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Example of Impressionist painting (click to Enlarge)


Influential 19th Century French Impressionist Artists
Listed Alphabetically

Charles Angrand (1854-1926) French, Pointillist/Impressionist
Frédéric Bazille (1841 - 1870) French, Impressionist
Gustave Caillebotte (1848 - 1894) French, Impressionist
Armand Guillaumin (1841 - 1927) French, Impressionist
Henri Eugene Augustin Le Sidaner (1862-1932) French, Impressionist
Édouard Manet (1832 - 1833) French, Impressionist
Claude Monet (1840 - 1926) French, Impressionist
Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) French, Impressionist
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) French, Impressionist
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 - 1919) French, Impressionist
Alfred Sisley (1839 - 1899) French, Impressionist

About The Impressionist Movement

The Impressionist style of painting developed in the late 1870s in France. The painters wanted to represent objects in an atmospheric veil, enveloped with light and air. Claude Monet once stated "For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value."

They were an intellectual and social group of artists whose members sought to bring about a radical power shift in the world of art. The movement was a reaction against  Academic art and the notorious French Academy.  They rebelled against the academic organizations that controlled the French art world with an iron fist.  The movement began with Monet. According to French Art Historian Camille Mauclair, "The very name "Impressionism" is due to Claude Monet. There has been much serious arguing upon this famous word which has given rise to all sorts of definitions and conclusions. In reality this is its curious origin which is little known, even in criticism. Ever since 1860 the works of Manet and of his friends caused such a stir, that they were rejected en bloc by the Salon jury of 1863. The emperor, inspired by a praiseworthy, liberal thought, demanded that these innovators should at least have the right to exhibit together in a special room which was called the Salon des Refusés. The public crowded there to have a good laugh. One of the pictures which caused most derision was a sunset by Claude Monet, entitled Impressions. From this moment the painters who adopted more or less the same manner were called Impressionists. The word remained in use, and Manet and his friends thought it a matter of indifference whether this label was attached to them, or another. At this despised Salon were to be found the names of Manet, Monet, Whistler, Bracquemont, Jongkind, Fantin-Latour, Renoir, Legros, and many others who have since risen to fame. Universal ridicule only fortified the friendships and resolutions of this group of men, and from that time dates the definite foundation of the Impressionist school."

Impressionism was a rebellion against the painting traditions of the time and created quite stir in the French Art world. The artists were ridiculed and on occasion attacked in cafes by drunken art critics.



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