Greetings and WELCOME to my art gallery extraordinaire!
You all look a little lost. Come now, follow me.
Right this way.
Ah hah, here we are!
I present to you,
Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son.
This beautiful piece was painted by Claude Monet in 1875. You may be familiar with him.. you know, the FATHER of impressionist painting.
What is impressionism, you might ask?
Well, take a close look at this painting. Notice the brush stokes are notably small, yet visible. The perspective of this piece is captured from a unique angle. The subject matter is ordinary and there is a large possibility that you may be able to relate with the scene. It is also very clear that there is movement taking place. Well, there you go! Impressionism at its finest.
Now, as we walk, I must point out that Impressionism was yet another “rebellion” .. or, break away, rather, from previous European painting tradition. Remember, with Classical art, we saw curved lines and pastel colors. Well, upon applying “science” to art, artists discovered a powerful technique that characterized a brand new style of painting, Impressionism. By applying these new methods of utilizing pure colors and broadening the strokes, artists keyed in on the ability to control the perception that would be perceived by the audience.
Let’s stop right here.
Garden at Sainte-Adresse
Garden at Sainte-Adresse is another impressionist piece by Claude Monet, painted in 1879. The piece resembles a photograph, possibly taken from a overlooking balcony. The flags are in movement, but notice as well, the movement of the smoke from the ships in the background. Once again, an ordinary scene is captured; nothing special, yet, beautiful, indeed. This particular scene depicts people enjoying the sun, on what appears to be a very warm day, all the while, enjoying the slight breeze. Impressionism art is known for capturing the weather in its own unique way. The choices of color are brilliant, calming, and oh, so convincing!
Now, simply turn your bodies and draw your attention to one of my FAVORITE impressionist paintings:
The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau Forest
Yet ANOTHER painting by Claude Monet from 1865. Notice the date. (1865 compared to 1875 and 1879) This was one of Monet’s earlier Impressionism styled paintings. This was an extremely radical painting for the time. This painting strikes all of impressionism’s core characteristics; emotion, perspective, detail, nature, color, angle, and movement. There is a great youtube video that would be worth watching when you get home:
Again, we see yet another distinction between Classical and Impressionist Art. Classical Art had a great focus on Greek and Roman mythology; whereas, the impressionism style focuses a lot on nature.
As our tour comes to an end, I know what you all must be wondering, “Impressionism – love it, or hate it?” Although I have shared my obvious answer to that question throughout this tour, I will expound a little more. Just like you, before I so graciously snagged you from your slumber, I found myself staring at paintings, struggling to relate. One thing that I enjoy about Impressionism painting is that the scenes, or views of nature, are relatable. A woman and her son, a gorgeous day on the pier, a beautiful spot in nature; some of the most beautiful moments in day to day life.. captured. Not only is the scene captured, but the weather is as well, allowing the viewer to connect even further into the piece. Also, the pure colors, allow the pictures to come to life even more. Unlike the charming pastel colors we frequently see in art, the utilization of natural hues is refreshing. The rapidly applied brush strokes create a unique and distinct look that is very engaging and leaves a lasting impression on all who see. Impressionism is one of the most unique styles of paintings I have found thus far.
Alas, our time has come to an end. Please feel free to stick around and view more of the paintings in my gallery.
Until next time,
Berlin, Jeremy. “The Dawn Of Impressionism.” National Geographic 227.4 (2015): 31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 July 2015.
Wikipedia contributors. “Impressionism.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 Jul. 2015. Web. 12 Jul. 2015.
Carroll, Colleen. “Clip & Save Art Notes.” Arts & Activities 143.4 (2008): 27-30. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 12 July 2015.
“Claude Monet: The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau Forest” (64.210) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/64.210.(December 2008)