Impressionist Paintings Facts

Impressionism broke the molds of traditional painting in more than one way. It revolutionized the creative world and marked the advent of experimental, contemporary art styles. Impressionist paintings attempt to capture the visual essence or impression of the moment through light and color.

Impressionism is one of the most significant movements in art history. It has led to newer influences like Cubism, Fauvism, and Modernism. In this article, let’s study impressionism in depth. We will discover its origins and characteristics, as well as some facts and examples.

Impressionist Paintings: Historical Overview

Until the mid-19th century, art academies taught traditional painting. It primarily represented historical, mythological, royal, or religious beings through stylized portraits. Artists used precise brush strokes for realism and maximum accuracy of proportions.

Impressionist Paintings

Alfred Sisley, Le Brouillard, Voisins (‘Fog, Voisins’, 1874) via Wikimedia Commons

Art displays required them to follow a plethora of old-fashioned rules. This was to help them create government-sanctioned pieces to exhibit.

In the 1870s, disgruntled artists from Paris rebelled against these impositions by the art institute, also called the Academy. This influence also spread to Britain and other parts of the world.

Impressionism was, therefore, a vast shift from this type of depiction of majestic subjects and significant historical incidents. It was also partly inspired by the works of some Asian artists.

In 1874, a set of creators called the ‘Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, & Printmakers, etc. hosted an exhibition independently, protesting against The Salon. The Salon was a government-sponsored exhibition.

 impressionist exhibition

Berthe Morisot, Le Berceau (‘The Cradle’, 1872) via Wikimedia Commons

They had many guidelines and a jury that accepted or rejected their works. The art institute ‘Academy of Fine Arts’ had also failed to accept their submissions, which frustrated them.

Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Alfred Sisley, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Mary Cassatt are among those who led the movement. They formed societies and held impressionist exhibitions.

Together, they hosted the first impressionist exhibition with works from 30 artists. They held the event at a Parisienne gallery called Rue de Capucines, with 165 pieces in total.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bal du moulin de la Galette (‘Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette’, 1876), via Wikimedia Commons

This was the first of eight impressionist exhibitions that set the movement in motion. With time, more individualistic variations of the impressionist style came into being. However, conservative critics found these creations “grotesque”!

Artists started experimenting with light and color. This was primarily to paint the movement and atmospheric changes in the landscapes they witnessed around them.

They tried to capture everyday life and ordinary subjects. They mostly used small yet prominent, loose yet precise brush strokes for this. The works were more spontaneous and unstructured compared to the academic compositions traditional artists created.

5 Characteristics of Impressionism

As mentioned above, Impressionism tried to capture the fleeting moments of daily life with a specific type of paint stroke. But let us look at these and other features of this art style in depth:

1. Free-Flowing, Quick Brush Strokes:

In Impressionist paintings, the brush strokes are unblended, discernible, and individually visible. But even though they stand out because of the Impasto technique, they are small and applied lightly and freely. This effect likely emerged because artists were trying to recreate their environmental fluctuations in real-time, so they had to be quick.

Characteristics of Impressionism

Via: Jackson’s Art Blog

The quick, loose strokes aim to give the impression of the form. It does so by portraying the changing natural light. So the focus is not on realism or the accuracy of details.

Instead, it is about using unique, free-flowing strokes to capture the subject matter's essence. The interactions of light with the subject are of utmost importance here.

2. Vibrant Paintings

This aspect of Impressionism depended mainly on the artist’s specific style. However, most Impressionist paintings used bright, dashing colors. The realism in traditional portraiture called for dark, broody hues.

Vibrant Paintings

Claude Monet, The Water-Lily Pond (1899), via Wikimedia Commons

You can observe this, for instance, in Baroque-style pictures. Here, the background is shadowed in black or deep browns. Conversely, in Impressionism, colorful, bold shades and unprimed, light canvases were more common.

Earlier, blacks, grays, and browns were the most used colors. With Impressionism, colors like greens, blues, yellows, oranges, etc., dominated the canvas. Artists would place specific colors next to each other to achieve harmony while giving life to the painting.

3. En plein air or outdoor painting

One of Impressionist paintings' most striking characteristics is that artists often went outdoors and painted real-life scenes directly. They rarely prepared for the sessions and depicted the modern life around them semi-realistically.

Impressionist artists tried to engage with nature tangibly. They succeeded in portraying the transience of sunlight and the movement of other elements.

Claude Monet

Claude Monet, Poppies (1873)

This differed considerably from the famous paintings created in a studio's planned and controlled space. By physically taking their equipment outside, they tried to record the impression of a moment. So they painted out in the open, which in French is called “en plein air”, to capture honest poses and unrehearsed settings.

4. Everyday subjects

Since Impressionist paintings were created mainly outdoors, the contents were ordinary daily scenes and landscapes. Moreover, when the Impressionist group flourished, the Industrial Revolution had its grip on the French terrain.

So, modern structures also dominated Impressionist creations. These existed as symbols of hope for the future.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Dance at Bougival (1883) via Wikimedia Commons

Some criticized that these typical scenes in Impressionist paintings were limited to representing the middle class. This group was well-off in society and occasionally enjoyed leisure and luxury.

But artists like Degas and Manet are also known to portray working-class subjects. They have even tried to encapsulate the experience of prostitutes. So the Impressionists’ main themes were ordinary subjects, everyday scenes, and elements of modern life.

5. More Distinct From a Distance

The painting might appear to be a set of unblended, thick paint strokes from up close. However, the further away you stand or the more you zoom out, the more precise the picture will be!

The undefined strokes in an Impressionist painting might appear chaotic and disconnected from nearby. This effect is because no lines and contours exist to define the edges.

Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro, The Boulevard Montmartre at Night (1897), via Wikimedia Commons

But these freely applied individual strokes take form and shape from a distance. You can clearly identify the subjects and the scene’s details when standing a little away from the canvas.

6. Relative Colors

Usually, when you think of a leaf, you think of it as green in its purest form, as seen in neutral, white light. However, a leaf with sunlight glinting off its surface may seem to transform its hue and appear paler and more translucent. The original green you think of is the “local color” of the object. Its altered illusion is called “relative color.”

Impressionism was all about capturing a moment's impression in real-time. So, artists gave precedence to relative colors over local colors. They imitated the shades exactly as their naked eyes saw them.

Claude Monet

Claude Monet, Woman With a Parasol (1875) via Wikimedia Commons

They always considered the effects of natural, temporary light at that time of the day. As these artists sat outdoors and painted using their subjective perceptions, this sometimes meant the water was green or the mountains were blue!

7 Interesting Facts About Impressionist Art

Impressionism is, therefore, an authentic and relatively carefree style of art that blossomed in the late 19th century. Here are some lesser-known facts about the movement that might spark your interest.

1. They were called “Impressionists” at first as an insult:

Initially, the group of rebellious artists referred to themselves after the name of their society, the ‘Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers’. After their 1874 exhibition, an art critic named Louis Leroy called the group ‘Impressionists’. It was after Claude Monet’s work titled Impressions, sunrise.

Impressionist Art

Louis Leroy via Wikipedia

He made a snide remark comparing the wallpaper to the paintings, saying the former appeared more complete. However, the artists realized that the name seemed to fit the movement.

It perfectly captured Impressionist art's essence. So they reclaimed this sarcastic comment to brand themselves as Impressionists.

2. Impressionists had a great sense of humor and wit:

Impressionists are known for their artistic creations. But they are also appreciated for having a quirky and witty side to their personalities.

For instance, Claude Monet’s Femmes au Jardin is a scenic portrayal of a garden. It has women basking in the sunlight, strolling, and chatting leisurely.

At first glance, one might assume the presence of various models. But on closer inspection, you can see that his wife Camille posed for all subjects in the painting!

Claude Monet

Claude Monet, Femmes au Jardin (1866), via Wikipedia

Another example of their humor can be seen in an incident in 1880 involving Edouard Manet. He painted a bunch of asparagus for someone who paid him 200 coins extra.

In return, Manet expressed his gratitude by sending him another painting. This was a picture of a single asparagus, to which he added a note saying, “There was a missing asparagus to your bunch”!

3. Impressionists loved painting bridges:

Impressionist artists often went outdoors to capture their surroundings. So, structures like bridges were dominant in Impressionist works. The depiction of the new industrial-age bridges thrilled the Impressionists as they held onto hope for a new future.

Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro,The Pont Royal and the Pavillion de Flore (1903), via Wikiart

In that way, bridges in Impressionist paintings were symbols for beginnings. They were also a representation of a lifeline for the commoners.

Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cezanne, and Camille Pissarro were among those Impressionists fascinated with bridges. It could be under bridges, above bridges, or on bridges.

4. Asian artists influenced Impressionist painters:

As mentioned, Eastern artistic culture partly inspired the Impressionists. Japanese woodblocks were extremely popular among Western artists who found them quite exotic. They were also impressed by the Ukiyo-e style that existed in Japan since the 1600s.

Impressionist painters

Chōshun, Ryukyuan Dancer and Musicians (1718), via Wikipedia

This style thoroughly influenced Impressionist works since it was something unique and distinct from traditional Western realism. Claude Monet was extremely spellbound by these creations. He even fought to install a Japanese bridge in his garden!

5. Impressionists met at studios and hung out at cafes

The four leading artists who founded the Impressionist movement were Frederic Bazille, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. With their odd and separate backgrounds, these budding painters came together at Charles Gleyre’s studio in Paris in 1862.

Later, the group left the confines of the studio and started working in the countryside. Throughout this journey, they collaborated and supported each other.

Impressionists met

Jean-André Rixen’s picture of a 19th-century Salon in Paris.

Since all their work was done in rural areas, they sometimes took a break and escaped to the city. Regardless, it is clear that the traditional setup of The Academy, the Salon, and the studios did not work for Impressionist painters.

They would therefore meet at bars, restaurants, and neighborhood cafes for informal meetings and discussions. Here, they would have debates and arguments as they created Impressionist art. The post-impressionists also followed a similar pattern of behavior.

6. Some Impressionists participated in the War of 1870

The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 was a power struggle between the French, the English, and the Prussians. The Germans were later thrown into the mix. Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin, Frederic Bazille, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were among those who enlisted in the war.

Napolean III

Image of Napolean III via Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Fredric Bazille and Pierre-Auguste Renoir survived, although not completely unharmed. Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro did not participate in the war.

Instead, they escaped to Britain, while Paul Cezanne fled to the countryside. Sisely returned to his homeland in London to be with his family.

While Claude Monet and Pissarro were hiding out in London, they met art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. He exposed the Impressionists to the world. Art historians believe the Impressionist movement would not have been established had these artists not survived the war.

7. Female Impressionists also modeled:

Some women Impressionists like Mary Cassatt and Eva Gonzales also posed for their friends’ works. Berthe Morisot modeled for Manet. Camille Claudel was featured in Rodin’s creations, and Suzanne Valadon in Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s.

Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet, Berthe Morisot with a Fan (1874) via Wikipedia

In this way, the community helped each other by saving the money they would have spent on models. Earlier, women’s role in art was primarily limited to that of the model. But the revolutionary Impressionist movement invited women artists to blossom.

So these women taught themselves and studied at art schools to grow into serious artists. It was a time when women were increasingly being accepted in this previously male-dominated field.

10 Most Famous Impressionist Paintings

Impressionists have gone through intense struggles. They have created a whole genre of avant-garde paintings with one-of-a-kind characteristics. Let’s look at some of the best-known, iconic Impressionist paintings in the world:

1. Luncheon on the Grass (Manet, 1863)

Luncheon on the Grass, also called Dejeuner sur l’Herbe by Edouard Manet, created quite the scandal when he presented it to the Salon. In the bold image, one can see a naked woman having a picnic in public, gazing straight at the viewer. Two fully dressed men accompany her, perhaps making it all the more crass to the conservatives.

The Salon naturally rejected this controversial artwork. But it is considered one of the most important works of contemporary art.

Edouard Manet displayed this work at the “Exhibition of the Refused” or the Salon des Refuses. Shocked at the immorality of Manet’s painting, art critics initially reacted with disdain and hatred.

Renaissance influences

Edouard Manet, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863), via Wikimedia Commons

The famous impressionist painting combined Renaissance influences (Renaissance painting - Key takeaways from the Renaissance era of art) and a modern indifference towards the female nude, baffling viewers. Typically, one could find the female nude in mythological paintings.

But in this case, she was placed in an everyday scenario outdoors. The French upper class considered this ‘oil-on-canvas’ indecent and brazen.

She is simultaneously the sensual protagonist and a casual picnic goer. Her nonchalance despite her nudity makes her a striking subject.

Manet used prominent edges and sharp color contrasts to make her stand out. Although at first considered a joke by society, they grew to appreciate it over a few decades.

2. Olympia ( Manet, 1863)

Another painting by Edouard Manet that the public considered “vulgar” because of its portrayal of female sexuality is Olympia. In the picture, one can see a nude French woman, understood to be a prostitute because of her name.

She appears to be receiving floral gifts from an admiring customer. In the image, it is delivered by a black woman. The picture is also filled with sensual symbolism in the form of the orchids, the pearl earrings, the black ribbon, and the black cat.

In an era when women’s sexuality was shunned from expression, Olympia’s unashamed and proud stance ruffled some feathers. She is humanized and given an identity as she stares at the viewer confrontationally.

Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet, Olympia (1863), via Wikimedia Commons

She looks comfortable, gratified, and at ease. This demeanor makes the painting seem like a celebration of female sexual passion.

Rather than being an object of male desire, the modern woman in Olympia appears to embrace her sexual freedom. She seems to be in control of her sensual pose and position. Edouard Manet kept the painting hidden for 18 months before displaying it publicly since he knew it would receive backlash.

Not surprisingly, he received heavy criticism when he finally revealed the artwork. The conservative public was so offended at seeing the female nude that they described her as a ‘corpse’ and ‘gorilla’. He was also rebuked for using broad brush strokes, considered unrefined and juvenile.

However, in 1865 the Salon agreed to exhibit the piece, despite the uproar. Eventually, the controversy mounted, and the public distaste got unbearable. So Manet fled to Spain for some much-needed refuge from the harsh criticism.

3. Impression, Sunrise (Monet, 1872)

Impression, Soleil Levant (1872), or Impression, Sunrise, is Claude Monet’s iconic painting that gave the group its name. Even though this isn’t the first Impressionist painting, many consider it an instrumental catalyst in the expansion of Impressionism. A derogatory comment thus became a term capturing this art movement's defining quality.

One can vaguely see the sea, land, and sky in the image, inspired by Monet’s Le Havre trip and J.M.W Turner. It appears hazy because he has given the composition a muted, pastel glow, as though you are viewing it through a fog. He did not mix the colors and used quick, loose paint strokes for this effect, creating a smudged and blurry look.

The painting hardly highlights the accurate and well-defined details of the scene or the movements in the port. Instead, it focuses on the atmospheric feel of the sunrise at misty dawn.

Claude Monet

Claude Monet, Impression, Soleil Levant (1872) via Wikimedia Commons

Doing this was then an unconventional approach. Claude Monet achieved it by depicting how the sun's warm, orange light of the sun interacts with the fog and the water.

To create the impression of the rising sun scene, he used subtle shades of blues and greens for the water and the sky. He painted the sun and its reflections with orange hues to contrast the cool tones. Some solid structures also tie together these indistinct natural elements, such as rowboats and ships.

This “unfinished” style of the oil-on-canvas painting is to give the viewer an impression of the still, peaceful moment Claude Monet captured that day. Many consider it to represent Impressionism because he characteristically portrays the changing nature of the light with time, possibly in one sitting. Thus, by encapsulating the essence of the movement, today, it is one of the best-known Impressionist paintings in the world.

4. The Dance Class (Degas, 1874)

Impressionists tried to capture movement just as much as they were fascinated with ephemeral light. This painting differs from other Impressionist paintings because of its indoor opera house setting and the complex human subject matter.

In La Classe de Danse or The Dance Class, Edgar Degas painted a lengthy ballet classroom. It has over twenty people practicing in full swing, the instructor on the right.

This is one of his many dance-based oil paintings aimed at conveying the sophisticated grace of ballet. It also helped that these sold well!

Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas, La classe de danse (1874), via Wikimedia Commons

He was generally interested in concerts and backstage rehearsal scenes of professional dancers. Degas tried hard not to be labeled as an ‘Impressionist’. So, this painting appears to have some semblance of definition and realism.

However, The Dance Class is still considered an Impressionist painting because of its characteristics. For instance, the casual modern subjects and the use of bright, pastel colors to capture movement are Impressionistic.

You can also see that the individuals are not the happy, carefree progeny of the French bourgeois. Instead, these seem to be the children of the penniless common folk. They studied ballet to make money rather than for pleasure.

At the same time, Degas’ training at the academy helped him produce an almost life-like, accurate image, straying from the usual Impressionist representation. Additionally, he did not employ the en plein air technique, as seen in most famous Impressionist paintings.

He preferred to capture movement within indoor settings, like a dance class. However, despite its traditional leanings, this piece is still essential to Impressionist history.

5. La Gare Saint-Lazare (Monet, 1877)

This Impressionist painting by Claude Monet depicts the Saint- Lazare railway station in Paris, France. He created it using blues, yellows, whites, and blacks.

One can see a running train on the tracks in the image, clouded by billowing smoke and steam. Through this gauzy filter, one can see buildings looming in the distance and humans standing on the sides.

La Gare Saint-Lazare

Claude Monet, La Gare Saint-Lazare (1877), via Wikimedia Commons

Claude Monet is most known for his nature paintings. But he also created twelve famous paintings based on this railway station. La Gare Saint-Lazare is the first one.

One can see his fascination with one of the biggest and most crowded locomotive stations throughout the series. But even with this representation of a modern infrastructural setup, Claude Monet represents the evanescent interactions of light with other atmospheric elements.

Claude Monet displayed some of these famous Impressionist paintings at the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877. This exhibit led to discussions among many critics.

Industrial components like the railway shed, the train, the workers, and the steam were representative of the time. Some of the criticism he received was regarding the smoke being too much of a hindrance when viewing these elements.

6. Luncheon of the Boating Party (Renoir, 1881)

This oil-on-canvas by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, also called Le déjeuner des Canotiers, portrays a contemporary Sunday afternoon leisure scene. In the picture, people gather in a restaurant by the Seine River, chatting and dining. They seem to celebrate the afternoon with wine and merriment.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir placed himself and his friends in the painting as some of the characters enjoying their meal. It included Gustave Caillebotte and his fiance Aline Charigot.

The chaotic joy of the restaurant abruptly ends at the handrail on the left. The picture also represents the weakening class divisions in France in the 19th century, as you can see all kinds of individuals relishing lunch.

Luncheon of the Boating Party

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Le déjeuner des Canotiers (1881) via Wikimedia Commons

He created the visual en plein air and showcased it in the seventh Impressionist exhibition. Here, it garnered some surprising appreciation.

However, the positive criticism at the seventh Impressionist exhibition did not mean it was deeply meaningful. Pierre-Auguste Renoir insisted that he simply wanted to highlight the importance of relaxation.

The painting combined techniques of drawing portraits, still life, and landscapes. This feature made it diverse in its themes, genres, and elements. Pierre-Auguste Renoir used an extensive range of shades and smooth, fluid brushstrokes.

Like most famous Impressionist paintings, the light plays with elements to set the mood. For instance, the subdued streaks of light that interact with the foliage add to the scene's recreational ambiance. How Pierre-Auguste Renoir centered the light highlights the scene's happiness and pleasure.

7. A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Manet, 1882)

Another one of the most famous Impressionist paintings is A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by Edouard Manet, his final major piece. He had been refusing to be a part of Impressionism. However, this painting reiterated his position as a significant contributor to the movement.

The primary subject of the oil painting is a bartending woman at work in the Folies-Bergère nightclub. She appears melancholy and lost in thought, seeming detached and aloof. The image's background is a blur of commotion at the nightclub, from which the barmaid stands out.

famous Impressionist paintings

Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882), via Wikimedia Commons

However, despite her glazed facial expression, she seems to be facing a customer based on her mirror reflection and body language. This painting, therefore, highlights the conflict between the duty she is obliged to perform and her true desires.

The mirror reflection in the picture seems slightly distorted and confusing. It led to several critical debates on themes of illusion and reality.

With lots of clues and hidden messages, there is plenty to analyze in this painting, especially regarding social class. He emphasized the enjoyment and chaos around her through elements like the trapeze artist’s green shoes. However, this joy comes to a standstill at the haunting, pensive expression.

The painting also has symbolism, like how Manet often used oranges to imply prostitution. In this way, the ordinary woman appears to be a commodity sold at the bar, like beverages and food. The painting was still traditional enough to be accepted by the Salon at their 1882 exhibition.

8. The Card Players (Cézanne, 1892)

Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players is one of the most famous Impressionist paintings and is among the world's most expensive paintings. It is the first of a 5-part painting series and sold for more than $250 million.

Camille Pissarro introduced this mentally disturbed man into the Impressionist movement. However, some consider Cézanne’s style post-impressionist. This oil painting depicts two men sitting opposite each other, playing cards.

The artwork is unique because Paul Cézanne played around with proportions. He made the characters appear psychologically disconnected yet intense. The paintings also hint at his childhood influences, such s hats and pipes, based on his father’s hat shop.

The Card Players

Paul Cézanne, The Card Platers (1892), via Wikimedia Commons

Three other paintings in the series display three players, rather than two, in various seating positions. Four of them dominantly use the color blue, indicating the somber mood he wanted to convey. These famous Impressionist paintings fit the movement because they appear incomplete and loosely done.

At this point, Cézanne was painting obsessively, almost to the end of self-isolation. He extensively researched this theme and painted these provencal peasants based on the workers in his family estate. The pictures appear calm, slow, and still, with minimal movement or excitement.

9. Boulevard Montmartre (Pissarro, 1897)

This is an oil-on-canvas creation by Danish-French artist Camille Pissarro, who is known as the father of Impressionism. He was also one of the primary pioneers of Neo-Impressionism. His legacy was admired by key post-impressionist artists like Paul Gauguin.

His primary topic of interest in creating Impressionist paintings was the landscape of the Parisienne city. For example, he loved capturing the district of Montmartre.

Part of a series based on this urban setting, Boulevard Montmartre overlooks a busy, somewhat crowded street in Paris. The road, resident buildings, trees, and humans dot the scene, painted using whites, greens, blues, tans, and browns.

Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro, Boulevard Montmartre (1897), via Wikimedia Commons

The scene is Impressionist owing to its blurry elements and lack of specific details. It is almost as though you are viewing it through a foggy glass.

As usual with Impressionist paintings, Pissarro paid more attention to the tricks and effects of light. He did not give importance to realistically painting the fashionable apartments and streets. This painting is just one of the 14-part series on Montmartre, which he painted at various times of the day and year.

He created these famous Impressionist paintings when he stayed in a room at the Hotel de Russie. So, although it is an outdoor scene, it was not made ‘en plein air’.

He created scenes of the Boulevard in summer, winter, and spring, during sunsets and nights, during sunny, cloudy, rainy, and misty days. He instilled a sense of depth in the paintings using diagonal lines for the pavements and the rooftops. Camille Pissarro is also known for using the pointillism technique to create the unblended Impressionist effect.

Though he painted these while his vision deteriorated, it became an immensely distinguished series. One piece was sold for almost £20 million in 2014.

Another famous Impressionist painting from this extensive collection is Le Boulevard Montmartre, effet de nuit (“Boulevard Montmartre, night effect”). It was never publicly displayed when he was alive.

10. Water Lilies (Monet, 1895-1926)

Claude Monet’s Water Lilies is a series of oil-on-canvas creations. It collectively became some of the most famous Impressionist paintings ever. The purple lilies and their golden-green leaves in the images contrast the murky green waters.

What stands out the most in these paintings is the surface of the water, which is multi-colored due to reflections. The clouds and willow trees above the pond appear as vague forms on the water's surface.

Greens, blues, and violets dominate the scene. There are also slight accents of whites, pinks, and yellows.

Water Lilies

Claude Monet, Water Lilies (1916)

He created over 250 of these, highlighting his fascination with the theme. The later versions grew increasingly abstract, made with expressive, smooth brushstrokes.

They had vivid colors appearing without definition and detail. This paved the way for Post-impressionist and Abstract expressionist movements.

Claude Monet’s failing eyesight due to cataracts can be considered a contributor to this. For example, the use of bold colors in his abstract compositions, like Water Lilies - Japanese Bridge, 1923.


And there you have it- an ultimate guide to understanding Impressionism and the famous paintings that come under it. This 19th-century art movement revolutionized the creative world.

It broke down restrictions and barriers associated with traditional art. Impressionist artists questioned the status quo and opened the doors for new modern art styles to emerge.

Impressionist paintings have certain unique features that can help one identify them. Monet, Pissarro, Manet, Degas, Sisely, and Caillebotte are among the movement's pioneers.

It was followed by the Post-impressionist movement featuring Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, and Paul Gaugin. This group chose to pursue a formal structure. These famous Impressionist and Post-impressionist painters created stunning masterpieces.

Now, you can use photo-editing apps to turn your photo into Impressionist portraits in seconds. You can also hire someone to commission such custom Impressionist style paintings from photos.

So, Impressionism is still relevant today, and its influences continue to linger in art.

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