discovering the ideas underlying the impressionists’ paintings, on can open the whole wide world in front of his/her eyes.
Speaking of the techniques that the artists used in creating their impressionism masterpieces, one must note that the style which impressionists used ensued from the peculiar vision of the world which impressionism presupposed.
Oriented exclusively on the ideas and perceptions of the artists, this style of painting could not be considered as a separate trend in visual arts – this is rather a string of ideas embodied in paintings. Depicted on the paper, the world picture of impressionists turned into the door to the other world – the world where the reality mixed with the surreal to create one of the most incredible cocktails. As van Gunsteren explained,
We may, first of all, certainly discount the more loose or merely lyrical usage in which impressionism means anything ‘fanciful’, ‘disorderly’ or ‘illogical’. Having done so, however, it is possible to penetrate to a fairly solid core of the new ideas and methods, which gave the group cohesion even without the formalized rules of a ‘school’ of French painters. (29)
Thus, it is obvious that there is more to impressionism that merely distorting the usual forms and shapes, turning them into a chaotic something. With the powerful idea in the background, an impressionism painting obtains the meaning of its own. With help of the impressionism vision, one can see the reverse side of the world, the subconscious and the sub-real. Getting into the depth of people’s minds, these images depict ideas, not objects, which is why this style differs from what the mankind is used to so much.
It is quite peculiar that impressionists were a kind of rebels in the sphere of art, breaking all possible laws of painting to create the ones of their own. According to Salvi, “The Impressionists broke many rues of academic painting. One was their insistence on working direct from experience” (16). This was where the idea of the plein-air technique appeared from – trying to find the right environment to create the masterpieces of their own, impressionists tried to break the boundaries of space, which led them to creating outdoors.
For them, painting did not mean staying behind closed doors in the cold light of a studio, but taking easel, canvas and paints and working en plein air (outdoors). This gave their canvases a feeling of spontaneity, but also required some new painting techniques. (Salvi 16)
Monet offered a perfect example of what the plein-air method of painting is. With his masterpiece called The Japanese Bridge, the author managed to represent not only the new idea of art, but also the new means to create it with. Painted with the plein-air technique, this was the essence of impressionism, the very spirit of the new art.
Breathing with the fresh ideas, this painting stirred the most unusual thoughts. Intriguing and capturing, this was the kind of masterpieces that gripped one and would not let go for another couple of hours. The creation required deep considerations and thorough meditations to understand the ideas underlying it.
Monet, Claude. The Japanese Bridge, c. 1919-24. Web.
Another perfect specimen of the new style of painting was the Water-Lily Pond that can be considered the perfect beginning of the impressionists’ triumph. With help of the peculiar open-air technique and the unusual, non-traditional approach to the art, the impressionism embodied in the Water-Lily Pond created quite a stir in the artistic circles.
This was a new and original way of expressing the ideas without fearing of being misunderstood – for impressionism could be understood in a million of ways; everything depended on the spectator.
Monet, Claude. The Water-Lily Pond, 1899. Web.
Indeed, the new art helped people to understand art in its new shape. Hiding beyond the disguise of the chaotic and the subconscious, the paintings created by impressionists made people open their eyes and see the reality the way it is. At this point, the definition of impressionism intertwines with the idea of ripping the world of its veil.
Lying bare and naked in front of the artist, the world took the most incredible shapes, which were depicted in the numerous impressionism paintings. Shockingly surreal and at the same time grotesquely true, these pieces broke new ground not only in the sphere of arts, but also in people’s lives.
Considering the three theories of art which Frank suggests, one can see clearly the way impressionism develop as the time passed by. Starting from what further on was called the theory of representation, the new style developed into the “pure seeing”, which later on evolved into the “experimental aesthetics” (Frank 2006).
Due to the organic and swift way in which the ideas of impressionism evolved, the latter shaped quickly and in rather natural way. Relying on their own vision of the world and their ideas concerning people and nature, artists embodied their impressions into peculiar and intriguing artworks. To understand the train of impressionists’ ideas, one has to consider the paintings by Monet as the founder of the new artistic tendency. For instance, his painting Irises is the very idea of impressionism itself:
Monet, Claude. Irises. c. 1914-17. Web.
To understand the essence of this peculiar vision, one has to consider the expressive theory. Painting their feelings on the canvas, artists could get rid of the haunting ideas for a while. But then the need to tell the world important truths took its toll on the artists again… Trying to regard “the flux of sensation in its totality”, as Holt brilliantly noted, they created the world of their own, the world that mirrored the reality.
In his creation Bathers at La Grenouillère, the artist also followed the famous representation style, with help of which he created most of his pieces. Like the rest of his pictures, this creation also featured the famous plein-air technique and followed the principles of the representation style. However, it must be admitted that this creation of the great artist also incorporated some elements of the traditional vision of the world as well.
Monet, Claude. Bathers at La Grenouillère 1869. Web.
Taking a closer look at the picture, one case that the artist deviated from the way in which he began creating the impressionist works. It has gained certain sociological meaning, for it considers the society in general rather that the sufferings of an individual.
Thus, there are no doubts that the impressionist ideas were broadening as the experience of the artists grew, and the spectrum of the ideas that could be communicated with help of the paintings grew increasingly huge. This is the right time to start talking about the formal theories of impressionism.
It cannot be denied that the pictures that followed Monet’s innovation in the world of art were mainly inspired by the great author of the Water-Lily Pond. However, there are no doubts that the main source of the painter’s inspiration came from their observations of the world, their meditations and their philosophical approach to understand the nature of a human being and the place the latter takes in the great circle of life.
However, it would be erroneous to speak of formal theories as of something that fit impressionists’ ideas impeccably once applied. It would be better to suggest that the formal approach was to be tailored to the ideas of impressionism. Since the latter presupposed the denial of any norms at all, the formal approach could not be applied to the paintings strictly. As Lanier noted,
Although there are similarities in their [impressionists’] art, these artists had no “formal theory” and “abandoned any fixed program.” They diminished the importance of subject matte, denied the importance of genre and subjected everything to the stamp of their own personalities and sensibilities. (79)
Morrisot, Berthe. Summer’s Day. c. 1879. Web.
However, it cannot be claimed that the sociocultural element of the impressionists’ paintings appeared only as time passed; one had better say that it became obvious only as certain time passed. Therefore, it can be suggested that the impressionism paintings helped the society get ready for certain changes in the vision of the world and the world philosophy. Since such transition could turn rather painful and ever impossible without any links to the previous experience, impressionism served as a bridge between the old and the new.
Considering the paintings from the sociocultural point of view, one has to admit that the authors of the pictures were trying to communicate their opinion concerning the most important vents in the social life of the then epoch. With help of their attempts, the paintings opened a door to the world where people could face their most secret ideas and feelings and realise that these are integral parts of themselves.
Every single picture created in the period when impressionism reigned spoke of the floating world, the time of changes, the instability and the attempts to relate a man to the nature. As Frank himself explains, the expressive theory of impressionism is one of the means to approach the mysterious pictures of impressionists, filled with the meaning that only the authors could see distinctly: “All art works are made by people.
The skill level, persona; intent, mental state, gender, or mindset of the creator must play a role in the creative process” (Frank 96). Glancing at the creations of impressionists, one can understand that the ideas of the world as chaos were only beginning to appear in their creations, whereas most of the pictures conveyed the idea of beauty in the natural and the irrational, the blurred vision of the world.
With help of the new artistic tendency, people have managed to experience an escape to an artistic Wonderland, which they must thank impressionists for. Unless Monet, Morisot, Renoir and all the rest had not contributed their viewpoint to the world of art, the latter would have been incomplete.
Frank, Patric. Prebles’ Artforms: An Introduction to the Visual Arts, 8th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2006. Print.
Holt, Ysanne. British Artists and the Modernist Landscape. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2003. Print.
Lanier, Doris. Absinthe the Cocaine of the Nineteenth Century: A History of the Hallucinogenic Drug and Its Effect on Artists and Writers in Europe and the United States. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004. Print.
Salvi, Francesco. The Impressionists. Minneapolis, MN: The Oliver Press, 2008. Print.
Van Gunsteren, Julia. Katherine Mansfield and Literary Impressionism. Amsterdam: Rodopi1990. Print.
Claude Monet and Impressionism Research Paper
Born in Paris, France, in 1840, Claude Monet is considered to be the founder of impressionist style and philosophy in painting. Throughout his career, Monet portrayed consistence and prolific application of impressionism philosophy in his paintings, which emphasized on his perceptions of nature “as it is”.
In fact, one of his early paintings, “the Impression Sunrise”, is considered the foundation of the impressionist movement. Monet believed that his work was based on scientific study of life and nature (Rewald, 2009). Therefore, most of his works were paintings of various aspects of nature, especially landscapes and real-life scenarios.
Monet’s painting “The Water Lilies” is an example of his work that portrays how Monet viewed and valued the nature. This painting indicates that the painter appreciated it and sought to present the aspect of nature as it appeared in the environment. The painting, which was done using oil on canvas style, depicts a scenery in a Pond, somewhere in France.
It shows an aesthetic scene created by light reflection by water and several water lilies on the water surface. According to analysts, Monet used his view of nature with an aim of appreciating the nature and inspiring human’s appreciation of their world.
Figure 1: Claude Monet’s Water Lillies, 1919 (Rewald, 2009)
It is most likely that Monet’s target audience was the public in general. It was probably meant to show off the beauty of pods in Paris. The color in the painting indicates how the painter used different colors to depict nature. Light reflection by water under the water lilies is a major aspect of the painting. It provides an indication that Monet wanted to impress the audience with the beauty of surrounding nature.
In fact, this 1919 painting was done during the last days of Monet’s work and life, after over seventy years of painting. During this time, Monet had already developed his impressionist idea and decided to paint landscape throughout his remaining days.
As aforementioned, Monet’s Water Lilies painting belongs to the impressionist era. Therefore, it is worth reviewing the meaning of the19th century artistic style and philosophy. Impressionism comes from the French term Impression, which was derived from Monet’s earlier work “Impression, soleil levent” (Impression, Sunrise).
However, it is worth noting that Monet did not use this term to refer to his idea, but rather Louis Leroy, an art critic, used coined the term “Impressionism” to refer to the movement that was started by artists like Claude Monet (Rewald, 2009).
In paintings, Impressionist style has a number of unique characteristics that are worth mentioning. For instance, they have a relatively small size and a small thickness. In addition, the paintings use brush strokes to depict visible scenarios using a mixture of colors. Normally, the paintings depict use of bright colors that are appealing to the viewer’s eye, with an aim of catching people’s attention.
The composition of the impression painting, as shown in “The Water Lilies”, is relatively open. In addition, such paintings emphasize on the use of light to show various aspects of the scene. The light falls on the surface of the objects revealing the aesthetic aspect of the colors used.
Colors are also applied side-by-side, a technique that was used to ensure a good mixing of colors to create an aesthetic and vibrant surface. Monet’s work also shows how complementary colors are used to obtain dark colors, such as dark and grey tones. It is worth noting that Monet avoided black paint, but mixed complementary colors to achieve gray and dark tones.
Moreover, impressionism emphasizes on the subject matter. In this case, Monet’s work depicts nature “as it is” and the beautifulness associated with it. In addition, Impressionist style in painting emphasized on time and space. Light was used to depict the nature as it appears during the day. Most impressionist painters avoided depicting night scenes (Denvir, 2010). This is one major aspect of impressionism, which Claude Monet displayed in his Water Lilies painting.
Apart from Monet, a number of other artists took advantage of the premixed paints available in the European art during the century. For example, Berthe Morisot’s “Reading” was painted in 1873 and depicts a woman reading a book, probably the Bible, while seating on grass in a field somewhere in France. Other examples include Camille Pissaro’s “Hay Harvest at Eragny” (1901) and Renoir’s “Girl with a Hoop” (1885).
Figure 2: Berthe Morisot’s Reading, 1873 (Denvir, 2010).
Figure 3: Camille Pissarro’s Hay Harvest at Éragny, 1901 (Moskowitz & Sérullaz, 2009).
Figure 4: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Girl with a Hoop, 1885 (Rewald, 2009)
Studying Monet’s life and work shows that the impressionist artists emphasized on common and natural objects and scenes. The style avoids the use of imaginations, which contradicts the earlier styles. In addition, they avoid religious and political topics in their work. The presentation of nature is achieved because premixed colors were readily available in the market. These are issues worth learning.
The study of impressionist style using such examples as “The Water Lilies” has improved the way I view the nature. It has shown that an emphasis on representing the natural environment attracts human attention. In addition, I have realized that people should appreciate the nature. Therefore, Monet’s Water Lilies can be rated 9 out of 10 because it is simple yet attractive.
In addition, it depicts things that are there in the environment, yet we pay little attention. It should also be rated high because it acts as a way of inspiring people to protect their environment. The painting means that students studying art should focus on simple but important aspects of life. In my research, I would like to learn how impressionist artists changed the way we view nature and how they have inspired modern art.
Denvir, B. (2010). The Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of Impressionism. London: Thames and Hudson
Moskowitz, I., & Sérullaz, M. (2009). French Impressionists: A Selection of Drawings of the French 19th Century. Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company
Rewald, J. (2009). The History of Impressionism. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.
Goals and Achievements of Impressionism Essay
The name impressionism basically attempts to help people understand the work and achievements of impressionist painters. This artistic approach was more prevalent in the 1870s and 1880s.The painters applying impressionism intended to focus the direct impressions of color and light that a person sees and feels when interacting with the environment (Cunningham & Reich, 2010). The ideal themes originated from sunlight, water reflections, mist and fog among many others.
In this art the artists were less concerned with the emotional reactions of the viewers but focused more on visual and intellectual responses. Their artworks were very significant but the most memorable of all events is when the reformation of painting process was done. During this event, painters went out of their studios to the open air to construct and paint nature from direct watching. These artists had various goals and made a number of achievements which will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
There were a variety of artworks that were developed by different artists, originating from a diverse scope of the artists’ perception. One of the great artists was a Frenchman called Claude Monet whose artwork mainly involved painting. Most of his paintings illustrated his assets in Giverny, where he lived.
Monet would paint one item that was replicated in so many other ways with an aim of depicting a diverse effect of aspects such as light and atmosphere. Initially, Monet concentrated on paintings that were related to industrialization, famous recreational sites and people. Later on he switched to artwork that revolved around landscapes whereby he focused on the aesthetic character of light and the abundance of nature.
One of his renowned paintings is referred to as the ‘painting by the Seine river side’ featuring Vetheuil, Lavacourt, and Poissy (Reich, et al, 2009). This piece of artwork came up due to the great interest that Monet had on the way the waters of Seine River appeared. He was really intrigued by the transparency waters and how it reflected light.
Monet had stayed by the river side for quiet some time hence he was able to learn the appearance and relate with it. The time spend made him have a complete view of the image that he wanted to paint. The painting was mainly intended to show the beauty that various aspect of nature brings to the eyes of man when integrated. Such an artifact still holds a lot of significance to this date (Klein & Monet, 2006).
The view of this painting brings a person into terms with nature which is very difficult to happen in the direct observation of the environment. It also helps people to see the importance of conserving the nature’s freely given beauty since it contributes a lot to the livelihood of human beings and other habitants. Such artificacts should be passed from one generation to the other so as to make sure that each generation is able to see the importance of conserving the nature with the aim of maintaining its beauty.
In conclusion, it can be clearly seen that many of the artistic works that were prepared by various artists hold a lot of meaning even to this date since most of the works were related to the things that were so familiar and touched the lives of the natural habitat. It is therefore very important to uphold the significance of every single depiction that these artworks try to portray. Every item should possibly be preserved in its original state so as to maintain the same information that was initially intended by the artist, thus impressionism.
Cunningham, L. & Reich, J. (2010). Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities, Vol. II, With Readings (7th ed.). Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage.
Reich, J, Cunningham, S & Lawrence. (2009). Culture & Values, Volume II: A Survey of the Humanities with Readings [With Access Code], Volume 2 of Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities, 7th ed., New York: Cengage Learning. Print.
Klein, A, & Monet, C. (2006). Claude Monet, Great artists, Adam G. Klein, Chicago: ABDO.
Post-Impressionism: Paul Cezanne Analytical Essay
Post-Impressionism is one of the most vivid art movements of the period between 1880 and 1905 which developed mainly in such European countries as France and England. Following the ideas of Impressionism, such painters as Paul Cezanne developed their unique vision of depicting emotions and impressions in a picture.
Paul Cezanne (1839–1906), the French artist, is often discussed as the founder of Post-Impressionism movement and its ideologist. The new approach to reflecting personal emotions can be observed with references to Cezanne’s paintings. Focusing on the personal vision of art, the artist developed the links between previous Impressionism and further Cubism (Medina).
That is why, the works by Cezanne are characterized by the extreme focusing on forms and colors in order to represent the author’s specific vision of the world. Thus, to understand the variety and depth of Cezanne’s paintings, it is necessary to concentrate on the most famous works of the artist.
In his works, Cezanne intended to demonstrate emotions and ideas which could be reflected in abstract artificial forms. The artists did not pay much attention to perspectives and to the relations between foreground and background because the main focus was on the meaning which often could be rather symbolic. The works by Cezanne are easily recognized because of the strict forms and contrasts (Medina).
To accentuate definite objects, the artist often used simple colors, but with developing a lot of tones. Furthermore, Cezanne effectively used the play of light.
Compote, Pitcher and Fruit, 1892 The Black Marble Clock, 1869–1871
This approach helped draw the audience’s attention to the meaning of the paintings instead of presenting the natural objects in relation to their real forms and colors. From this point, Post-Impressionism is the art of emotions and deep ideas in which the depicted objects serve only for reflecting these ideas (Rabinow).
Woman Seated, in Blue, 1902 The Card Players, 1892
It seems that in his works, Cezanne did not differentiate between the approaches to depicting the humans, natural objects, or artificial objects. Bold multidirectional strokes are typical for all Cezanne’s paintings in spite of the object for depiction. From this point, it is interesting to pay attention to Cezanne’s depiction of the nature and landscapes.
The changes in the perspective and spaces are represented by the artist with the help of changing colors and contrasting the tones (Rabinow). Cezanne’s landscapes are intended to represent the artist’s emotions about them rather than the actual forms and spaces.
Chateau Noir, 1900 Mont Sainte Victoire, 1900
The works by many Post-Impressionists are discussed as independent and individual. Cezanne’s paintings are also incomparable with the works of the other artists because of the unique emotional brushwork and focus on abstractionism.
The artist developed the theory of art according to which only ideas and impressions with emotions can form the further art peace as the reflection of the author’s ideals (Medina). To emphasize the opposition between the ideal and naturalistic worlds, Cezanne used artificial strict and constructed forms and bold brushwork.
Les Grandes Baigneuses, 1898-1905 Jas de Bouffan, 1885–1887
Paul Cezanne is the unique artist whose works influenced the art perceptions of not only the representatives of Post-Impressionism because of the developed and applied theory or art but also the visions of the further artists who realized the ideas supported by Cezanne in Cubism and other movements associated with the abstract art.
Medina, Joyce. Cézanne and Modernism: The Poetics of Painting. USA: SUNY Press, 1995. Print.
Rabinow, Rebecca. Cézanne to Picasso. USA: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. Print.
Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: Technique Evolution Compare and Contrast Essay
As a rule, any style of painting as a culture phenomenon has its roots hidden in a separate individuals’ techniques, their vision of how the picture should be composed, painted and perceived. Individuals with common vision and ideas are associated with one painting style.
However, a problem with such distribution may occur when, in spite of the general similarity of style, the painters use different techniques and follow different aims in their art. Thus, Post-Impressionism emerged while impressionists were still creating their most famous works, which made it hard to distinguish these two styles clearly.
However, there are some changes in the style which caused a shift from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism. These changes will be analyzed in this paper using the comparison of two works: Camille Pissarro, The Goose Girl at Montfoucault, White Frost, 1875 and Vincent van Gogh, The Rocks, 1888.
Both of the chosen paintings represent individual styles of their authors, as well as the major tendencies of Impressionism and Post-impressionism, correspondingly. Indeed, vague forms and mild effect of Pissarro’s painting can give a clear picture of Impressionistic vision, while Van Gogh’s work represents the out-and-outer style of Post-Impressionism with its sharp forms, contrasts and dazzling colors.
The major detail that allows detecting different techniques in the two paintings is the technique of using a brush. Pissarro uses paint with a paste consistency to place dots and clouds on the canvas, which, in combination with each other, create certain forms. The surface of the painting seems smooth, or at least of one level. The artist applied mostly thin brushstrokes.
A peculiar detail is that the direction of the brushstrokes does not depend on the form or shape of the objects; their shape is shown with the help of tones and light values. A different approach can be observed in Van Gogh’s painting; the artist uses energetic brushstrokes with tones of thick paint, and, unlike the Impressionistic method, the artist emphasizes the geometric forms of the objects with the direction of the brushstrokes.
If we transformed the two pictures into black and white, we would see that Pissarro’s painting has vague and rather light objects depicted, and it would be hard to distinguish certain details. In contrast, Van Gogh’s painting has an illusion of having a number of edges, as every brushstroke has a function of building some object and intensifying its shape.
The thick paint gives an additional volume to the painting and also contributes to the general geometry. The artist used thick and confident brushstrokes. At some areas of the painting, Van Gogh seems to have literally pressed the paint in the canvas, which gives a very vibrant impression. This technique also gives the picture another dimension, allowing to see not only the content of the painting, but also its actual texture.
Another striking difference between the two paintings is the use of color. The palette of Pissarro is rather discreet, with all the hues being chosen carefully. Burnt umbra is a basis for some tones of green and yellow in the trees and background, and cool bluish whites of the sky and the ground are combined with strokes of warm ochre, which helps the whites stay in accord with the rest of the picture.
This way of using color values is consistent with the Impressionistic art aims, as these colors allow making the impression of an evening in September. As for Van Gog’s painting, its colors are very rough, contrasting to each other and competing for leadership. Cold blue and snowy white cover the major part of the canvas, and the brushstrokes of ochre and warm green, as well as spots of pure sun yellow make an impression of mosaic.
Moreover, the artist used pure black to outline the rocks and show shadows. Such contrasts make it hard for the viewer to define the general value of the painting, to see what tones are dominating, and as a result it distracts from analyzing the picture and makes the viewer simply perceive it as it is.
Unlike in case of Pissarro’s painting, Van Gogh’s picture does not allow getting a clear idea of a certain season or time of the day. Only the colors of the painted bushes and grass make the viewer suppose that it could be autumn.
Similar difference can be seen in the role of light in the two paintings. Pissarro has its painting divided into two areas: light, where the light from setting sun is covering the objects, and shadowy, where the mild shadow of the trees is sheltering the gooses and the girl. This use of light awakens the feeling of comfort and stillness.
A totally different feeling occurs while looking at Van Gogh’s “Rocks”: there is no source of light defined by the artist, and the light areas can be found on any side of the rocks. In addition, the painter did not make any clear shadows; the only way of showing the geometrical form of the objects is the use of black strokes.
This specialty of Van Gogh’s light depiction can be determined by the setting, as there are no flat areas depicted, which makes it impossible to show areas of shadows or of light.
The painters’ positions are similar in the two pictures. Pissarro has painted his picture as if he was standing in the yard together with the goose girl. This position is traditional to a man’s eye, and it causes a calm and relaxed mood. Despite the fact that Van Gogh’s perspective also implies looking at the object, the horizon is not visible, as it is beyond the rocks.
In addition, the top of the oak is extremely close to the upper line of the canvas. These two aspects of the picture composition leave no space for the viewer, causing a feeling of panics and lack of space. However, it should also be noted that both of the paintings are spatial.
The light background and shadows in the yard in Pissarro’s painting give an impression of three-dimensionality. Van Gogh also shows the different levels of rocks, making the painting look rather deep.
The textures of various objects are shown by Pissarro by the more or less smooth brushstrokes. For instance, the goose girl’s apron and the gooses’ plumage are shown as smooth and solid stains, while the tree’s bark has its texture shown with dynamic brushstrokes of different hues.
The artist also uses black to show the sharp texture of the bark. Van Gogh also focuses on depicting the texture of the objects, giving them exaggerated values compared to the ones they have in real life. Van Gogh’s stones are depicted with curly brushstrokes, which make them rocky; the sky seems to be embroidered with thick threads, and the bushes seem very sharp, although no sign of their texture was depicted.
The motifs of the two paintings also differ. Pissarro covered a wide range of objects in his composition, focusing on the situation rather than on a separate object. As for Van Gogh’s painting, it can be said that the main objects in his composition are rocks, as they take the majority of space, and the whole composition is built around them.
One of the major differences between the paintings is that one of them depicts a cultivated landscape, and another shows a wild place. Thus, Pissarro’s painting depicts a small rural glade with natural surroundings, but some details in the picture point to the human presence, such as gooses (domestic birds) and a small wooden fence. The presence of a girl in the picture has an effect of harmony between nature and human.
In contrast, Van Gogh’s picture shows a wild piece of nature, which seems to have never been explored or intruded by human. Absence of people and piles of sharp rocks make a wild impression, in every sense of this word.
As it can be seen, the two analyzed works have many contrasting aspects, such as use of color, light, composition, theme, aim, and painting technique. However, it is obvious that these two styles root from one idea: to make an impression. For Impressionism, it is an impression of atmosphere, mood, and situation. For Post-Impressionism, it is an impression of inner state of the artist, perception, and mood of surroundings.
Impressionism: Pissarro’s “The Woodcutter” Painting Essay
What is the message that the artist is trying to convey?
The work of art in the subject here is a painting of the woodcutter by Pissarro. The message he wanted to convey here is how workers are shaped by the nature of the work they do. This means that, at all times, people take some motions forced into them by the nature of their works. In the painting, Pissarro painted a peasant laborer working on a woodcutter. The worker is shown positioning himself in a way such that he can move the woodcutter to and fro remarkably easily. This means that, in a while, these people end up changing their shapes due to their nature of work (Sabbeth 48).
For instance, if a laborer is delegated to operate the woodcutter and they work for more than two years, chances are high that their normal posture has to be affected. Also, Pissarro conveys another message which is the working condition for peasant laborers. The person cutting wood is not in the company of other workers. This means that jobs were delegated hence on any farmworkers spent most of their time alone going about with their duties. From this one can conclude that peasant laborers were overworked. This is evident from the amount of work seen in the painting whereby only one person is supposed to cut wood for the entire farm.
Is there a connection between the content of the painting and the Age of Industrialism?
According to the painting, there is a connection between its contents and industrialization. This means that the message conveyed has some elements of industrialization in it. Industrialization came about with the development of industries hence converting human lives. It impacted human lives positively hence helping them to upgrade their living standards. In the painting, the peasant laborer is in clothes that were brought into human lives by industrialization.
This means that human beings get clothes that are manufactured in industries (Pissarro, Pissarro, and d’Orsay 85). If the painting was to represent eras where industrialization had not been featured in human lives, there would be direct indication since the worker would be shown in animal skins and other traditional attires. Also, industrialization changed human lives, and this is why the man in the painting is referred to as a peasant worker.
This means that the man is working so that he can get some money to fund his needs in life. The need for money came with industrialization. Finally, the woodcutter itself is an industrial invention. In the olden days, people used stone tools to split wood or just consumed logs in their normal states. The woodcutter has a metal blade hence proving that industrialization had taken place at the time of the paintings.
Which segment of society is being portrayed?
Pissarro’s painting portrayed a segment of the society which comprised of the poor and low-income earners. These are people who have to work under hostile circumstances to feed their families. This is evident in the description of the woodcutter painting where it is said that the man is a peasant laborer. This means that he is poorly paid and given a lot of work to do by his boss. In many societies, peasant workers face a lot of troubles since they are exposed to vast dangers in the course of their duties. For instance, they may be given blunt working tools that end up giving them difficulties in accomplishing their set goals.
In the picture, it is evident that the man is struggling to make ends meet to make a living. Poor people are exposed to all sorts of low-quality lives. For instance, we can see the man working alone amid trees. Human beings require company, but employers ignore that essence. If the painting had to portray the high-income earners in the society, their scenario would be different and more people could have been shown. This is because high-income earners in the society are seen in groups discussing business or in celebrations. This happens because they have a lot of money to wine and dine at the expense of their poor laborers.
Is the artist portraying any of society’s problems? If so, how is she/he doing so?
The artist is portraying a societal problem because he is targeting poor people in society. The artist is trying to portray how peasant laborers work hard and get poor wages. For instance, the way he has shown the worker changing his posture to operate the cutter effectively, it is evident that he is struggling. Also, the painting can be shown as evidence of how much work the man is doing alone. The artist wants to show working conditions for peasant laborers (Brodskaïa 67). The man in the painting is alone in the midst of trees, and this proves that there is boredom in the workplace. These issues need to be addressed because peasant laborers are human beings just like the rich, therefore, their human needs to be respected.
Brodskaïa, Nathalia. Impressionism. London: Parkstone International, 2010. Print.
Pissarro, Joachim, Pissarro Camille and d’Orsay Musée. Pioneering modern painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865-1885. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2005. Print.
Sabbeth, Carol. Monet and the Impressionists for Kids: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2002. Print.