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Impressionist Art Painters

Updated on February 27, 2019
James A Watkins profile image

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

IMPRESSIONISTS

The Impressionists were painters who were determined to free themselves from the constraints of tradition, and the art establishment of Paris. The works of the Impressionists both puzzled the public and offended the critics of their day.

Only decades later would these artists be vindicated by history. The Impressionists attempted to capture the physical reality of the moment, or at least their impression of it. They painted what they saw.

"JALAIS HILL, PONTOISE" BY CAMILLE PISSARRO IN 1867 (METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK)
"JALAIS HILL, PONTOISE" BY CAMILLE PISSARRO IN 1867 (METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK)
CAMILLE PISSARRO & HIS WIFE IN 1877
CAMILLE PISSARRO & HIS WIFE IN 1877

Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was born in the Virgin Islands; he moved to Paris when he was 12 years old. Pissarro conveyed his vision of French life in both urban and rural settings.

He sold very few paintings while he was alive, but today his works command millions of dollars apiece. He is considered a loyal patriarch of the Impressionist painting movement.

"MADAME MONET IN A JAPANESE COSTUME" BY CLAUDE MONET IN 1875 (MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON)
"MADAME MONET IN A JAPANESE COSTUME" BY CLAUDE MONET IN 1875 (MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON)
CLAUDE MONET 1899
CLAUDE MONET 1899

Claude Monet

Claude Monet (1840-1926) is considered by most as the man who founded, named, and best represents Impressionist painting. Monet was determined to capture the essence of a moment in time.

He transports us to a magical place that is real, but that in essence is not real at all. This is especially true in his later works after most of his friends had long since passed from this world.

"GIRL AT THE DANCE" BY BERTHE MORISOT IN 1875 (MUSEE MARMOTTAN MONET, PARIS)
"GIRL AT THE DANCE" BY BERTHE MORISOT IN 1875 (MUSEE MARMOTTAN MONET, PARIS)
BERTHE MORISOT AS PAINTED BY EDOUARD MANET
BERTHE MORISOT AS PAINTED BY EDOUARD MANET

Berthe Marisot

Berthe Marisot (1841-1895) was first a good friend, and then later the sister-in-law of Edouard Manet, whom I covered extensively in my previous Hub about Impressionism Art.

Marisot primarily painted portraits, domestic scenes and landscapes. Her work was not as appreciated as it should have been because she was a woman.

"LUNCHEON OF THE BOATING PARTY" BY PIERRE AUGUSTE RENOIR IN 1881 (THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION, WASHINGTON DC)
"LUNCHEON OF THE BOATING PARTY" BY PIERRE AUGUSTE RENOIR IN 1881 (THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION, WASHINGTON DC)

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) is my personal favorite of the Impressionist painters. Renoir was unequaled at portraying what all men love about women and unparalleled at painting apparel.

One of his paintings is featured in my Hub Art in my Home; it sold for $78M. Despite contracting arthritis at age 49, he continued to paint and by the time of his demise had created thousands of works of art.

"THE POTATO EATERS" BY VINCENT VAN GOGH IN 1885 (VAN GOGH MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM)
"THE POTATO EATERS" BY VINCENT VAN GOGH IN 1885 (VAN GOGH MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM)
VINCENT VAN GOGH AT AGE 13
VINCENT VAN GOGH AT AGE 13

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was a Dutch painter who battled mental illness for most of his life, and committed suicide at the age of 37 with a pistol. Van Gogh is technically considered to be a post-Impressionist painter.

He criticized the Impressionists who preceded him as both superficial and sloppy. His later works are considered his best, and It seems that the crazier he got the better he painted.

"WOMAN IN A BATH" BY EDGAR DEGAS IN 1886 (HILL-STEAD MUSEUM, FARMINGTON, CONNECTICUT)
"WOMAN IN A BATH" BY EDGAR DEGAS IN 1886 (HILL-STEAD MUSEUM, FARMINGTON, CONNECTICUT)
EDGAR DEGAS SELF PORTRAIT
EDGAR DEGAS SELF PORTRAIT

Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) had little interest in landscape themes. He chose to paint people, especially women, and in particular ballerinas. Degas abhorred the term Impressionist and wanted to be known as a Realist.

He once lived in New Orleans for a year; was an excellent draftsman and sculptor; and later in life became a photographer as well.

"A SUNDAY AFTERNOON ON THE ISLAND OF LA GRANDE JATTE" BY GEORGES SEURAT IN 1886 (ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO)
"A SUNDAY AFTERNOON ON THE ISLAND OF LA GRANDE JATTE" BY GEORGES SEURAT IN 1886 (ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO)

Georges Seurat

Georges Seurat (1859-1891) is sometimes called a neo-Impressionist. Seurat certainly exhibited an original style featuring dots rather than brush stokes in his most famous work, which is featured above.

He had a deep appreciation for decorative color schemes, which could be considered antithetical to the ideals of the Impressionists. I consider him the father of pointillism.

"BEDROOM AT ARLES" BY VINCENT VAN GOGH IN 1888 (VAN GOGH MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM)
"BEDROOM AT ARLES" BY VINCENT VAN GOGH IN 1888 (VAN GOGH MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM)
"THE SCREAM" BY EDWARD MUNCH IN 1893 (THE NATIONAL GALLERY, OSLO)
"THE SCREAM" BY EDWARD MUNCH IN 1893 (THE NATIONAL GALLERY, OSLO)
EDVARD MUNCH IN 1921
EDVARD MUNCH IN 1921

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) is a Norwegian artist who created one of the most famous paintings in the world today, featured above. Munch was the son of a priest who became a bawdy boozer and brawler.

He once said “I do not believe in the art which is not the compulsive result of Man’s urge to open his heart.” I consider him to be the forerunner of Expressionistic painting.

"THE BOATING PARTY" BY MARY CASSATT IN 1894 (NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, WASHINGTON DC)
"THE BOATING PARTY" BY MARY CASSATT IN 1894 (NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, WASHINGTON DC)
MARY CASSATT SELF PORTRAIT
MARY CASSATT SELF PORTRAIT

Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) is an American Impressionist art painter.

The fact that she was born into a wealthy family was the only reason that Cassatt was able to pursue her chosen career as a painter against the tide of opinion that being an artist was somehow not suitable for women. She specialized in painting women in social settings, and with their children.

"BRANCH OF THE SEINE NEAR GIVENCHY" BY CLAUDE MONET IN 1897 (MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON)
"BRANCH OF THE SEINE NEAR GIVENCHY" BY CLAUDE MONET IN 1897 (MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON)
"STILL LIFE WITH APPLES AND ORANGES" BY PAUL CEZANNE IN 1900 (MUSEE D'ORSAY, PARIS)
"STILL LIFE WITH APPLES AND ORANGES" BY PAUL CEZANNE IN 1900 (MUSEE D'ORSAY, PARIS)
PAUL CEZANNE IN 1861
PAUL CEZANNE IN 1861

Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) was a highly emotional man on a quest to make Impressionism "solid and durable." Cezanne considered the portrayal of everyday objects in art to be important.

He was very much into the forms of nature, and is quoted as saying "When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God-made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art."

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