Many musical styles coexisted aroud the turn of the century. Among the most important was impressionism. This musical movement was best represented by Claude Debussy. Musical impressionism related to two slightly earlier artistic movement in France which were catalysts for many other developments in the 20th century.
In 1874, a group of French painters including Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pisarro had an exhibition in Paris. One Monet painting Impression:Sunrise particularly annoyed one art critic who called the whole exhibition "the exhibition of the impressionists." The name stuck but it lost its derisiveness eventually.
Impressionist paintings are formless collections of colour patches when seen close but from a far place, the minute strokes becomes visible and recognisable forms of shimmering colours. Painters were concerned with effects of lights, colours and atmosphere with impermanance, change and fluidity. Many of the artists work outdoor and they were very fascinated with water which they depicted through poster colours, ripping, gushing and still.
As the impressionist era is represented by Debussy, the characteristics of it will be included in the Debussy section in the Composer's portion.