Impressionism can be said to have started in 1867. The Impressionism movement was an important and radical development in modern art, starting in France and marking the beginning of all modern art styles. Impressionist artists broke with the past and applied paint in broken brushstrokes of unblended colour.
Impressionist artists took advantage of new scientific knowledge about colour to achieve different effects in their paintings.
It marked a new way of painting that was more concerned with creating impressions of the transient effects of light. Many artists painted outside or 'en plein air', in an attempt to capture fleeting effects of sunlight on everyday scenes. Colour became more important than line in the creation of shimmering surfaces of vibrating colour.
Impressionism was not concerned with details, but with overall effects. Impressionist artists were more interested in recreating the effect that their subject had on the eye rather than recreating the subject itself. This concern with the artist’s perception rather then meticulous recreation was a radical departure in terms of the approach to art, and was to influence many modern art movements that followed.
One way people sometimes define impressionism is to say that it tries to capture the image of something as the viewer would see it if they only glimpsed at it. Impressionist paintings tend to be very bright and bold with little detail.
Some of the major artists involved in the history of impressionism are Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissaro and Pierre Auguste Renoir.
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