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A Comparison Of Impressionism And Post Impressionism

2184 words - 9 pages

A Comparison of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

In this essay, I will contrast and compare the two art movements, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. I will be concentrating on the works of the two leading artists of these styles Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

The impressionist movement is often considered to mark the beginning of the modern period of art. It was developed in France during the late 19th century. The impressionist movement arose out of dissatisfaction with the classical, dull subjects and clean cut precise techniques of painting. They preferred to paint outdoors concentrating more on landscapes and street scenes, and began to paint ordinary everyday people and liked to show the effects in natural light.

Claude Monet is often considered one of greatest most dedicated of the Impressionist painters. His aim was to catch the light and atmosphere, something that was scarcely done before. He enjoyed painting outdoors and developed a free and spontaneous painting technique. His brushwork is remarkably flexible and varied. He often changed his technique, sometimes broad and sweeping other times dappled and sparkling.
Le Grenouillere is a typical example of how much the style of painting had changed. The piece has been painted outdoors using light and bright colours, and is of a fairly ordinary everyday scene. It is a work in which we see his art losing the last of its stiffness and clean cut edge.

The composition concentrates mainly on the foreground .It has three main points of interest, the small rowing boats, the artificial island and the floating barge .It also has a stretch of trees and foliage in the background painted in a much lighter fashion. Monet?s painting has a very different composition from Renoir?s painting of Grenouillere, which was done at the same time; Renoir?s painting is focussed much more on the artificial island and the people on it. Monet uses a combination of thick bold brushstrokes and small short soft brushstrokes; this creates a nice varied look and helps give a good impression of perspective. The tone is also very varied as it is Very light in some areas, but it is also quite dark in others, such as the shades on the barge. The use of dark shades in the foreground makes the boat look so realistic and quite 3D. Although the middle ground is flatter this helps add to the perspective. The water however is what really makes the painting so good.When looked at from just a short distance away it looks really smooth and realistic, but on closer inspection we can see that it is actually made up of short broken brushwork. This is where we can see the painting still holding onto a touch of the more classical style, but is achieved in a much more impressionistic fashion the mood of the painting is quite peaceful and calming, and the relaxed people and light colours give it a happy and uplifting feel. I think that Monet through his painting was trying to capture a typical laid back French...

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