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Impressionism Essay

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There were many artists and artistic movements throughout the centuries. A common trait is that the majority of artists often reference ‘the real world around them to create their artworks. From portraits to abstracts, whatever the human senses can perceive from, the world. Due to this, there came a point where the artists got bored creating paintings of classical subject matter and wanted to paint something different that reflected the world around them. These artists came to be known as Impressionists. The Impressionists believed that there were more important elements than the minute detail that traditional painters embraced. With this came experimentation with technique, color, and brush strokes. This period became known as the Impressionism Movement and included such painters as Edouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, and Berthe Morisot. Artists such as these believed that what the eye saw and what the brain interpreted them to be were very different things. They sought to capture scenes of their time that included railway stations, tree-lined streets, crowded streets, parks, and the new deluxe apartment buildings of Paris. Heck, they even wanted to capture the changes in weather on their canvases. An observation of their techniques in painting and the use of colors to explore and expand their perspectives of their environment shows the change in the art world they made at the same time.

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A prime example of this could be the post-impressionism movement in the 1890s. Post-Impressionism is a French art movement that started between 1886 and 1905. Post-Impressionism started as a reaction concerning the naturalistic depiction of light and color. The movement was led by Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh and took place in Paris, France. The post-impressionism period included a wide range of artistic styles that are distinct to each artist. These styles varied due subjective vision of each artist. Symbolic meanings were important to some post-impressionist artists. An excellent example was Vincent Van Gogh, who depended on his memories and emotions to connect with the painting’s viewer. Structure and the effects of color were the vision of all post-impressionist artists. Examples of these types of post-impressionist artists were Georges Seurat and Paul Cezanne. The movement started an era in painting where a painting was considered a window into the artist's soul instead of a window of the world. During the Post-Impressionism movement artists wanted a different view on life. Three artworks that highlight this view were: Georges Seurat’s ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’, Paul Cezanne's 'The Large Bathers', and Vincent Van Gogh's 'The Night Cafe'.

Let us start with the famous ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’ by artist Georges Seurat for the first discussion. The painting is an oil painting on a canvas that is 6 feet and 10 inches by 10 feet and 1 inch. This made it one of the biggest canvases made at the time during the late 1800s to early 1900s. Due to the immense size of the canvas, it seems to imply the same impact as a Renaissance fresco. It becomes even more noteworthy when the fact that it was painted using brush strokes is smaller than a pea. The largeness of the painting demonstrates the new and unusual even experimental ideas of Seurat as a Post-Impressionist artist. Seurat felt that he could achieve line definition better using softer penumbral shading effects. Seurat covered his canvas with patterns of small dot-like brush strokes. This method later became known as pointillism.

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Impressionism Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
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