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Work of French Impressionist Painters

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There is a deep history behind the work of French Impressionist painters. From the well known artists that began the notable movement during the 19th century to the techniques that make their art desirable still today, the depth to this form of art is tremendous.  While many collectors seek to acquire famous works of art from the early years, there are many current French Impressionist painters continuing to practice and explore this style.

What would later become a popular art form all began with a picture named “Impression Sunrise” by renowned artist Claude Monet.  While artists of that time were rather conservative and created historical scenes and religious subjects, Monet experimented with a looser style of his very own.  The monumental work of art caused much criticism for going against the structured rules of the Academie des Beau-Arts and the official art show called the Louvre Grand Salon which many would strive to be a part of.  Louis Leroy, an art critic of that time publicly labeled the piece as “impressionist” due to its unfinished approach.  The term was then adopted to describe the future work of Monet and the other French Impressionist painters that followed in his spontaneous footsteps.  A number of well known artists made famous during this movement include Auguste Renoir, Frederic Bazille, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, and Edouard Manet.  Although artists continue to imitate the styles of the past, true impressionism lasted from the 1860s to the 1880’s.

There are a number of aspects to this form of painting that make it distinctive from other styles.  As with the artists that paved the way during the early movement, French Impressionist painters make every effort to go against conventional techniques and ideas.  This begins with the subject matter they choose to recreate on their canvas.  They generally choose to illustrate objects and scenery with the utmost simplicity.  They attempt to illustrate authentic moments, whether depicting landscapes or human subjects.  Nudes were introduced by a number of these artists.  They try to capture the actual effects of any present lighting as it is at that moment.  The colors utilized tend to be bright and distinct, with more muted tones such as blacks and browns being avoided.  The work of French Impressionist painters have a tendency to look as if they are unfinished and quickly finished as they like to work at a faster pace.  Their brushstrokes were brief, and the colors mixed directly on the canvas to provide a more textured look.  Many chose to work outside of a studio, unlike the more conservative artists before them.  They frequently worked outdoors to be closer to their subjects and to truly capture the environmental effects of its surroundings.  In regards to the tools and materials they worked with, these artists experimented with zinc paint directly from a tube because of its portability.  They began to utilize untraditional tools such as thicker brushes, palette knives, and even their fingers to create different effects within their piece.

Both the methods and instruments they used were unconventional and even disapproved of, yet these unique artists created works of art with freedom and creativity.  In doing so, their works of art continue to be praised and highly sought after.

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