impressionism

The Paris Salon des Refusés of 1863

The Paris Salon des Refusés of 1863

On May 15, 1863, the Salon des Refusés in Paris was opened, an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon. In 1863 the Salon jury refused two thirds of the paintings presented, including the works of Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissaro and Johan Jongkind, marking the birth of the avant-garde. Upon the protest of the artists, emperor Napoleon III decided to let the public judge and…
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William Turner – Romantic Preface to Impressionism

William Turner – Romantic Preface to Impressionism

Probably on April 23, 1775, (and baptized May 14, 1775) English Romanticist landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner was born. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting. Although renowned for his oil paintings, Turner is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting commonly known as “the painter of light“. His…
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – A Giant in Art

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – A Giant in Art

On November 24, 1864, French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born. Toulouse-Lautrec – along with Cézanne, Van Gogh [4] and Gauguin [11] – is among the most well-known painters of the Post-Impressionist period. Although you might not be interested in art, for sure you will have heard about Henri Toulouse-Lautrec or you might have seen one of his paintings or famous posters. His artwork about the Fin de Siècle Paris and…
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The Dancers of Edgar Degas

The Dancers of Edgar Degas

On July 19, 1834, French artist Edgar Degas was born, famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. He is especially identified with the subject of dance; more than half of his works depict dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist. “An artist is a deception.. ..an artist is only an artist at certain times, by…
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Camille Pissarro and the Impressionistic Art Movement

Camille Pissarro and the Impressionistic Art Movement

On July 10, 1830, Danish–French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro was born. His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. He acted as a father figure not only to the Impressionists but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne,[6] Vincent van Gogh [5] and Paul Gauguin.[4] “I am settled in France, and as for the rest of my history as a painter, it is bound…
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Ceci n’est-ce pas une Pipe – Reality and Fraud with Rene Magritte

Ceci n’est-ce pas une Pipe – Reality and Fraud with Rene Magritte

On November 21, 1898, Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte was born. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. His paintings have become student poster classics and his work challenges observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality. Personally, I really like the paintings of Rene Magritte and I always refer to that special one above in my lectures on semantics. Actually there is…
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Claude Monet and the Invention of Impressionism

Claude Monet and the Invention of Impressionism

On November 14, 1840, French painter Claude Monet was born. He is considered the founder of French impressionist painting as well as the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement‘s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature. “I want the unattainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat and that’s it. I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air that…
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Paul Gauguin’s Way Back to Primitivism

Paul Gauguin’s Way Back to Primitivism

On June 7, 1848, French painter Paul Gauguin was born. He is considered a leading French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death. Then he was finally recognized for his experimental use of colors and synthetist style that were distinguishably different from Impressionism. Actually, Paul Gauguin has raised much controversy. Some consider him a syphilitic paedophile and others think of him as an artist more important than Vincent…
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Henri Matisse in the Rush of Colors

Henri Matisse in the Rush of Colors

On December 31, 1869, Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse, French draughtsman, sculptor, writer and artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship, was born. “What I am after, above all, is expression. Sometimes it has been conceded that I have a certain technical ability but that, my ambition being limited, I am unable to proceed beyond a purely visual satisfaction such as can be procured from the mere sight of…
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Claude Debussy – More than just the Link between Romanticism and Modernity

Claude Debussy – More than just the Link between Romanticism and Modernity

On August 22, 1862, French composer Claude Debussy was born. Debussy’s music is regarded as a link between romanticism and modernity. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For me, his Claire de Lune is one of the most beautiful pieces for piano I have ever played. “The colour of my soul is iron-grey and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my dreams.” — Claude…
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