From 1840 – 1870, Art was related to political idealogy.  In 1874 the Impressionists had their first exhibition which was not well received by the Academie.  Claude Money, Alfre Sisley, and Camille Pissaro were true Impressionists.

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Les Meules 1891 – Monet – same scene, different light.

Claude Monet was a pure Impressionist, producing paintings rather than pictures, and was known as the poet of light.  He was intrigued with the surface of the painting, of the canvas, and created tactile paintings, concentrating on the light on the subject rather than the subject itself.  He was fascinated by the constant shifts and changes of the light, and painted in series, e.g. haystacks, Rouen Cathedral, and waterlilies, to show the difference in light on the same subject.  His use of colour holds his works together – there was no underpainting – just pure colour onto canvas.  He created tonal rhythmic compositions which were the forerunners of abstraction.  He was more interested in painting the tonal light shining off the haystack than the haystack itself, in many cases to the point of dismissing the subject structure altogether, becoming merely paint on canvas.  His techniques were quick and spontaneous, with the colours mixed on the canvas.

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Village of Voisins – Sisley – Rue de la machine Louvenciennes

Alfred Sisley was strongly influenced by Turner and Constable for their portrayal of light and atmospherics.  He painted landscapes, using linear and atmospheric perspectives to take the viewer deep into the painting to the horizon.  His strength of definition was colour and technique, he translated his subject matter into colour, and used good design principles.

Camille Pissaro painted landscapes and street scenes from unusual viewpoints, often high.  His work is easy to identify as he would section off his paintings using strong verticals, and creating frames within frames, e.g. by using street lamps, trees.  He used pure unmixed paint direct onto the canvas to create a sparkling effect of light, with quick application, using short and bold dobs and brushstrokes which evolved into Pointillism.  (Divisionalism put red next to yellow so that the eye would perceive orange.)  He used this technique to capture the spontaneity  of movement, which was used by most Impressionists.

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The Apple Seller – Renoir

Pierre-August Renoir was an expert colourist, with a sundrenched palette, using delicate hues, everyday subjects, happy compositions, and warm luminous glazes to take him away from reworked paintings to spontaneity – to let his work evolve.  He was influenced by Rubens, and later brought volume and realism to his works.

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Dancers in Pink – Degas

Edgar Degas was especially impressionistic in his pastel works.  He preferred genre scenes to landscapes, with his works mainly done indoors, and using unusual viewpoints.  He was not interested in the beauty of the dancers or horses but rather in the movements, capturing different poses of both before the dance or race.  He often mixed his media, using watercolour with pastels and charcoal.  He was influenced by Japanese prints and photography.  He used bright colour, and exhibited with the Impressionists, but was not really revolutionary.  Often cut off his paintings in odd places, and featured large blank areas, e.g.stage with dancers to the left and right.

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Mother and Child – Cassatt;    In the Dining Room – Morisot

Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morrisot both painted domestic scenes, genre scenes – but they were not taken really seriously because they were women – both gave up serious painting when they married, to raise their families as good women should – at the time in history.

 Image result for whistler impressionist paintings  Image result for whistler impressionist paintings
Nocturne (Thames at Battersea) – Whistler – Nocturne blue and silver
(Cremorne Lights 1872)

James Whistler and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec were greatly influenced by the ideals of the Impressionists, and their works all have characteristics of Impressionism, although they were not dedicated Impressionists.
Whistler painted tonal paintings which he titled after musical works, e.g. sonata, etc, with highly original figures and landscapes.  He did not paint imagery but tonal variations, maintaining harmony between tones.  (Colourists know how to use every hue to its best advantage.)  He created patterns and colours silhouetted against plain backgrounds – oriental influence.

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Wiki Salon at the Rue des Moulins 1894 – Toulouse-Lautrec

Toulouse-Lautrec was a Lithographer, and master craftsman, strongly influenced by Japanese prints.  He used flat bold colour, flat shapes and expressive line, both calligraphic and contour.  He was also influenced by Degas, with cut-off compositions, unusual view-points and interest in the character of the subjects.  He captured the gestures and poses of figures, as a characaturist or portrait painter would, using the body language of the figure.  He never made social criticism – they were just subjects to him.

(C)  Jud House  8/09/2016

. . . . .


Author: judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.

4 thoughts on “IMPRESSIONISTS”

  1. Cassatt never married and she and Degas had a collaborative relationship for many years living less than 5 minutes apart. As well she is personally responsible for bringing impressionism works to the U.S.; Cassatt served as an advisor to several major art collectors and stipulated that they eventually donate their purchases to American art museums.


  2. Berthe Morrisot did in fact marry as you stated, however she never stopped painting up until her death by pneumonia. She was married to Manet’s brother, and not only was prolific in her work. She also posed, Morisot had a close relationship with Édouard Manet who exert a tremendous influence on her. Correspondence between them shows warm affection, and Manet gave her an easel as a Christmas present. Morisot often posed for Manet and there are several portrait painting of Morisot such as Repose (Portrait of Berthe Morisot) and Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet. Wherever you got your history from is in error. Both her and Mary Cassatt had a great influence on the style and it’s legacy. They shaped fundamental views of the Impressionism movement.


  3. As for the last point that you state, “they weren’t taken seriously…” This too is a false narrative. Firstly, As her skill and style improved, many began to think their opinion toward Morisot. In the 1880 exhibition, many reviews judged Morisot among the best, even including Le Figaro critic Albert Wolff.
    As for Cassatt, she participated in the Impressionist Exhibitions that followed in 1880 and 1881, and she remained an active member of the Impressionist circle until 1886. In 1886, Cassatt provided two paintings for the first Impressionist exhibition in the US, organized by art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. Her friend Louisine Elder married Harry Havemeyer in 1883, and with Cassatt as advisor, the couple began collecting the Impressionists on a grand scale. Much of their vast collection is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


    1. My essay was an overview covering a wide field generally. It was meant to inform and draw people into Impressionism. I didn’t focus on many artists but I was aware of Morist’s importance and achievements, and mentioned her accordingly. Her work is excellent and she showed that there were unacknowledged female artists working alongside the more publicised male artists. Thankyou for adding your comments to the Post – it enhances it.


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