Impressionism is one of the most famous and well-known painting styles. This movement completely changed the way that painting was done when the movement was new, and even today, Impressionist art is very popular. The most well-known Impressionist artists are often quite familiar to art lovers, but there might be a few of the classics that you might not have been aware of.
Knowing more about Impressionist art can make it much easier to recognize these kinds of pieces when you are collecting. Plus, if you have the chance to pick up a work done by one of these artists, you should know more about their paintings and their best-known works. Being familiar with this kind of art can ensure that you will be able to access the very best current past works that are available within this art style.
Most Famous Impressionist Painters
There are many artists who contributed to the Impressionist movement. This movement changed the way that painting was done forever. Painting before Impressionism was usually greatly concerned with the actual nature of things or with portrait-making. Accuracy was everything, and painting could take months as the nature of a person or an item was carefully recorded and crafted in layers upon layers of paint.
Impressionism was the first painting movement that allowed for a focus on color, movement, and emotion. This movement also allowed for the painting of everyday subject matter and outdoor scenery with a focus on the feeling of the scene and not true accuracy. Impressionism allowed for a new and much more approachable kind of art that made even every day life special and beautiful. The social landscape was changing, and Impressionism reflected the changes that were going on in society with great accuracy.
1. Claude Monet is the Most Famous Impressionist Painter
Claude Monet is perhaps the best-known Impressionist painter. His works are often used as examples for teaching about Impressionism, and he has some of the most distinctive works in the category to his name. Monet was one of the painters who launched the Impressionist style into popularity with his bold use of color and his experimental use of shading. Monet was also very good at showing a sense of movement and energy in his works, as well as being well known for being unafraid of using commonplace subject matter for his works.
The most famous of his pieces is likely The Water Lilies, which was painted in 1897-1899. However, there are many other paintings that he is well-known for, such as the Woman With a Parasol from 1875 and the Impression, Sunrise, which was painted in 1872. Monet was excellent at creating the right lighting to tell you what time of day the piece was meant to capture. This is what is most remarkable about the sunrise piece, which was meant to capture the very early morning light and does so quite ably.
Monet’s very soft brushstrokes and his use of a pastel color palette make his works very unique and also very recognizable. While some of the other painters who were contemporaries of Monet’s painted with more commitment to the actual shape and nature of the things in the scene they were capturing, Monet often just painted the suggestion of the subject matter. Monet’s works are often much more notable for their emotional content and their color than for the actual subject matter of the work.
|Birthday||November 14, 1840|
|Education||Académie Suisse, Beaux-Arts de Paris|
Rouen Cathedral Series
2. Edouard Manet is Well Known Impressionist Artist
Manet is well-known in the Impressionist movement for his works that are largely concerned with capturing Parisian life. Female nudes are also common among his subject matter which was quite controversial at the time he created these works. Manet is set apart from other Impressionist painters because he preferred to paint common objects and everyday scenes for all of his works.
Manet also painted with the loosest brushstrokes of anyone who was contemptuous of him at the time that he was creating his art. This gives his work an almost unfinished look which is really beautiful and dreamy and which offers a sense of emotion and movement that is different from other early Impressionist painters.
Manet is also known for being more specific in his renderings of the faces and shapes of the people in his works, which are often just barely suggested in other Impressionist works. He was also more willing to work in a primary color palette than some of his contemporaries, which led to works that were darker in hue than some other works that were created at about the same time by other painters working in the Impressionist style.
Art critics were often quite critical of Manet’s style at the time that he was new to the painting scene. They claimed that his work looked unfinished and he was also critiqued for painting only everyday men and commonplace scenes rather than inspiring and unique scenes or famous people. The true nature of Impressionism was still in flux at this time, and despite this criticism, Manet is known today as one of the primary founders of the movement.
|Birthday||January 23, 1832|
|Education||Académie Suisse, College-Lycée Jacques-Decour|
The Luncheon on the Grass
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
3. Famous Impressionist Artist Pierre-auguste Renoir
Renoir is celebrated most of all for his ability to play with color and his willingness to attend to the light in a work to make sure it was perfect. He is credited with works that are full of life and movement as well as vibrant colors that are quite familiar in Impressionist works that are being produced today. Renoir created his own unique brushstroke pattern, which is present in all of his paintings. This style was done with multi-colored streaks, a bright atmosphere, and radiant skin tones in the people who were his subject matter.
Renoir almost exclusively painted people, which is not as common in the Impressionist movement as painting landscapes and objects. Most of his well-known paintings are of women, and he created all kinds of unique works that captured city street scenes and the everyday life of the common Parisians around him.
Renoir suffered greatly from arthritis in later life but even then he was able to create art so long as someone could place the brush in his hands. He was able to move to a warmer climate and keep painting into his later years, creating very large pieces of art and even sculptures up until his death in 1919.
|Birthday||December 3, 1841|
Bal du Moulin de la Galette
Luncheon of the Boating Party
Pink and blue
Girls at the Piano
4. Camille Pissarro is an Extremely Well-known French Impressionist Painter
Pissarro was very interested in portraying peasant life in and around Paris, and he created many works which used this kind of subject matter as their focal point. He also committed to displaying his pieces at many exhibitions, an action which many Impressionists were unwilling to do during the height of the movement’s early success. He loved to work with light and color in his art, but he was also influenced heavily by politics.
Pissarro made a bold statement about the lives of the poor with his works, and he is known as one of the more political painters to have worked in the Impressionist style. Later in his life, he also painted more landscapes and played more with the sense of color that could be captured through the use of a pastel color palette. This painting style is known for its lack of dark colors, but Pissarro was willing to use very dark shadows in some of his later works to help demonstrate the time of day clearly.
Pissarro preferred to finish his paintings out of doors and in a single sitting, which was unique compared to other painters in his day. He was criticized for creating “vulgar” art due to his commitment to portraying all the good and the bad in every scene. Broken fences, potholes in the road, and other inclusions in his works drew strong criticism at the time. The painting had been used to portray an idyllic sense of scenery and subject matter up until Pissarro and the other Impressionist painters became popular. This kind of adherence to the truth of the scene that was being captured is part of what makes this style of art so special.
|Birthday||July 10, 1830|
|Education||Savary Academy, Académie Suisse|
The Boulevard Montmartre at Night
Jalais Hill, Pontoise
The Crystal Palace
Two Young Peasant Women
5. Edgar Degas is Unique and Popular For His Remarkable Impressionist Art
Degas is unique among many Impressionist painters because he also worked in pastels and created sculptures and works in bronze. Most of his works predict dancers, many of them ballet dancers. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, but many people claim that he more closely fits into the realist painting style. This is because he did not paint outdoors as so many Impressionist painters did.
Degas enjoyed a really unique educational experience, being able to travel to Italy and study art due to the financial situation of his family. His father wanted him to study law, but he put off the process of studying law until 1853. He was a lackluster law student and continued to put much more effort into his artistic enterprises.
Degas originally wanted to be a historical painter and a portrait painter, but he quickly became interested in the light and the sense of movement that could be conveyed with the Impressionist painting style. He also suffered from eye troubles that worried him for all of his life but did not stop him from creating really beautiful and well-known pieces of art in various mediums.
Later in life, Degas became fascinated by photography and turned to this new medium of artistic expression. There are few Impressionist painters who have enjoyed such a unique and really varied career that makes them memorable for so many different kinds of artistic efforts.
|Birthday||July 19, 1834|
The Bellelli Family
The Ballet Class
6. Paul Cezanne Was a Famous 20th-Century Impressionist Artist
While technically a Post-Impressionist painter, Cezanne is often used as a reference when discussing the features of the Impressionist painting style. He is known for bridging the gap between the 19th-century Impressionist movement and the early 20th-century Impressionist movement.
His works were more influenced by Romanticism than Impressionism in the beginning, but as he progressed in his skill, he started to become more committed to the Impressionist movement and its use of color and a sense of movement. During this period, he created his own highly repetitive, but very recognizable brushstroke pattern that is completely characteristic of his works. He uses planes of color and very small brushstrokes that allow for the creation of strong fields of color.
Like many of the other Impressionist painters who are on this list, his original works provoked strong criticism from both contemporaries and art critics. This was partial because of his mixture of different painting styles and also because Impressionism was considered a closed subject with nothing else to be added to it.
Throughout his life, Cezanne struggled with harsh criticism and even threats against his safety from other creators and angry spectators. This was difficult for him because he himself was very critical of his own work and wrote at the end of his life to his son that he still had not realized the depth of expression that he was seeking to capture in any of his pieces of art.
Despite these difficulties during his life, Cezanne is one of the most famous and well-known Impressionist painters. His work is very referential for the transition to the Post-Impressionist movement and he is considered the father of this painting movement by many experts and professors.
|Birthplace||Aix en-Provence, France|
|Birthday||October 22, 1906|
The Card Players
7. Henri Matisse Was a Famous Impressionist Painter, But He Was Also a Sculptor and a Printmaker
Matisse was not just a painter, he was also a printmaker and a sculptor. He is known as one of the most influential painters of the early 20th century, alongside Pablo Picasso. He is also famous as an intense colorist who worked with an emphasis on flattened forms and decorative patterns.
Later in his career, his painting style relaxed and he became very popular. He continued to simplify his style into the 30s and was very popular until his death in 1954. This was fortunate because Matisse was forced to support his whole family from an early age due to a family scandal.
This responsibility was likely part of why his painting style became less vibrant in the later years of his life and he started to lean toward a style that was more closely connected with Fauvism. This style started to be popular in 1900 but only lasted a few years. Matisse’s work crossed the border between Impressionism and Fauvism often, and he is sometimes thought of as being a painter who worked in both styles.
Matisse’s work lacks the softness and the sense of movement that Impressionism is often associated with. The sense of exploration in a color that Matisse is well-known for can be very closely linked to impressionism alone. Matisse is one of the more unique painters in the Impressionist movement, but he occupies a special place in the movement during a time of flux.
|Birthplace||Le Cateau-Cambresis, France|
|Birthday||December 31, 1869|
Woman with a Hat
The Joy of Life
Impressionism is One of the Most Important Painting Movements
There are so many reasons that Impressionism changed the landscape of painting. Impressionism allowed for a whole new range of topics and subjects for painters as well as for the exploration of color and light, and movement. Being able to paint things besides still life scenes or portraits opened up the options for painters to explore the nature of things in entirely new ways.
Impressionism was full of light, life, and movement and it offered painters the opportunity to work with new brushstrokes and color palettes as well. Today, Impressionism is still exploring new ways of putting paint on the canvas and new ways of showing the true nature of scenes and everyday images. Impressionism today is not that different from the classic works that have made this movement special and well-known.
Knowing more about the famous Impressionist painters can make it easier to appreciate the movement as a whole and it can help you to recognize these kinds of works when you are shopping for art. Impressionism is still one of the most popular painting styles and the new Impressionist movement offers you the chance to collect beautiful art that is just as important to the Impressionist movement as the classic artists.