Artists that interest me are Impressionists!

Posted: April 29, 2010 in Certificate of Design & Visual Arts, Painting, Research Impressionism

France, ca. 1870s
The Impressionists were a group of painters who, in general, departed from the traditional pursuit of reproducing an illusion of real space in paintings of academic subjects, choosing instead to exploit the possibilities of paint to explore the fleeting effects of nature and the vagaries of visual sensation in, for the most part, rapidly executed works. Among the several dozen painters who participated in this loosely defined group—most of whom are unknown today—were Mary Cassatt, Paul C�zanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre Auguste Renoir. These artists were associated principally through their group exhibitions (although some, like C�zanne, never showed their work in the so-called Impressionist exhibitions) and were perceived by some critics of the time as sharing certain stylistic devices, such as employing loose brushwork to produce the illusion of the artist�s spontaneous recording of natural light on the canvas and rejecting the practice of chiaroscuro (modeling in light and dark). In their pursuit of modernity, some of them borrowed formal devices used in photography and Japanese prints, such as radical foreshortening, cropping, and keyhole or bird�s-eye perspective.

The work of the Impressionists was indebted to the Barbizon school of artists active in the 1850s in developing plein-air (out-of-doors) painting, although even the Impressionists who were most celebrated for painting directly from nature, such as Monet, often completed their canvases in the studio. The Impressionists moved away from the Barbizon school�s romantic naturalism and themes of rural peasant life to more urban subject matter, especially scenes of Parisian leisure and entertainment, city parks, and suburban landscapes.


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