In the later part of the 1800’s is when impressionist art was first named. It arose from a group of artists who would quickly jot down things happening in their modern life. Their paintings came to be known as Impressionism.
The term was originally considered a derogatory term, but some of the most respected and loved artists in the west became part of the movement. Some of these artists include Edgar Degas, Pierre-August Renoir, and Claude Monet.
Impressionism was a nickname that was created by the art critics who were not pleased with this style of painting. The more serious painters of that time were known to blend the colors and try to minimize the brushstrokes that were seen. This helped to produce a surface that was “licked” and was preferred by the masters in the academic world. In impressionism, you could see visible strokes that included blobs, smears, commas, and dots. If someone was called an impressionist in the late 1800’s, it meant they were an unskilled painter.
A group of impressionist painters promoted their works in an exhibit they created for themselves in 1874, though. This was a radical step for them to take since the world revolved around the official exhibit that the government of France held, known as the Salon.
This group of impressionists were called the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Engravers, etc. They rented a studio for their exhibit in a new, modern building. The art looked strange to the average art lover of the day, and the exhibit location was quite unconventional. These impressionists even sold their art work directly off the walls, a practice that made them seem mad.
Among the impressionists in this group, the best-known ones were Berths Morisot, Eugene Boudin, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Degas, Renoir, and Monet. In fact, it was Monet’s own painting, called Impression: Sunrise, in 1873 that inspired the name of the movement, Impressionism.
Of course, these days, the impressionists are well known and appreciated. Many people now inspire to produce the kind of works these early days impressionists created.