Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Impressionist Movement - A Brief Glance

Chasing Butterflies 1874 Berthe Morisot
The Impressionists
The Impressionists were a loosely associated group of painters that worked mainly in France during the later half of the 19th century. The movements main artists were:

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Edouard Manet (1832-1883)
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Alfred Sisley (1839-1899)
Mary Cassett (1844-1926)
Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)

During the course of the 19th century the government of France sponsored an annual exhibition to recognise and identify new artistic talent. This was known as the Salon. The Salon's view of art was that it should follow the classical traditions of the Rennaissance Period - dark browns and black in dark paintings. Anyone who didn't adher to the views of the Salon was left out in the cold. Artists rebelled against this and struggled against the Salon's monopoly. Those that could afford to, had private exhibitions. Eventually in 1874 an exhibition by rebel artists was organised in the centre of Paris and opened the same week as the Salon's exhibition. Over the next 12 years over fifty "rebel" artists exhibited. They had 8 exhibitions in the years 1874-1886. The movement was called the impressionists after a work called " Impression, Sunrise" by Monet in 1874, and also due to the unclear style of their drawing and lack of attention to detail. The name stuck, and was adopted by the artists for their future exhibitions, as they had struggled to define a name for their group previously.

Although he had partaken in the last five exhibitions Paul Gauguin is considered a post-impressionist as is Vincent Van Gogh. The majority of Van Goghs work was created as the movement was past it's peak and although he worked with them during his time in Paris, he sought an individualistic pathway for his art. Gauguin also was to follow such an individual pathway.

On the Grass 1874 Berthe Morisot

Les Parapluies 1883 Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Well I hope you enjoyed this short glimpse into art past. Perhaps I will revisit some of these artists works in the blog again at a later date. In the meantime, check back again for my completion of Clew Bay landscape. It should be finished this week.

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