Rather than relying on realistic depictions, Impressionism sought to capture the effect of light, the passage of time, change in the weather, and shifts of movement. Our Impressionist prints features a colourful range of wall art prints suited to be a prominent display that’ll have people looking twice.
A group of young artists in Paris were united by an eagerness to abandon the rigid confines of art at the time and move into new territory. This is the origins of Impressionism, which emerged in the late 1800s. It helped that photography began developing at a rapid pace, allowing painters to innovate with their medium rather than compete to create realistic portraits.
After multiple rejections from the conventional French Salon, the artists, led by Claude Monet, formed and the Impressionists formed the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. It was in 1874, at the first Impressionist Exhibition that the group was given their name by the art critic Louis Leroy who complained that the group was capable of painting nothing more than an impression. Leroy might have been goaded into giving them the name Impressionists by Monet’s exhibiting painting Impression, Sunrise (1872).
At the first Impressionist Exhibition in 1874, the art critic Louis Leroy complained that the group for only painting impressions and nothing else.
The name is thanks to one unhappy critic named Louis Leroy. Although Leroy was a notable playwright, printmaker, and painter, he’s best known for coining the term ‘Impressionism’ to the group of artists he criticised as capable of only painting impressions. The name was given to the group on April 25, 1874, when Leroy reviewed the exhibition for Le Charivari.
Perhaps Leroy disliked the basis of their method, which had the artists paint outdoors and ‘on the spot’, rather than take sketches back to the studio and work from them. The aim of the Impressionists was to capture all that was seen in the moment. Monet, in particular, was interested in examining the change of colour and light throughout the day.
The number of members in the Impressionists is large, and it’s almost a miracle because these artists all shared ideas of evolving art, taking it to new places even as Europe continued to develop industrially. Some of these artists are Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, and Berthe Morisot, however there are many more, such as Edgar Degas, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Frederic Bazille.
Berthe Morisot was a French painter and an important figure in the Impressionist movement. Morisot was born in a wealthy upper-class family in Paris and was encouraged to take art lessens at a young age. Alongside her sister Edma, the pair were immensely talented. While the other artists in the group painted city life and landscapes, Morisot painted domestic life. Her subjects were usually women and children in the garden or at home. Her style of painting was loose, quick brushstrokes, which she never smoothed over or flattened. Being a perfectionist, Morisot destroyed many of the her own paintings that she didn’t feel were good enough.
Parisian-born painter Claud Monet was a significant figure in the art scene in France. Having been introduced to en plein air painting by Eugene Boudin, Monet went on to lead the experimental group of artists known as the Impressionists. Monet’s most famous paintings are his water lily series; however, he was also a painter of modern, urban life, depicting scenes at train stations and Paris during the industrial revolution. Even as his eyesight began failing, Monet continued to paint.
Instead of studying law like his bourgeois parents intended for him to, Edouard Manet gravitated towards art. The French-born artist often copied the works of Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya to better develop his artistic skills. He went on to portray everyday subjects, including beggars, street people, gypsies, and musicians were worthy of painting. Manet would even paint prostitutes, and his 1865 painting Olympia caused a huge scandal in Paris because such a woman. At this point Manet may have been accustomed to causing scandals as, only two years ago, his painting The Luncheon on the Grass shocked the French Salon. While Monet contributed en plein air to the Impressionists, Manet contributed the alla prima technique, meaning wet-on-wet painting. By applying colours side by side, Manet’s work become vibrant scenes of life.
Camille Pissarro was the oldest in the group of Impressionists, though the age gap didn’t hold him back from creating some of the most remarkable Impressionist paintings. He was a pivotal figure in the group, having disliked the Salon’s preference for conventional art. Like the other Impressionists, Pissarro saw to capture the fleeting moments of life in a world that was drastically evolving thanks to the industrial movement. He painted subjects in rural environments, featuring farmhands, maids, and villagers.
In Le Havre, France, Claude Monet painted Impression, Sunrise. It was 1872 and there was no way he could foretell the revolution this seemingly simple landscape was going to have on the art world. For a little while before Impression, Sunrise was created, Monet was enjoying painting outside, under the natural light. Monet’s visit to Le Havre was productive; despite it being a holiday, Monet completed six painting featuring the Port of Le Havre during various times of the day.
Gustave Caillebotte painted a few members of the working class of Paris in his 1875 painting The Floor Scrapers. In the painting, the light flows in beautifully from the window, shining on the backs of the urban men as they work across the floor. The painting was rejected by the Parisian Salon because of its depiction of semi-nude working-class men, believing the subject matter to be vulgar.
Luncheon of the Boating Party looks like a jovial scene enticing spectators to join in. That’s because Pierre-Auguste Renoir used artistic elements of balance and harmony, and rich colours in the Impressionist style to create such an alluring daytime scene. The painting is best known for its richness in form and brilliant use of light, capturing a fleeting image that looks so much like a candid snapshot rather than a posed picture. Luncheon of the Boating Party is an important artwork in history as it shows the changes of French society, where restaurants opened their doors to people from various classes. Featured is the famous Impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte, and Renoir’s wife.
It may come as a surprise, but it has been long debated whether Vincent van Gogh is an Impressionist or not. The artist, who’s quick, frenzies brushstrokes and preference for painting outdoors rather than in a studio, was never associated with the Impressionists. He never belonged to the group, rather keeping mostly to himself, although not by choice. Despite his style of painting being associated with the Impressionists, at most he is considered a post-Impressionist painter.