Impressionism:Art and Modernity

Aclass of artists referred to as the Anonymous artists and paintersfounded Impressionism. Claude Monet and Edgar Degas were among thefounders of this movement. Its pioneers were brought together bytheir common interest of rejecting the official exhibitions as theyintended to express the momentary effect of a scene. However, theirapproach was not received well by academic artists as they turnedaway from the beautiful finish and detail that well-known artists oftheir time aspired for. Nonetheless, more liberal artists appreciatedtheir work for its portrayal of modern life. Today, the work of theImpressionist is acknowledged for its contemporary nature and how itbroke away from traditional styles, the description of present daylife, and the use of up-to-date technology.

Accordingto Samu, (2004) the impressionists loosened their brush and lightenedtheir palettes to incorporate pure and strong colors. Their style wasutterly casual as it expressed the form of its subject rather thanits details. At this time more artists appreciated and accepted theirstyle while their critics shunned claiming their art to be utterimpressions. However, the impressionists were a diverse group as theyused different styles of expression (Samu, 2004). Some concentratedon landscapes while others centered on the cityscape and for others,the subject matter was the city occupants.

Between1874 and 1886, the group hosted a total of eight exhibitions. Thefirst show was held at the studio of Felix Nadar, a photographer.Pissarro was the only artist who showed his work in all the eightshows (Samu, 2004). The other artists often shifted while othersfailed to show due to disagreements and broke up in 1886 over theinvitation of Paul Signac and Georges Seurat to take part in theirshow.

To sum up, the era of Impressionism broke away from the conventionalstyle of art and continued to be acknowledged to date. United bytheir shared aim of independence, they were later divided by theirdifference in style and ideologies. Nonetheless, more open-mindedartists valued their effort for its representation of contemporarylifetime.



Samu, M. (2004, October). Impressionism: Art and Modernity.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Retrieved November 14, 2016, from New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: