Impressionism Essay

595 words - 2 pages

ImpressionismAlthough the Impressionist movement was not exclusively made up of Frenchpeople, it did start in France. The French Revolution of 1789 broughtworld-wide class upheaval, but it took place in France first. Thispre-eminence in social progression meant that societal arts were to developwith greater speed and diversity there then in other European countries.While England's staggering production levels in newly established factorieswere sufficient for it to be labeled the "production capital of the world,"the birth and nurturing of the Impressionist movement required the culturalclimate of France.It is interesting to note how preceding artistic styles encouraged and madeway for one another and how these, in turn lead to Impressionism. While themovements cannot be confined to an exact chronological timetable, they dogive some clues as to the artistic background in which Impressionism wasborn. For example, Classicism was very influential. This movement was widelyfound throughout Europe in the post-renaissance period and is largelyconsidered one of the most influential precursors to Impressionism.Since the eighteenth century, English artists had demonstrated an enthusiasmtowards painting the landscape. Distinctive atmospheres that were affordedby the constantly changing nature of the landscape made way for a moreimpressionistic approach to the canvas. J.M.W.Turner's Rain, Steam & Speed -The Great Western Railway of 1844 gives one a good idea of how thisEnglish genre obviously affected subsequent French artists.Possibly the most obvious precedent to Impressionism was the art of theRealists. Their fundamental objectives, "to open a window on the world," and"to paint a message" were similar, in many ways to the ideals held by theImpressionists.In 1855, a World Fair was held in Paris, a sequel to the original which hadtaken place in London four years previously. A distinguishing element tothis second fair was its attention to art. This served, in some large part,to highlight Paris as...

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