Introduction to Impressionism
Impressionism is an art movement that arose in the mid 19th century in France as a result of the artistic restrictions of
traditional academic painting. The style aims at defining a natural yet visually innovative use of light and color. Early Impressionists rejected not only the classical form of painting but also the subject matter associated with it. They chose to paint landscapes, city scenes and ordinary people but transformed these everyday images into vivid artistic representations. The word 'Impressionism' came from one of Monet's works entitled 'Impression: A Sunrise' that was critiqued by Louis Leroy. This style is characterized by the depiction of the general impression of the scene using complimentary colors and small brush strokes to define light. Although many Impressionists developed their own style of this form of art, the palettes and use of color and light were often similar. They often worked together and as a result influenced each
other. One of the earliest such painters, Édouard Manet described how light and shadows could be depicted without painting shades but instead by
juxtaposition colorful, contrasting tones.
The painters did not want to associate themselves with the restrictions of classical Realism - They did not paint a scene as everyone else saw it, they painted the scene as they saw
it. Because Impressionism was more an artistic perception than a set of techniques, there are artists in fields other than painting who are also Impressionists. Impressionism has influenced the origin of the other forms of art such as pointillism, postimpressionism, cubism, expressionism digressing to modernism.
Because of the radical views of the Impressionists, in the time it was though to be insulting to the existing art community. It took many years for Impressionism to accepted by the people and the art critics. But by the late 19th century when the pioneers of Impressionism had begun to fade away and a new generation of artists were emerging, it became evident that Impressionism had been the most significant 19th century artistic movement.
This site portrays the age of Impressionist from the mid 19th century to the early 20th century. We aim at educating students, not only by providing information but also by allowing them to see things from an artist's perspective and by creating a forum for teachers.