Impressionism - Modern Art History
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In April of 1974 a group of young artists became fed up with the official Salons of Paris and joined together to create their own exhibition. Hosted by photographer Felix Nadar, the artists included Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot and Paul Cezanne. The group totalled 30 artists and would later gain new recruits like Jean Frederic Bazille, Gustave Caillebotte and Mary Cassatt.

The group attracted attention from the media and a critic, Louis Leroy, called the group the "Impressionists", after Monet's "Impression Sunrise". The name stuck and the group gained fame and notoreity.

Impressionism has a sketch-like quality as many paintings made by impressionists were painted on the spot instead of in the studio. They also painted everyday life rather than historical themes, which was in part thanks to the previous work of the realists and the romanticists of the 18th century.

Many impressionists quoted romanticist painter Edouard Manet as an influence on their work because he had painted real-life and ridiculed historical/mythological themes with paintings like "Olympia" (1863) years earlier. Gustave Courbet, a realist painter who painted real-life was also an important influence because he had hosted one-man shows of his works and proved that artists could stand on their own WITHOUT the salons.

Many impressionist works were concerned with the light on landscape/objects, but this is not true of all impressionists. Renoir for example (lecherous bastard who liked painting nude women while bathing) returned to a more traditional style of painting during the 1880s, feeling that the figure had been eroded too much. The 1880s was the beginning of other movements like Neo-Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.

  • Manet's "Olympia"


  • Courbet's "Woman with a Parrot"


  • Bazille
  • Caillebotte
  • Cassatt
  • Cezanne
  • Degas
  • Monet
  • Monet's "Sunrise"
  • Morisot
  • Pissarro
  • Renoir
  • Sisley