The more you know


It was formed around 1860-’70, it does not have a precise date.

Here is who the Impressionists are: In Paris, a group of artists, including Claude Monet, Pissarro, Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Paul Cèzanne, meet to talk about art in a café (Guerbois), very much different from each other, even politically, the only thing that unites them is the desire to change the painting.

Cafes were very important centers, the Impressionists reject imposed places such as academies and look for alternative places.
The only one who will remain faithful to Impressionism is Monet, the others will partially detach themselves from the group.

Principles of Impressionism:
Impressionism in art follows the following important principles:

  1. preference for painting “en plainair” (in the open air – landscape subjects).
  2. abolition of drawing (drawing does not exist in nature, drawing is an intellectual invention).
  3. search for the bright moment.
  4. use mainly of primary and secondary colors (Chèvreul).
  5. use of colored shadows.
  6. aversion to academic art.

They manage to organize the first exhibition in the studio of a photographer, Nadar, in Paris on April 15, 1874; another 8 will follow in 12 years, the last is in 1886 then the group will dissolve because everyone will follow a different path. The critic Leroy Louis criticizes the works in the Charivari (satirical newspaper) saying he has seen unfinished paintings, sketches and defines them as “wallpaper”.
In impressionist drawing the artists had a predilection for landscapes with water and snow because light is refracted. The chemist Chèvreul discovers optical mixing with a series of experiments; an example are 2 strands of wool, one yellow and the other blue which, placed away from the eyes, are seen in green. From this he deduces that the secondary colors (orange, green and purple) derive from and depend on the primaries. Impressionist drawing also follows these stylistic canons:

  • When considering an object, the color of the object, the color of the light and the glare must be taken into account;
  • the eye calls the complementaries of colors (yellow-purple; green-red; blue-orange);
  • the shadow cannot be black because it is a set of colors.
    The name “impressionists” was given both for the comment of the critic Leroy louis and for the title of Monet’s work “impression of the rising sun”.


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