Impressionism Artists Painters ~ Art History Presentation ~ 236 Slides
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This is a very thorough presentation of the art of Impressionism Movement. There are 20 actual slides from the presentation given to you in the preview pdf. Download and review the preview to get the best sense of this presentation. I also include textual excerpts below.
The artists covered, in alphabetical order are:
*Paul Cézanne is included for that portion of his career when he was with the Impressionists, being mentored by and painting with Pissarro. I have not included his more powerful works from his own period of Post Impressionism. Cézanne only ever belonged with the Impressionists as a group. He ultimately broke with them but joined no other group. The Post Impressionists were not a "group" of artists per se.
The final part of the presentation is a look at the paintings of artists in other countries who were doing their own versions of Impressionism. There was Childe Hasaam, Winslow Homer, Charles Conder, and others, in that category.
EXCERPT 1: Why Did Monet Keep Painting the Same Picture Over & Over Again?
He didn’t. It is true that he painted the House of Parliament, the grain stacks, the waterlilies and many other subjects again and again and again. BUT he never saw these objects as the subject matter of his paintings. The object could have been anything as long as it had access to the natural light of the outdoors constantly. This is because he saw the differences in light when looking at an object and not the object itself. It was the way the light played over the entire scene in front of him which attracted him. This is why he had to become a plein air painter (paint outdoors).
The Houses of Parliament at Sunset at 5:30pm was an entirely different picture for Monet than the Houses of Parliament at Sunset at 5:45pm. The lights and colors shift dramatically and continuously during sunset. Monet saw each of those phases as different objects or scenes.
Take two photographs of any object during sunset, 15 minutes between the two shots. You too will see an enormous difference in the resulting pictures. If you were photographing light and its effects on an object, the two pictures are of two different scenes.
The next two slides show Monet’s Houses of Parliament but in different phases of sunset and thus in different light and color. The two slides after that show the Seine at two different points of sunset. Ask yourself if Monet is painting the same thing twice or two different things (the way he saw it).
Sunrise and Sunset have the most radical light and color shifts taking place. The rest of the hours have differences which are more gradual and nuanced. Storms have a similar effect on light and color that sunrises and sunsets do. This is why storms are popular painting subjects. This is especially true of storms at sea which are even more dramatic and cast more reflections because of all the water.
EXCERPT 2: Regarding the Japanese Print of "Woman Bathing", 1890-91, Mary Cassatt
What the modern viewer may forget is that bathing indoors was made customary in society during this time period. The trend towards people washing indoors continued to grow, spurred on by a desire for better hygiene and odors in society, as well as to combat diseases like cholera. So bathing was a huge innovation for these people and the artists were eager to capture that innovation In their paintings.
Cassatt was also influenced by the Japanese prints which were finally being shown in the West. Many artists of this time were attempting to come up with their own Japanese like styles.
Cassatt adapted style elements from Japanese color woodcuts, such as alternative perspectives, controlled lines and edges, and decorative patterns. She made a portfolio of her Japanese inspired prints and it became her most highly lauded work.
EXCERPT 3: PISSARRO'S PAINTING STYLES
1) WINTER: Pissarro liked painting winter landscapes because of the quality of the light and shadows.The shadows were not colorless and dark to him. They were instead myriad tones to be captured by a muted palette. Winter also softened and blurred forms while reflecting light. These were ideal conditions for the Impressionist style.
2) HIS FRIEND'S STYLE: By 1886, Pissarro felt he had to try something new. He’d painted incessantly in the Impressionist style for years and was tired of it. He was close to Seurat so picked Pointillism, which was Seurat’s special painting strength. Pissarro was amazed at how slow Pointillism was as a process. He had a naturally spontaneous temperament which was well suited to Impressionism but not Pointillism. Seurat had an entirely different temperament which was mathematically suited to that process. Pissarro had always been prolific too but it was impossible to be prolific with Pointillism. He ultimately decided that it would be better to revise his Impressionist style rather than carry on with Pointillism.