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Home >> Popular Painting Styles >> Impressionism


Impressionism can be defined as a 19th century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based painters who began publicly exhibiting their art in the 1860s.

Impressionist Paintings were charcterized by visible brushstrokes, light colors, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (giving the impression of the passage of time), subject matters which werent out of the ordinary and innovative angles.This style of painting influenced a galaxy of painters, most famous of whom was Vincent Van Gogh.The trademark of the impressionist style of painting is the 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.

Monet’s Impression, Sunrise (1872/73)

This is the painting after which Impressionist Movement was named. Monet depicts the harbor of Le Havre with very loose bush stroke. The aritst seems to suggest his subject rather than delineating it. It was indeed a landmark painting of the 19th century.

A close friend of Monet, Renoir was another famous proponent of Impressionism. His predilection towards light-hearted themes helped him create paintings which we now see as trademark impressionist specimens. He painted with Monet in the Barbizon district and became a leading member of the group of Impressionists who met at the Café Guerbois. His feathery brushstrokes were to become synonymous with the Impressionist style.

After a period of experimentation with what he called his `manière aigre' (harsh or sour manner) in the mid 1880s, he developed a softer and more supple kind of handling.yet he remained one of the greatest impressionist Painters of all times.

Renoir is most probably the most loved Impressionists. His subjects appealed to the common man -pretty children, flowers, beautiful scenes, above all lovely women-have instant appeal, and he communicated the joy he took in them with great directness. `Why shouldn't art be pretty?', he said, `There are enough unpleasant things in the world.

Impressionist movement was widely hailed as the most important Art Movement of the 19th Century and considering it far-reaching influence that claim was not an exaggeration indeed.

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