18 Impressionist Artworks that Capture the Spirit of the Movement

Between 1853 and 1870 under Emperor Napoleon III, Paris saw a radical transformation from medieval city to modern metropolis. This renovation saw old buildings razed and narrow streets erased in favor of wide boulevards and more open space for a cleaner and safer city.

Just as the city of Paris—not to mention society itself—was transforming radically in the latter part of the 19th century, so too were the styles and subjects of some of the painters of the time. Bucking academic conventions, these artists, eventually called Impressionists, celebrated the transient effects of light and movement in their landscapes and a changing society in their scenes of daily life. Marked by contemporary subject matter and loose brushwork, these works rejected the traditional forms and techniques favored by the official annual Paris Salon.

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Further distancing their work from the academy were these artists’ embrace of newly developed synthetic pigments that created more vibrant color palettes, particularly shades of blue, green, and yellow. Forgoing thick layers of varnish previously used by the Impressionists’ predecessors also added to the modernity of their work.

Today, of course, we recognize the enormous impact of the Impressionists, who forever changed the course of Western art and whose output continues to draw visitors to museums around the world. Below is a look at some of the notable works that embody the historical significance and spirit of the movement.

Source: artnews.com

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