impressionism

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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There is no blue without yellow and without orange – Vincent van Gogh

There is no blue without yellow and without orange – Vincent van Gogh

On July 29, 1890 the famous Dutch post-impressionist painter and modernist forerunner Vincent van Gogh shot himself and passed away two days later. Vincent van Gogh was born on 30 March 1853 in Groot-Zundert, a small country town in North Brabant, the son of the priest Theodorus van Gogh and his wife Anna Cornelia, the daughter of a bookbinder. The child, later described as a loner, first attended the village school in…
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Paul Cézanne – Breaking all the Rules

Paul Cézanne – Breaking all the Rules

On January 19, 1839, French artist and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne was born. He laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Thus, Cézanne can be said to bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s Cubism. “Painting from nature is not copying the object, it is realizing sensations.”, Joachim Gasquet’s Cézanne, –…
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Marc Chagall and Modernism’s Golden Age

Marc Chagall and Modernism’s Golden Age

On July 6, 1887, Russian-French artist Marc Chagall was born. Being an early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints. Using the medium of stained glass, he produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, windows for the UN, and the Jerusalem Windows in Israel. He also did…
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The Paris Salon des Refusés

The Paris Salon des Refusés

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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The Dancers of Edgar Degas

The Dancers of Edgar Degas

Ballet Class (1873) by 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. Edgar Degas graduated from school in 1853 and turned…
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Camille Pissaro and the Impressionistic Art Movement

Camille Pissaro and the Impressionistic Art Movement

Camille Pissarro (1830–1903) On July 10, 1830, Danish–French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter Camille Pissaro 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, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro was born on the island of St. Thomas in the Danish…
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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 and Gauguin – 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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