Impressionism [The art history series] 

(#onthisday December 5th, Claude Monet passed away in 1926)

Period: 1874-1886
Key artists: Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Pissaro, Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot


Impression, soleil levant, 1872 – Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris © Christian Baraja

Impressionism developed in France in the nineteenth century and is based on the practice of painting out of doors and spontaneously ‘on the spot’ rather than in a studio from sketches. Main impressionist subjects were landscapes and scenes of everyday life​. 
(source: Tate) 

Claude Monet’s Impression, Sunrise (Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris) exhibited in 1874, gave the Impressionist movement its name when the critic Louis Leroy accused it of being a sketch or “impression,” not a finished painting. 

(source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)


Impressionism on La Fée Culturelle’s blog:

  • Inventing Impressionism is not only an exhibition on what Durand-Ruel owned and sold but importantly on his pivotal role in creating a taste for Impressionism amongst collectors. Read more
  • The Royal Academy showcased masterpieces from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Sterling Clark was an astute collector, trusting his own tastes in art, seeking only occasionnally advice from galleries. Read more
  • The ‘Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity’ exhibition displayed epoch dresses, some of which had been restored for the occasion, along with impressionist paintings hanged in stage sets on the theme of fashion. Read more…
  • (in French) L’exposition ‘L’Impressionnisme et la Mode’ au musée d’Orsay a montré robes d’époque, dont certaines restaurées pour l’occasion, aux côtés de tableaux impressionnistes, dans des mises en scènes autour du thème de la mode. Read more…
  • Impressionism and Open-Air Painting, From Corot to Van Gogh‘ made me wonder if the key difference between the Barbizon school and Impressionism was in the detail in depicting nature, such as tree leaves, moss, and rocks. Read more…
  • (in French) Caillebotte était non seulement un artiste, mais étant fortuné, également un mécène et collectionneur de ses amis impressionnistes. Caillebotte est connu pour son magnifique compte rendu d’ouvriers dans ‘Les raboteurs de parquet’ Read more…
  • (in French) L’impressionnisme a une longue histoire avec les collectionneurs privés car les musées étaient réticents à accueillir des œuvres impressionnistes au sein de leurs murs. Read more…
  • (in French) Boudin fut un précurseur de l’impressionnisme et était même le maître spirituel de Monet. Monet écrivit à la fin de sa vie : “Je dois tout à Boudin”. Read more…

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