Impressionism 1860 – 1890

Term generally applied to a movement in art in France in the late 19th century The movement gave rise to such ancillaries as American Impressionism The primary use of the term Impressionist is for a group of French painters who worked between around 1860 and 1900, especially to describe their works of the later 1860s to mid-1880s These artists include Frédéric Bazille, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley, as well as Mary Cassatt, Gustave Caillebotte (who was also an important early collector), Eva Gonzalès, Armand Guillaumin and Stanislas Lépine The movement was anti-academic in its formal aspects and involved the establishment of venues other than the official Salon for showing and selling paintings

Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s

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The Impressionists faced harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satirical review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari

The development of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous styles in other media that became known as impressionist music and impressionist literature

Radicals in their time, early Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting They constructed their pictures from freely brushed colours that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix and J M W Turner They also painted realistic scenes of modern life, and often painted outdoors Previously, still lifes and portraits as well as landscapes were usually painted in a studio The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air They portrayed overall visual effects instead of details, and used short “broken” brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour—not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary—to achieve an effect of intense colour vibration

Impressionism emerged in France at the same time that a number of other painters, including the Italian artists known as the Macchiaioli, and Winslow Homer in the United States, were also exploring plein-air painting The Impressionists, however, developed new techniques specific to the style Encompassing what its adherents argued was a different way of seeing, it is an art of immediacy and movement, of candid poses and compositions, of the play of light expressed in a bright and varied use of colour

French painters who prepared the way for Impressionism include the Romantic colourist Eugène Delacroix, the leader of the realists Gustave Courbet, and painters of the Barbizon school such as Théodore Rousseau The Impressionists learned much from the work of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Eugène Boudin, who painted from nature in a direct and spontaneous style that prefigured Impressionism, and who befriended and advised the younger artists

A number of identifiable techniques and working habits contributed to the innovative style of the Impressionists Although these methods had been used by previous artists—and are often conspicuous in the work of artists such as Frans Hals, Diego Velázquez, Peter Paul Rubens, John Constable, and J M W Turner—the Impressionists were the first to use them all together, and with such consistency