French Impressionism and Post Impressionism in the Late 19th Century

Last Updated: 13 Apr 2021
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Before the emergence of Impressionism we can see a major political and social transition in central Europe which has demonstrable artistic and literary consequences. The major aspects of this change include: The ICC industrial expansion which took away opportunities of individual farming and craft practice and replaced them with paid labor in factories. Governments across Europe are exploring constitutional formulas that attempt to balance the polarities of social right and material progress.

Religious institutions are trying to absorb new scientific knowledge and social theory against the fabric of ancient scriptures. In France specifically we see the emergence of political instability with various Governments and various forms of government rising and succeeding another between the absolute monarchy that ends with Louis the XVI in 1789 and Napoleons expansionist empire building which begins in 1851 with a coup d'etat and comes to a close in 1870.

Amongst these turbulent years we see political outcomes that range from "reign of terror", constitutional monarchy, a republic, a royal serration and a socialist commune as well as the Napoleonic empire. During this turbulent social and political era we also have Marx and Angels issuing the communist manifesto in 1848 and Darning's revolutionary publication " Origin of the species" in 1859. Painters have now access to synthetic chemical pigments developed by modern science which replace the old-fashioned organic pigments.

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The new pigments often have greater luminosity and brilliance. Lithography makes possible low-cost reproductions which allows artists to reach a new public with prints of their work. The same technology also brings about the newspaper and the low-cost novel. In every case, individual ideas can now be "broadcast" and disseminated amongst a more diverse audience than previously. Aestheticism also can be printed and distributed widely. The previous ties between knowledge (as apart from education) and class-structure are being stretched much further.

Painters and poets who had not long before escaped reality as such with flights to the exotic and romantic dreamless that typify the Neo-classic and Romantic styles and periods, are returning to the here and now. Balzac and Dickens are writing social critique, Dandier and Courier paint the social underdog in a style that creates social impact because of it's convincing realist treatment and the genre of subject-matter. We can see painters slowly turning towards the great cities for inspiration and subject- matter and a dominance of the artificial over the natural.

The growing need in this new social climate for artists to achieve immediacy of expression mean that we see them going outdoors to paint, using smaller canvasses out of necessity and speeding up the process of recording and depiction. The impressionist style of painting is characterized chiefly by concentration on the general impression produced by a scene or object and the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.


Impressionism, (French "Impressionism"), a major movement, first in painting and later in music, that developed chiefly in France during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Impressionist painting comprises the work produced between about 1867 and 1886 by a group of artists who shared a set of related approaches and techniques. The most conspicuous characteristic of Impressionism was an attempt to accurately and objectively record visual reality in terms of transient effects of light and color.

The popular press, predictably (the more things change... Had a field day making fun of the impressionists. For example, Louis Leroy who wrote as the art-critic for the El Charier reported on April 25th that his companion at the opening, a noted academic (identity not disclosed) had made the following sarcastic remark: "Impressionism- I was certain of it. I was Just telling yeses that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it... And what freedom, what ease of workmanship!

Wallpaper in it's embryonic state is more finished than that seascape" Edmond Tyranny (La Novel Painter, The new painting, 1876) on the other hand eve high praise to the Impressionists: they have... Succeeded in breaking down sunlight into rays, it's elements, and to reconstitute it's unity by meaner of the general harmony of spectrum colors which they spread on their canvasses.... The most learned physicist could find nothing to criticize in their analysis of light.

The Founders The founders of this society were animated by the will to break with the official art. The official theory that the color should be dropped pure on the canvas instead of getting mixed on the palette will only be respected by a few of them and only for a people of years. In fact, the Impressionism is a lot more a state of the mind than a technique; thus artists other than painters have also been qualified of impressionists. Many of these painters ignore the law of simultaneous contrast as established by Chevrolet in 1823.

The expressions ' 'independents" or ' 'open air painters" may be more appropriate than ' 'impressionists" to qualify those artists continuing a tradition inherited from Eugene Delicacies, who thought that the drawing and colors were a whole, and English landscape painters, Constable, Bonito and especially William Turner, hose first law was the observation of nature, as for landscape painters working in Barbarian and in the Fontainebleau forest.

Eugene Boudoir and the Dutch Jointing were among the forerunners of the movement. In 1858, Eugene Boudoir met in Honolulu Claude Monet, aged about 1 5 years. He brought him to the seashore, gave him colors untaught him how to observe the changing lights on the Seine estuary. In those years, Boudoir is still the minor painter of the Pardon De Saints-Anne-la-papal, but is on the process of getting installed on the Normandy coast to paint the beaches of Trouble and El Have.

The 1866 Salon accepted the works of some of them: Degas, Bacilli, Berth Morison, Sisley; Monet exposed the portrait of Camille, Pissarro, less Boards De la Manner en hive; Meant, Cezane, Renoir were refused, and Mile Cola wrote in elopement a diatribe which made him the official upholder of those newcomers bearing an more revolutionary attitude in the conception than in the still traditional painting.

The main distinction lies in the attraction for color and the liking of light; but Berth Morison remained faithful to Manatee's teaching; Degas was mixed between his admiration of Ingress and the Italian Renaissance painters; Cezanne attempted to fairer du Poisson sure nature"; Claude Monet himself, in la Terraces AU Have and less Femmes AU Jarring (1866, Louvre, sales du Jew De Puma), is far from announcing his future audacity. The 1870 war The 1870 war split up those beginners.

Bacilli was killed in Bean-la- Rolando; Renoir was embroiled; Degas volunteered; Cezanne retired in Provence; Pissarro, Monet and Sisley moved to London, where they met Paul Duran-Rule. This stay in London is a major step in the evolution of Impressionism, both because these young artists met there their first merchant, and because they discovered Turner's nettings, whose light analysis will mark them. Back in Paris, most of these painters went to work in Argentines (Monet, Renoir), Chateau (Renoir), Marry (Sisley), or on the banks of the river Jose (Pissarro, Glutamine, Cezanne).

Detoured Meant painted the Seine with Claude Monet and, under his influence, adopted the open air work. The opinion of the public Duran-Rule was unable to sell the works of the future impressionists and had to cease buying in 1873; thus, next year, they decided to expose in Nadir's (1 5 April-1 5 May 1874), where they displayed the works that the Salon had refused.

Joined them. Many artists became then conscious of the public and critics incomprehension, but the solidarity didn't last long. Cezanne didn't participate in the group second exhibit, galleria Duran-Rule, rue El Paltrier, in 1876, which hold 24 Degas and works from Berth Morison, Claude Monet, Augusta Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley and  Bacilli.

The disappearance of Cezanne, Renoir, Sisley, Berth Morison in the 1879 exhibit proved that the group was splitting apart. Renoir preferred to send to the official Salon Mme Carpenters et sees infants and the Portrait of Jeanne Samara; yet only few people admired his artworks and of those of his friends, and the artilleries was uneasy, if not miserable. Degas tried, with Pissarro, to maintain the unity of the group, but his attempt failed since Monet, Sisley and Renoir were missing for the fifth exhibit, opened in April 1880; however, artworks room Gauguin appeared there for the first time.

In 1881, some of the Impressionists went back to Nadir's: Pissarro, Degas, Glutamine, Berth Morison. Degas, Renoir and Cezanne headed towards other painterly pursuits, whereas Pissarro was interested by the researches of Paul Gauguin, Georges Serrate, Paul Signal.

At this stage, Impressionists were coming biblically appreciated, but their situation was still harsh; the Salon continued to refuse their paintings, and in 1894, 25 out of 65 artworks donated by Collaborate to the Luxembourg museum were rejected. Yet, when Camille Pissarro, the Impressionist patriarch, died in 1903, everybody agreed that this movement was the main Sixth century artistic revolution, and that all its members were among the finest painters.

Redo's still-life floras were somewhat Impressionistic, but his other works are more linear and Symbolist. In general, Postmodernists led away from a naturalistic approach and toward the two major movements of early 20th-century art that superseded it: Cubism and Fauvism, which sought to evoke emotion through color and line.


Post-impressionism is a movement of major importance in Western painting. As a movement it represents both, an extension of Impressionism, and a rejection of that style's inherent limitations.

The term Post-impressionism was coined by the English art critic Roger Fry for the work of such late 19th-century painters as Paul C©Zane, Georges Serrate, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Henry De Toulouse-Ululate, and others. All of these painters except van Gogh were French, and most of them began as Impressionists; each of them abandoned the style, however, to form his own highly personal art. Impressionism was based, in its strictest sense, on the objective recording of nature in terms of the fugitive effects of color and light.

The Vivisectionists rejected his limited aim in favor of more ambitious expression, admitting their debt, however, to the pure, brilliant colors of Impressionism, its freedom from traditional subject matter, and its technique of defining form with short brushstrokes of broken color. The work of these painters formed a basis for several contemporary trends and for modern art in general. After a phase of uneasy dissension among the Impressionists, Paul Cézanne withdrew from the movement in 1878 in order "to make of Impressionism something solid and durable like the art of the museums. In contrast to the passing show evicted by the Impressionists, his approach imbued landscape and still life with a monumental permanence and coherence. He abandoned the Impressionists' virtuoso depiction of evanescent light effects in his preoccupation with the underlying structures of natural forms and the problem of unifying surface patterns with spatial depth. His art was the major inspiration for Cubism, which was concerned primarily with depicting the structure of objects.

This extremely theoretical technique, called Pointillism, was adopted by a number of contemporary painters and formed the basis of the style of painting known as Neo-lonesomeness The Vivisectionists often exhibited together but, unlike the Impressionists who were a close-knit, convivial group, they painted mainly alone. Cézanne painted in isolation at Xix-en-Provence in southern France; his solitude was matched by that of Gauguin, who in 1891 took up residence in Tahiti, and of Van Gogh, who painted in the countryside at Arles.

Both Gauguin and van Gogh rejected the indifferent objectivity of Impressionism in favor of a more personal, spiritual expression. After exhibiting with the Impressionists in 1886, Gauguin renounced "the abominable error of naturalism. With the young painter ?mile Bernard, he led a self-conscious return to the aesthetic of primitive art, for which he believed imagination and ideas were the primary inspiration and the representation of nature merely a vehicle for their expression.

Copying the pure, flat color, heavy outline, and decorative quality of medieval stained glass and manuscript illumination, the two artists explored the expressive potential of pure color and line, Gauguin especially using exotic and sensuous color harmonies to poetically depict the Athenians he eventually lived among. Arriving in Paris in 1886, the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh quickly adapted Impressionist techniques and color to express his acutely felt emotions.

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