8 Impressionist artists you should know about

Impressionism was an art movement that had its beginnings in 19th century Europe. It was initiated by a group of artists who rejected the academic school of art. Instead, they chose landscapes and everyday activities and objects. This was a major change in focus as the academy artists had grand subjects such as major events in history, ordinary life and outdoor scenes became the prime subjects of artists in this period.


The following eight artists are some of the famous impressionist artists of this period. Let us explore them in further details and some of their notable works.


Eduard Manet 1832 to 1883

Manet was the great precursor of Impressionism. Although he never exhibited with the Impressionists and continued to exhibit through the traditional salons his controversial 1863 painting, Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe Became a rallying point for the young artists. They would be identified with the impressionist movement. His significant contribution was his rejection of academic subject matter in favour of events and landscapes of his own time.


The Luncheon on the Grass

Olympia, 1863 by Eduard Manet

Paul Cezanne 1839 to 1906

Cezanne initially allied himself with Impressionists, but he later came to believe they lacked form and structure. Rather than using the traditional artistic techniques of perspective and modelling in light and dark to create a pictorial illusion of distance, depth and solidity, he sought to achieve these effects entirely in terms of colour. Among his most significant achievements was the use of overlapping, transparent plains of pure colour to depict both form and space, that's paving the way for Cubism.



The Card Players by Paul Cezanne


Paul Gauguin 1843 to 1903


Gauguin First painted as an amateur. But after studying with the Impressionist Camille Pissarro, he quit his prosperous brokerage business to devote himself full-time to painting. He was not a success, but he persisted. Seeking a more primitive atmosphere in Paris, he first lived in small villages in Brittany and visited Martinique before settling in Tahiti in 1891. Like van Gogh, he rejected objective representation in favour of subjective expression. He also shared Van Gogh's fascination with colour, which he used in new and unusual combinations. He is highly decorative canvases, based on native motifs, Often deal with the threat western civilisation posed to non-western cultures.



The Market Gardens of Vaugirard by Gauguin

Camille Pissarro 1832 1903

Pissarro was a significant founder of Impressionism and was the only artist to show work in all eight of the impressionist exhibition. His work is composed chiefly of landscapes and scenes of real life, though he also was adept at capturing the Paris Street Life. He was first to encourage the post-impressionist Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin and George Seurat.



Entrée du village de Voisins


Claude Monet 1840 to 1926

Monet was another chief founder of Impressionism and perhaps the leader in the practice of open-air painting, which allowed artists to capture the fleeting effects of atmosphere and whether so prominent in impressionist art.



La Grenouillère by Claude Monet


Georges Seurat 1859 to 1891

Seurat was the leading figure of the post-impressionist. His contribution was to reinstate firm structure and composition and re-establish the formal value of the subject in painting. In systemising the precepts of impressionist, he developed a rigid and remote system of painting in small, uniform dots of pure colour that were placed next to one another following contemporary theories of colour and light. It was a painstaking and challenging way of painting that was the complete opposite of Impressionism's spontaneity and exuberance.



A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.


Auguste Renoir 1841 to 1919

Renoir specialised in painting the human figure. Like his contemporary Edgar Degas, he was adept at capturing effects of spontaneity, so prized by the Impressionists in their outdoor scenes, in his studio – produced pictures. His masterpiece, La Loge, Shows a fashionable Parisian and her escort in a box at the theatre. The painting is an excellent example of how Renoir was able to convey the pleasures of human life in his paintings.



Bal du moulin de la Galette by Auguste Renoir

Edgar Degas 1834 to 1917

Degas was a master of painting figures in rapid and informal motion and is well known for his images of ballerinas in arrested movement. His compositions were influenced in their organisation and use of flat and modelled colour areas by Japanese prints, which were introduced to France in the 19 century. He exhibited consistently with the Impressionists and shared their Brighton palate and the concern with the picking the fleeting and momentary, but he is not universally considered one.



The Ballet Class by Edgar Degas


Vincent van Gogh 1853 to 1890

Van Gogh used the new colours of Impressionism to express his own emotions through painting. With his mastery of impressionistic colours, he was able to communicate his personal experience of nature in his landscape paintings. This interest in the expressive value of colour itself led him to explore how he could express emotions in the way he applied the colour to the canvas. By wearing thickness, shape, even the direction of the brushstrokes, he discovered he could complement the expressiveness of the colour itself.



Wheatfield with crows by Van Gogh

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