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In music, it was to convey an idea or affect through a wash of sound rather than a strict formal structure. They also rejected the conventional imaginative or idealizing treatments of academic painting. In the late s Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and others began painting landscapes and river scenes in which they tried to dispassionately record the colours and forms of objects as they appeared in natural light at a given time. These artists abandoned the traditional landscape palette of muted greens, browns, and grays and instead painted in a lighter, sunnier, more brilliant key. They began by painting the play of light upon water and the reflected colours of its ripples, trying to reproduce the manifold and animated effects of sunlight and shadow and of direct and reflected light that they observed.

In their efforts to reproduce immediate visual impressions as registered on the retina, they abandoned the use of grays and blacks in shadows as inaccurate and used complementary colours instead.

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  • More importantly, they learned to build up objects out of discrete flecks and dabs of pure harmonizing or contrasting colour, thus evoking the broken-hued brilliance and the variations of hue produced by sunlight and its reflections. Forms in their pictures lost their clear outlines and became dematerialized, shimmering and vibrating in a re-creation of actual outdoor conditions. And finally, traditional formal compositions were abandoned in favour of a more casual and less contrived disposition of objects within the picture frame.

    An Overview of Impressionism in Art History

    The Impressionists extended their new techniques to depict landscapes, trees, houses, and even urban street scenes and railroad stations. In the group held its first show, independent of the official Salon of the French Academy, which had consistently rejected most of their works. During that time they continued to develop their own personal and individual styles. All, however, affirmed in their work the principles of freedom of technique, a personal rather than a conventional approach to subject matter, and the truthful reproduction of nature.

    By the mids the Impressionist group had begun to dissolve as each painter increasingly pursued his own aesthetic interests and principles. In music, Claude Debussy has always been considered the principal Impressionist. Even though Debussy was influenced by the general aesthetic attitudes of Impressionist painters, he made no attempts to compose with musical techniques that were closely analogous to techniques of painting. Musical Impressionism is often thought to refer to subtle fragility, amorphous passivity, and vague mood music.

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    Technically, these characteristics often result from a static use of harmony, ambiguous tonality, a lack of sharp formal contrasts and of onward rhythmic drive, and a blurring of the distinction between melody and accompaniment. Although Impressionism has been considered a movement away from the excesses of Romanticism , the sources of many of its characteristics may be found in the works of composers who are also considered to be the Romantic precursors of Expressionism—e.

    We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. Pissarro, the eldest, was the only artist who exhibited in all eight shows, while Morisot participated in seven.

    Ideas for an independent exhibition had been discussed as early as , but the Franco-Prussian War intervened.


    Subsequent exhibitions were headed by different artists. Philosophical and political differences among the artists led to heated disputes and fractures, causing fluctuations in the contributors. The exhibitions even included the works of more conservative artists who simply refused to submit their work to the Salon jury. The last of the independent exhibitions in also saw the beginning of a new phase in avant-garde painting.

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    • By this time, few of the participants were working in a recognizably Impressionist manner. Pissarro promoted the participation of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, in addition to adopting their new technique based on points of pure color, known as Neo-Impressionism. The young Gauguin was making forays into Primitivism. The nascent Symbolist Odilon Redon also contributed, though his style was unlike that of any other participant. Its many facets and varied participants make the Impressionist movement difficult to define.

      Indeed, its life seems as fleeting as the light effects it sought to capture. Even so, Impressionism was a movement of enduring consequence, as its embrace of modernity made it the springboard for later avant-garde art in Europe. Samu, Margaret. Bomford, David, et al. Art in the Making: Impressionism. Exhibition catalogue.. New Haven and London: National Gallery, Herbert, Robert L. Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society.

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      New Haven: Yale University Press, Moffett, Charles S. The New Painting: Impressionism — Forester Sahib. Like Engineer Sahib, or Mr.


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      The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru. Debut Author.