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Impressionism: one of the most important artistic currents

Impressionism: one of the most important artistic currents

08/01/2019

Born between 1860 and 1870, Impressionism is an artistic movement that has given us paintings of immense value, works made by artists such as Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Degas, and Sisley, the founding fathers of this movement.

They were a group of young artists who revolutionized the history of art, painters who rebelled against the academic culture of the time and gave rise to a new way of painting, a different attitude that was not initially seen in a good light, but that later proved to be successful.

Tired of being in dark and damp ateliers, these artists decided to start painting outdoors, in the street or anywhere else where creativity could be expressed without any brakes. Thus, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne and the other young people have changed the way they represented nature, cities and various moments of everyday life, in fact it is from that moment onwards that we had a different idea of Paris, thanks to them it has become a symbol of romance, the city where Impressionism was born.

We are therefore talking about Impressionism when we refer to "en plein air" painting, a way of painting made possible also thanks to the invention of the country easel that could be easily transported and the creation of the colours in tubes, which allowed artists of the time to be able to move, carrying with them small ready-to-use colour packs, without having to mix the various powders in the laboratory.

Thanks to this new approach, the Impressionist artists, instead of mixing the colours on the canvas, began to create colour combinations, a technique that allowed them to obtain spectacular chromatic contrasts and almost blurred representations. An example: "The Poppies" by Monet, an invaluable work that is now kept at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

Often these artists would paint together, placing their easels side by side and creating works that they would then compare. The first exhibition of this group of painters was held at Felix Nadar's studio on 15 April 1874, but although the photographer Nadar supported the four young artists who exhibited their works (Renoir, Monet, Degas and Sisley), the critics did not express in their favour.

Impressionism did not please the critics and so it was for a few years, a time when the life of these artists was not easy. In fact, later they went to meet other exhibitions and events that resulted fiascos and one of the few to believe in the work of the Impressionists was the entrepreneur Paul Durand-Ruel, who between 1891 and 1922 bought about 12,000 works belonging to Renoir, Manet, Monet, Degas, etc.

Thanks to this French entrepreneur the Impressionists managed to survive, and we can say that Durand was a visionary, because just to give an example, a version of the work "Card players" by Cézanne, in 2011 was sold for 250 million dollars!

Impressionism is a term given to this current by the art critic Louis Leroy, who defined the works of these artists as incomplete, just impressions, but thanks to the courage of these young people today we can admire works such as "Breakfast on the Grass" by Manet, the "Blue Water Lilies" by Monet and many other precious masterpieces.

Article by: Aurora Caraman