In the late nineteenth century, a group of painters, who were considered radical, broke many of the rules of picture making set by earlier generations. Monet, Renoir, Sisley, and Pissaro worked in close contact with one another in France between 1965 and 1890.They all painted in a style that French art critic, Louis Leroy, called Impressionism.
Impressionism was based on light and the subject that was being painted or drawn.Instead of creating smoothly blended somber colors, the standards for French painting, the Impressionist placed separate touches of vibrantly contrasting colors directly onto the canvas without prior mixing on the palette.If you look closely at a small section of an Impressionist painting, you will see many individual brush strokes of varying colors, placed side by side with no blending – a jumble of color daubs.But when you move farther away, your eyes "mix" the colors to produce a recognizable subject with shimmering effects of light.The artist attempted to paint what the eye actually sees, rather than what the brain interprets from visual cues.For example, if you look at a house in the distance and you know intellectually that the house is painted a uniform color of yellow, you might "see" all one shade of yellow, because your brain tells you that is correct.However, your eyes register many variations of yellow, depending on how light strikes the house and the shadow it creates.This is what the Impressionists were after – the true
visual impression, not the version that is filtered through the knowing brain.The liveliness and spontaneity of their brushstrokes appeared unfinished to many viewers including the critic Leroy.The term Impressionism struck Leroy as an appropriate description of the loose, inexact manner of painting of Monet and several other painters.He argued that as soon as these artists had suggested an impression of a subject by means of …


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