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Impressionism: Painting Feelings and Play of Light

In all practical purposes, the impressionism movement was an energetic revolt against the simple and traditional styles of painting. The artists have started to deny the tastes of consensus; they preferred the freedom of expression over traditional ideas. The impressionist artists are known by their adherence to two main principles. Under impressionism style of painting, an artist searches for the general impression of a scene. It may be celebration of a season or play of sunlight falling on the land. Secondly, the impressionist paintings would be finished in one session.

When the sun lets the flow of liquid gold on the face of earth, in the early morning slot, an artist would crave to record that event on the pages of a canvas. These artists would generally go outdoor and execute their skill. They would try capturing the natural colours for uploading them on canvases. Major attracting aspect of impressionist art is the use of unmixed colours. They would use the primary colours, applying them with small brush-strokes. These strokes carry the feel of scene and energy of the environment.

Here are some articles narrating different aspects of the impressionism.

MONET: Painting with Impressionist Brush-strokes


Claude Monet (1840-1926), is the name that had epitomized the movement of impressionism in the art of painting. He had not only initiated that branch of painting, but also had pushed it further. He did it better than any other painters of his time. Monet started the era that put a new argument on the broader social strata, too. the argument would go like this: We may be less in number; we who want their pure and individualistic ideas to be heard and seen; we must have our voice. And he along with the master painter like Van Gogh, became an oracle for the tiny minority who wanted to fly free.

Paul Cezanne : Painting Overlapping Planes Creating Sense of Depth

Cezanne had developed a typical style of painting. He would occupy himself in seeing the landscape and the natural forms of the objects. His imagination would then transfer these images into those shapes which would hold the geometrical essential of the original. But while doing so Cezanne would simplify the forms and make them more chewable by the eyes of the viewers. Thus it is easier to identify the paintings done by him at first sight.

VAN GOGH: Painting Short Brush Strokes of Life


When Van Gogh had entered of the streets of Paris, he did not know how he was going to make far-reaching influences over the world of art. He did not knew that he would be freeing the art from the traditional Victorian period, making it free to fly in the sky having the colour of freedom. Nor he knew that he would be remembered for hundreds of years and his life would end only at the age of 37 years. But the city of Paris was under the spell of contagious disease named ‘artistic changes’ in those days. The colourful era of impressionism was at its highest temperature. Painters like Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Edgar Degas were in full swing. Van Gogh recruited himself in the group and he did not take much time to be the darling of everybody.

JOHN SINGER SARGENT: Painting Alla Prima, Wet in Wet Oil Painting


Alla prima is “direct painting”; we can say that it is “wet on wet” oil painting. The word ‘Alla Prima’ literally means ‘at first’, if we look at the Italian dictionary for reference. While painting alla prima, an artist completes entire painting in one or two sessions, and does not wait for drying of the paint layers. It is almost like wet-in-wet technique as in watercolour.



Renoir was considered as the leader among the Impressionists. He earned that title for his portrayal of luminous colour, dexterously mixed colours and wonderful use of the brushstrokes. He could form warm sensuality by using various nuances of light and shadow that his brush strokes put on the canvases. He was a master in the impressionist style creating beauty from whatever the elements he would come across. His paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated colour, focusing on people in candid compositions, and fusing the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of colour.

IMPRESSIONISM: Capturing Transient Effects of Light

The painters like Alfred Sisley, the umbrella of impressionist style of painting, hold two main characteristics: one the free movement of the painter’s arm with brush in his hand; and another the full concentration of their eyes on the subjects, as they are to finish the painting in one sitting. In impressionist style of painting there are more margins for the artist’s point of view and angle of perception to be rendered through a more human and more energetic approach.


It was the time of late nineteenth century; it was the time when Manet and Degas were ruling over the art world of Paris; it was the time when Japanese prints were attracting the artists very much; it was the time when Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 –1901) started his short lived life and a career in art that put an unforgettable impression in the hearts and minds of the art lovers. His oil and watercolours are some of the wonderful canvases of the treasure of art in general and in France particular.

(Images, Green Wheat Field With Cypress, courtesy By Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) Alternative names Vincent Willem van Gogh Description Dutch painter Date of birth/death 30 March 1853(1853-03-30) 29 July 1890(1890-07-29) Location of birth/death Zundert Auvers-sur-Oise Work period from ca. 1880(1880) until July 1890(1890-07) Work location Netherlands (Etten, The Hague, Nuenen, …, before 1886(1886)), Paris (from 1886(1886) until 1887(1887)), Arles (from 1888(1888) until 1889(1889)), Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (from 1889(1889) until 1890(1890)), Auvers-sur-Oise (1890) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)

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