Impressionism was a movement that came about in the late 19th century, most specifically its roots can be traced back the 1874 when a group called the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers, etc. organized an exhibition in Paris. (Samu, 2004). The group led several exhibitions through the 1880’s which brought them into the spot light despite criticism from the conventional art community in France. The movement received its name from one of the movements most now most recognized artists Claude Monet and his piece Impression, Sunrise. It is said that a critic accused the painting of being a sketch or “impression”. (Samu, 2004) Paintings of this period tended to be outdoor scenes and panoramas. My Grandfather, Lawrence
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One of these items includes synthetic chemical pigments that often have greater luminosity than previous organic pigments, thus allowing the artists to explore more vibrant styles. The most notable and recognized painters of this time embraced this new medium in which to work with. These artists included: Alfred Sisley, Armand Guillaumin, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet and Pierre Renoir.
As a former sailor in the United States Navy I have an affinity for lighthouses and depictions of the sea. One of my favorite pieces of this time is Claude Monet’s – Mouth of the Seine, done in 1865. This masterpiece, with its lighthouse in the distance depicts the coming and going of the many merchant, fishing and leisure vessels as they navigate the waters of the Seine river as it empties into the English Channel. The image to me, represents a simpler time where sailing was an art that was performed by skill rather than instruments and automation.
Impressionism was not brought about by a necessity or tragic change in the social environment, more so out of the fact of new ideas and the availability of these new mediums. This allowed the artists to break free of the “statu quo” and express their view on the world around them in a fresh, new and vibrant way.
Impressionism opened up the art world’s eyes and lead to the influence of many new and creative artists that expounded on not only using the optical impressions but also using the new