French Impressionist first appeared on the scene in the late 19th century and early 20th. This group of artists all had the same ideas, techniques and perceptions of how they saw a painting should be created. They used certain small brush strokes that simulated reflected light as well as using unmixed primary colours. Together with this technique they created a general impression of a scene or an object they were painting and the effects are stunning.
This group of artists included Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot, Armand Guillaumin and Frederic Bazille. They all worked in unison and influenced one another as well as exhibited the paintings they created together but independently. Other painters who painted in this style were Edgar Dégas and Paul Cézanne and in the late 1800′s Eduoard Manet too started to paint in a more Impressionist way.
The artists were a closely knit community and formed very strong bonds with each other, this is especially true of Edouard Manet and Berthe Morisot. It was a time when an artistic community really did support each other, as well as having some wonderful heated moments as artists do, it must have been an extremely exciting era in the wonderful city of Paris.
It goes without saying that this original group of artists did not have an easy time to begin with. They had to endure much criticism about their work and it is quite strange how today we can look back and see just how much influence they had on every artist for the generations that followed them. But this is so often the case when it comes innovative art and most things that go against the grain in general.
The extremely well known impressionists roll off people’s tongues quite easily. Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Camille Pissaro and Auguste Renoir as just a few of them. Over the year there have been many posters made from the most famous of paintings. These have adorned the walls of many French cafés and restaurants as well as personal homes.
Of all of them I have to admit to like Paul Cézanne the best, his early works are superb. I love the colours and textures of his masterpieces and although he and Gauguin are now thought of as Post Impressionist painters, the feel to his works give an inkling as to what the others were about to create.
With the advent of this fascinating group of artists, art in the western world would change forever. The way art was perceived was re-invented and although frowned upon at the time, we now see it as a break through in how an artist can interpret the effects of light on a canvas. I love it when art galleries hold Impressionist exhibitions and if I am lucky enough to be in Paris, I always make some time to visit the galleries, it is a lovely way to spend a little quality time among the great masters.