Impressionist art is one of the art forms that were able to help enhance and inspire some of the modern art movements that we get to enjoy today. While many great artists became famous through their work, Claude Monet is arguably one of the most well-known and influential of all of them. 

Many impressionists were not taken seriously during their time and they often had to break through in unconventional ways. But they persevered and were able to inspire future art movements that are still prevalent today. Some of the things that you should know about impressionism art to make sure you understand how amazing this art form includes:

They Weren’t Originally Called Impressionists

Even though this movement was started in the 1860s, it didn’t get a name until closer to 1874. They were calling themselves the Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Printmakers. The Paris Salon had not welcomed these artists during that time and it wasn’t until 1874 that the artists made their exhibition to showcase their work. 

During this exhibition, art critic Louis Leroy wasn’t impressed by the work. He mockingly decided to call them the Impressionists. It was meant to be mean to them, but the artists decided that the term was perfect for what they were doing, so they ran with the name and that is what we call them today. 

Impressionist Painters Could be the Models

Many of the artists of the impressionist movement were also models of this as well. Women were encouraged to work in this type of artwork and many of them would be featured in the work their colleagues were doing at the time. For example, Marisol would pose for Moent and Camille would pose for Rodin throughout that time.  

The Impressionist movement was a group of artists who worked as a community, helping one another grow and do better. And without the support of the Salon, they often had to find ways to cut costs and be creative. Working together to paint and provide models was one way to keep some of the prices down in this movement. 

The women who posed for some of the paintings were considered serious painters, though some taught themselves and still others were able to make it through art school. While the Academy was strict about how much women could do in art, the Impressionist movement fought against the Academy quite a bit, and women were allowed to become professionals. 

Impressionism art

Impressionist Painters Looked to the Far East for Inspiration

While Impressionism was founded in France and grew well in Europe and the United States, the painters were able to look more to the Far East to get some of the inspiration that they needed. For many of these artists, looking at Japanese woodblock prints was a good pastime. Artists would collect these and then study them before adding elements to their work. 

Some of these woodblock prints were hundreds of years old. But they were still able to have a good deal of influence on the Impressionist painters of the time. The prints were so different from what was being done in Europe at the time that they could inspire and help the painter see new worlds and try something unique. 

The Impressionism Artists Traveled to Get Inspiration

Impressionism in artwork

Many Impressionist painters were forced to go out into quiet and rural areas to get some of the inspiration they needed for their landscapes. They had to get further and further away as the cities began to industrialize and problems with overcrowding started to pop up all over the place. But in some situations, it may have gotten too quiet. 

Since these artists would be out in the country quite a bit, they would head to the cities to revitalize and change their perspectives. They could have some of the noise and bustle and then when they went back home, they had a chance to see the landscapes and the quiet serenity in a new light again, refreshing some of their work.

There are Principles to Impressionism in Art

Impressionism is considered a major art movement and you will be able to recognize it based on certain elements that show up within the works. It was a bit different compared to some of the other styles of the time, but this is part of what made it so popular. Some of the principles that you will be able to see when looking at Impressionism include

  • The work will show a true picture of modern scenes from life. 
  • There are a lot of vivid and natural colors throughout. 
  • There is a desire to convey movement, emotion, and even dynamics. There is often an element of trying to form an impression on the audience. 
  • There is an obvious reference to the play of light over how accurate the image is in the painting. 
  • Many artists would paint outside, rather than in the studio. This allowed them to catch the truth late, rather than having it look staged. 
  • The plots were urban, modern, bourgeois, and casual for their time. 
  • There were dynamic strokes used in the paintings and the colors were not mixed ahead of time. 

As you take the time to look through some of the different paintings from this time, you will be able to see some of these elements stick out at you. Before long, it will be easier for you to look at a painting and notice that it has elements of impressionism in them as well because it is so unique and fun to work with. 

Enjoying the Look of Impressionism Art

When you are looking through all of the great options for artwork in your home or work, there is nothing better than choosing impressionism art to help you out. There are so many great artists and styles for you to choose from, making this a centerpiece that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.