What is impressionism? The nature of this movement in painting can be understood from its name. After all, impression in French means something fleeting, special, grasped by the moment. It is sometimes so beautiful, that artists find it impossible not to stop and depicture it on canvas.
In 1874, an exhibition was held, at which Monet’s Impression. Soleil Levant was presented. The name of the painting was essential for the entire art movement. The artwork’s still images had the freshness of air, colors and feelings. Joy of life and delight in its moments are the main motifs of impressionism.
Painters of France did not neglect discoveries of scientists in optics, and these discoveries served art well. Scientists suggested splitting the sunbeam into seven colors of the rainbow, and impressionist artists gladly took advantage of this finding.
If you place two paints next to each other and not mix them, the effect will increase. Scientists invented steel tubes for paints, and artists went to work in the open air. An important difference from the artists of the past, introduced by impressionist artists, was work in the open air, when paintings were created in the places that were depicted on them.
The image seemed to be immediately transferred from nature to the canvas. The artworks were supposed to flicker, vibrate, and revive. Figures in impressionist paintings cast not black, but colored shadows.
Impressionist artists sort of spied on the life of the city, on the pastime of its inhabitants and the details of its landscape.
Prominent impressionist artists
Oscar Claude Monet was one of the founders of impressionist art. The artist created his paintings by putting tiny spots of spectral colors. His paintings create a feeling of soft air movement. Urban views and seascapes, women resting in the countryside -- traditional subjects of his artworks.
Auguste Renoir worked in the genres of landscape, portrait, still life and nude. He was the first of impressionists who became a recognized and valued artist.
Camille Pissarro was able to masterfully depict light and air. He preferred landscape and created etchings and lithographs. A series of his Parisian landscapes is considered the pinnacle of impressionist art.
Nowadays, artworks created at the dawn of impressionism cost a lot of money, and are exhibited in the best museums of the world.
Impressionist artists didn’t like historical and mythological subjects, and they also avoided biblical and literary themes. Keeping away from depicting such horrible things as social drama and wars, they preferred life-affirming themes.
Resting or dancing people, people in cafes, at parties, on the beach, during walks and meetings with friends, are frequent subjects of impressionist artists paintings. Life is a holiday that is always with you, could be considered the major message of impressionist paintings.
Their paintings also show a lot of nature and cityscapes. In general, for artists of this art movement it was much more important how to paint, than what to depict.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the evolution of art went on, and the new generation of artists began to look for new means of expression. But impressionism remained in the history of art as an era of talented artists.