Goals and Achievements of Impressionism

Impressionism was a new trend that emerged from Paris and it was brought about by the upcoming generation of artists. For an artist to be acknowledged in France he or she was supposed to present his work to the salon. The salon acted as a platform that was used by various artists to illustrate their skills and abilities. The main goal of this movement was the effect of light on an item as opposed to form.

For an artist’s work to be exhibited at the salon it had to be evaluated by the salon officials to establish if it conformed to the elements of art and design and those that were found to be below the required quality were declined. This frequent denial at the salon made the artists whose art had been declined to combine forces to present their art in alternative places.

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These artists introduced new culture in art where paintings were painted without observing the principles of art and design. The arts reflected images of daily events as they unfolded. The artists wanted to be liberated from the salon which they saw as the stumbling block to their prosperity.

The paintings were done outdoors as opposed to the previous paintings that were done indoors. The reflection of light in previous paintings was not accurate compared to upcoming paintings that were done outdoors thus the reflection of light was very natural and to the point because it was not manipulated by colors (Clancy 1).

The artists used opaque colors to add more contrast to paintings as opposed to previous paintings that blended bright colors to create contrast in art. The paintings employed little, lighter and clear brush work. The brushwork was distorted to make a rough tone and texture because the colors could not be merged. It was possible to identify the edges of texture because they were not smooth.

Among the artists who pioneered impressionism included Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Frederec Bazille, Camille Pissarro and Paul Cezanne. Following the decline of The Luncheon on Grass by Edouard Manet in 1863 the pace for impressionism had already been set. Manet’s art was declined because it portrayed a nude lady sand-witched by two gentlemen. The officials of the salon said the painting was not scholarly (Clancy 1).

The artists whose work was declined in that year combined their pieces and established their own salon that comprised of declined arts. Among the paintings that had been declined at the main salon included The Girl with a Hoop by Pierre Auguste Renoir.

Not all the upcoming artists were willing to turn to the new trend in art. This is because there are artists who still applied scholarly principles in their work such as Monet who still used black color in his paintings. He still presented his art to the regular salon to be evaluated by the officials because he thought he could only prosper in his career by having his work displayed at the salon. Others like Degas still painted their arts behind closed doors.

Perhaps the wrangles in this union of upcoming artists were due to the fact that when they were merging each artist wanted to use the union as the stepping stone. It is therefore certain that the union was an option to most of them after their arts had been declined at the salon.

If the artists were committed to bringing reforms in the industry they would have abandoned their scholarly principles completely. This implies that the artists were not interested in reforming the industry but used the new techniques in art to lure the public into their circle. It seems that whereas the public got acquainted to their new tactics they still did not have confidence in their new techniques and that’s why some of them used scholarly principles even after the establishment of a designated salon for declined arts.

Work Cited

Clancy, John. Impressionism: historical overview and bibliography. Eds. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2003. Print.


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