Greetings and salutations, deviants! Today I bring to you the first of what is hopefully a monthly series: Art History.
The Art History Series will be exploring various movements in art, the technique used therein, major artists behind it, and its influence on dA!
This first spotlight is on Impressionism, chosen really because it's my favorite.
as defined by Merriam-Webster
1 : a theory or practice in painting especially among French painters of about 1870 of depicting the natural appearances of objects by means of dabs or strokes of primary unmixed colors in order to simulate actual reflected light
So, to break it down less stiffly, impressionism is really a portrayal of light and its relationship with color. It is a movement based heavily on observation of how light interacts with life.
The name of the art movement came specifically from Claude Monet's Impression: Sunrise, created in 1873.
Impressionism came knockin' on our door in the late 19th century, chiefly around 1860 through the 1880s. The movement was born in France, with big names like Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Morisot and some Cezanne and Degas. Many of these artists exhibited, worked and painted together.
Like many things art related, Impressionism was born out of controversy. The Académie des Beaux-Arts was the judge and jury when it came to all things art, and for a piece to get accepted, it needed to fall under their standards. Realism, religious themes, and carefully rendered images were preferred. When Manet's Luncheon on the Grass was rejected due to it's use of nudity in a contemporary setting, causing a rouse amongst the young painters, a society was born.
The Académie and the young painters were not that different, however. Both sought realism, though the Impressionists went about it in a different manner.
Unlike traditional landscape technique of sketching outdoors and painting in the studio, Impressionist hauled all their supplies, planted themselves in the middle of the field, beach or forest and began slinging paint, a tactic referred to as en plein air.
Though many of the impressionists had their own styles and their own preferences, they were unified in rebellion, independence, and the desire to paint "true to nature".
Light and color.
While each impressionist had a style all their own, there are many traits characteristic of Impressionism.
- Dark colors, like greys and blacks are primarily achieved by mixing complementary colors. Pure black, with the exception of Manet, was frowned upon.
- Use of broken color: in other words, rather than mixing the color on paper, putting two colors side by side so that the eye mixes the new hue e.g. placing a small blue stroke next to a small yellow stroke to create green when viewed from a distance.
- Wet on wet paint, to blend the colors slightly and to soften the edges.
- Rather than capturing the details, the idea is to capture the essence, or the impression of the subject. Movement and expression trump detail.
- No underpainting! In many impressionistic paintings, the white of the canvas can be spotted! Paintings done in this style are opaque and thick, forget your translucent films.</li></li>Remember, light, light, light</strong>!! Natural light and the games it plays is the major underlying theme in this movement. All about sunshine, yo.</li>
Really, the biggest point of impressionism is for it to be alive! Vivid, bright, and energetic!
Impressionism from the Masters
Impressionism on dA
Here are a couple of fantastic examples of Impressionism here on deviantART, vivid beautiful styles that are born from the principles of such a passionate movement.
The beautifully expressive works of *joereimer
The explosively colored works of *Leonidafremov
The honest and passionate works of *sagittariusgallery
And some miscellaneous impressionism inspired works
Stay tuned! This isn't the last you've heard of impressionism...