My Impression of Impressionism

Greetings and WELCOME to my art gallery extraordinaire!

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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.

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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.

*checks watch

Come, come…

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

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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

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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,

Alana

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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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism

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)

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/64.210

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2 comments

  1. bsmcnutt · July 13, 2015

    Alana,
    I’d just like to say that I really enjoyed the comical effect of your “art gallery”. It was refreshing 🙂
    I also really enjoyed that you picked Woman with a Parasol as one of your pieces. In my blog, I mentioned that I didn’t really care for impressionist art due to the fact that the subject matter seemed really boring compared to that of Baroque art. However, even though I personally don’t find impressionist art beautiful, I do find it refreshing that the subject matter doesn’t revolve around biblical beings. I like that you picked this piece because it seems a little more interesting than the particular pieces I picked for my own art gallery. Garden at Sainte-Adresse and The Bodmer Oak also demonstrate how calm the subject matter is in impressionist art.

    Great job this week Alana! I certainly enjoyed reading your post 🙂

    Bethany

    Like

  2. krutkin · July 14, 2015

    I really enjoyed your creative spin on this assignment! I personally struggle with Impressionism. I can see how beauty can be found in everyday moments but, is that really art? How is that different from any photo that one might take? I have become a bit of an art snob I am afraid after observing the many glorious paintings of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical era. I found it very interesting observing the contrasts between the Monet paintings that you shared especially the “Garden at Sainte-Adresse” after seeing “Woman with a Parasol-Madame Monet and Her Son” a major leap to realism! I enjoyed your presentation. I think that if you would have included the information for the extra paintings that you included at the end of your post it would have added more to the gallery. Are they all from Monet as well? I clicked on each photo and I didn’t see any information about the name or artist who painted it. Here is a link to an Impressionist painting done by Edmund Tarbell, “Mercie Cutting Flowers”, 1912. It is absolutely stunning I think. It brings me closer to loving Impressionism! http://www.bertc.com/subsix/g90/tarbell23.htm

    Like

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