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What Sets Apart Impressionist Landscape Paintings From Others

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Harmony and Peace
Harmony and Peace

One of the greatest things about impressionist landscape paintings is the way that the light is captured so precisely in each one.  This is one of the signatures of this type of artistry.  Everyone knows that as the world is viewed throughout the day, everything looks a little different depending on what time of day it actually is.  The morning light tends to be bright but soft while the light at midday is extremely bright and shining.  It is almost like liquid gold pouring down on everything around.  The light during the evening hours or twilight is soft and gentle while it slowly fades.  Because of this, one of the first movements that actually thought that working outside was much better than working in a studio, the essence of light and the role that it plays on how things are perceived was brilliantly captured.  This also allowed the artist to give the viewer a sense that time was passing.  Again, this was a first for this type of artistry.

Another thing that sets impressionist landscape paintings apart from others is the way that the scene that is being depicted is caught from a different type of angle than the typical scene would be set.  Often times, things look extremely different when viewed from a different angle, and the artists took advantage of this feature.  Prior to this, many portraits and even pictures of the country side were taken from one vantage point.  This movement changed all of that.

As was previously mentioned, impressionist landscape paintings were among the first to be taken outside of the studio.  Many times before, scenes were reconstructed from memory within the confines of the artist’s studio.  Now, the easel was being taken to the area that was being captured so that the true essence could be realized through the piece.  This was considered extremely unconventional by others in the art world at the time.

Other things that set impressionist landscape paintings apart from the rest would be the very gentle, light, and narrow brush strokes that the artist used.  Many of these brush strokes were almost not visible.  This gave the entire portrait a softer and more authentic effect. 

This approach to capturing the meadows, trees, brooks and forests was frowned upon by academic scholars of the time.  Impressionism allowed for the artist to focus on everything that was being seen, rather than just the one subject that had been depicted in the past during a studio sitting.  Instead of focusing on just one part of the scene, everything was given equal precedence. 

The vibrant colors that were allowed to pop from the canvas made impressionist landscape paintings much different than what had been seen before the arrival of this style.  In these types of portraits, colors are often unblended and in their truest form.  This style was radically different than the approach that had been taken on before.  Up until that point, artists felt the only acceptable form was to simply use defined lines and certain blends of colors.  This type of artistry raised the bar for all those movements that came after.


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