Impressionism - impressionists


Considered the first modernist art movement in western civilization, Impressionism is a painting technique emanating from France in the late 19th-century. Because of deviating from realistic images, it opened the door to abstraction. With the method, the artist concentrates on the changing affects of light and color on both interior and exterior subjects, and conveys the visual experience with disconnected short, hastily applied brush strokes and heavy impasto. The idea is to convey a sense of the fleeting moment, the quick 'impression???. Impressionism was first brought to the public's attention in 1874 in Paris with an exhibition of the Societe Anonyme, a group rebelling against the strictures of government-sponsored Salon exhibitions of traditional, academic art. Following that event were seven more exhibitions of art by Impressionists held between 1876 and 1886. Claude Monet (1840-1903), living at Giverny, is traditionally credited as the founding artist of the movement, but Camille Pisarro is likely more deserving of the recognition. The term continues to be used in the 20th and 21st centuries, and two schools of Impressionism have evolved: American and French with the distinction often being that French Impressionists have been less concerned with form than the Americans. Leading American impressionists are Childe Hassam, James McNeill Whistler, William Merritt Chase, Maurice Prendergast, Mary Cassatt, William Glackens and John Twachtman. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; William Gerdts, "American Impressionism; AskART database. For more information see the AskART essay on Impressionism: