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Transcript of Impressionism
Before the arrival of Impressionism, L'école des Beaux Arts set the standards for art.
Realism was the accepted practice of the day.
The characteristics of Realism were clear, distinct lines and great themes (biblical or historic).
Impressionism was a departure from Realism.
The camera could produce realistic pictures; the Impressionists wanted to produce something the camera could not do. They wanted a total break from the norm.
The Impressionists wanted to paint scenes from everyday life.
There was a special emphasis on nature scenes.
Artists usually painted in a studio. The Impressionists wanted to paint nature scenes "en plein air" (in the open air). This was made possible by the inventions of the portable easel and paint in tubes.
The Impressionists were very interested in the effects of light and atmospheric conditions on their subjects.
Renoir: The Swing
Monet often painted the same subject at different times of the day and in different seasons because of his acute interest in light and atmospheric conditions. Haystacks were the subject of one such study.
The Impressionists wanted to give an "impression" of their subject, not an exact image. The subject must first pass through their souls, and then, what came forth would be the "impression".
The lines, therefore, would not be distinct (as in Realism), but blurry and not well-defined.
The Impressionists like to use thick blobs of paint on their canvases.
They often gave equal attention to everything on the canvas. For example, a chair might get the same attention as a person's face.
The Industrial Revolution was taking place in France during the advent of Impressionism. Surprisingly, the Impressionists were very interested in these advancements and sometimes used industry as subjects of their paintings.
A painting of Monet painting in the open air.
Because of this desire to give an "impression" of a subject, Monet produced a painting entitled "Impression: Sunrise."
A journalist and art critic, making fun of this new movement of art, saw Monet's painting and mockingly called these avant-guard artists "Impressionists." He gave the movement its name.
The country that had the greatest influence on the Impressionists was Japan. The Impressionists carefully studied Japanese art and incorporated some of the techniques into their paintings.
Monet even had a Japanese bridge constructed over the waterlily pond in his garden.
Le Salon was the state-sponsored art exhibition in France at the time of the Impressionists. Since Impressionism was considered a renegade form of art, the Impressionists were refused entrance into Le Salon. This denied them the opportunity to exhibit and sell their works.
The Impressionists decided to band together and open their own "salon." They called it "Le Salon des Réfusés. It opened in 1863.
Today, Impressionist paintings are housed in a separate museum from the paintings of the Realists. The Realists paintings are found in the Louvre. The Impressionist paintings are displayed in the Musée d'Orsay.
Le Musée d'Orsay
Despite its rough beginnings, Impressionism is today the most popular art in the world. It is the most expensive art of our time.
to jigsaw puzzles
Despite their desire to produce something different from what the camera could produce, the Impressionists also liked to "play" with camera effects in their paintings.
The "cut off" effect
The off-center effect
The movie-frames effect
Japan bought Van Gogh's Irises for $107.2 million.
Renoir's Bal du Moulin de la Galette sold for $138.7 million.
Van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet was purchased for $146.5 million
and Cézanne's The Card Players sold for $254 million.
It is also the most often reproduced art in the world.
Impressionism was a movement of art that began in France in the 1860's.
The invention of the camera served as a catalyst for the advent of Impressionist Art. The wealthy no longer sat for portraits. Artists had to find another way to sell their works.