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Influential French Impressionist Paintings

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Dahlias
Dahlias
Dahlias
Dahlias
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879
Cliffs Of Green River, 1879

Open composition and fine visible brush strokes are the trademarks associated with French impressionist paintings. Coined by Louis Leroy in a satiric review of Claude Monet’s masterpiece “Impression”, soleil levant, the phrase was thereafter attached to similar styles of artwork by future artists. Each artwork is similar in style, and includes the crucial element of movement as perceived through the impressionist artist.

Often, another significant factor shared by all French impressionist paintings is that the subject is generally considered common and ordinary. For example, “Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette” by Musee d’Orsay depicts early century people dancing and chatting at a local outdoor dance. The colors of the piece are realistic, and the behaviors of the people are considered normal for the event and the era.

“Girl with a Hoop” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir portrays a young girl in blue playing in a garden. The lines of the piece, while visible, are fine and highlight just the details of the masterpiece. Renoir is one of the artists made famous by the French impressionist movement. Paintings of this movement are prized and valued not only for the skill, but the movement was a departure from the normal rules of painting during this period of time.

The style was not an acceptable art form to be taken seriously by critics or appreciators. However, the style continues to grow in popularity with Napoleon III declaring that people should be allowed to judge the style individually. At an organized event shortly after the declaration, spectators came to the event to view the artwork and mock this new style. However, the event was the first of many to follow that would indeed impress spectators with its originality and distinction.

Edouard Manet is often considered one of the founding fathers of the movement. Manet’s work was not accepted by galleries, and this refusal sparked other artists to follow in Manet’s footsteps. Though Manet was a force behind the movement, the early life of the man was breaking societal rules concerning female nudes. A rebel in life and work, Manet has inspired numerous young artists to explore new styles and forms.

Claude Monet is one of the most popular and well-known painters that produced French impressionist paintings. While the earlier Manet played with other art forms during his life, Monet held true to the movement in all of his artwork. “The Woman in the Green Dress”, “View At Rouelles”, “Le Havre”, and “The Luncheon” are all superb examples of why Monet is highly respected and prized around the world.

“Among the Vines Louveciennes”, “Bridge at Hampton Court”, and “Footbridge at Argenteuil”, are all masterpieces by famed artist Alfred Sisley. Known for magnificent outdoor landscapes, Sisley, unlike many other artists, never deviated when it came to style or subject. Many of the most popular Sisley works are housed in museums around the world appreciated by the many.

French impressionist paintings are true examples of how the rebels of the day united to change societal norms. Whether appreciated and adored, or understated and persecuted, true art is born from the soul of the creator. Each work is a direct representation of the life, beliefs, and values of the artist regardless of how the public would eventually receive the work.   


Back to main topic: Impressionists
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