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Che Hinds

The term 'Impressionist' was first used as an insult in response to an exhibition of new paintings
in Paris in 1874. A diverse group of painters, rejected by the art establishment, defiantly set up
their own exhibition. They included Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Pierre–Auguste
Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas. Its influence spread throughout
Europe and eventually the United States. In turning away from the fine finish and detail to which
most artists of their day aspired, the Impressionists aimed to capture the momentary, sensory
effect of a scene. Consequently they began largely painting in the outdoors, plein air, instead of
inside the studio.

Renoir, At the Theatre (La Première Sortie), 1876-7

Scientific thought at the time was beginning to recognize that what the eye perceived and what
the brain understood were two different things. The Impressionists sought to capture the former -
the optical effects of light - to convey the passage of time, changes in weather, and other shifts in
the atmosphere in their canvases. Their art did not necessarily rely on realistic depictions. Part of
the Impressionist idea was to capture a split second of life, an ephemeral moment in time on the
canvas: the impression.

Monet, 'Lavacourt Under Snow, about 1878-81 : An example of Plein Air painting
Che Hinds

Another factor which changed how artists painted was the innovation of ready-made paint in
tubes. Grinding pigments in order to make up oil paint had been a laborious and untidy process.
The availability of a wide range of ready-made colours also contributed to the new trend of
painting outdoors. They could also work at much greater speed, at moments applying the paint
straight from the tube without even using a brush. The brushwork inside their painting was often
visible as a result. Furthermore, new scientific methods of the 19th century allowed these painters
to experiment more with complementary colours.

Renoir, The Skiff (La Yole), 1875

In Renoir's The Skiff (La Yole), he places an orange boat against cobalt blue water. Orange and
blue were understood to be opposite one another in the colour spectrum, and by placing them
next to each other, each looked deeper and brighter.

After Impressionism(1865-1885) comes Post Impressionism (1885-1905), before it was Realism


I chose Impressionism because of its simplicity and the resulting broad brush strokes it produces.
Instead of going for small detail, the art work from this movement puts more emphasis on the
bigger statement which the paintings have to say. The Impressionists also lightened their palettes
to include pure, intense colors. They preferred to avoid the clarity of form that had previously
served to distinguish the more important elements of a picture from the lesser ones. I find this
mindset in which they processed a subject quite intriguing and very different from the way I
usually work.
Che Hinds