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Impressionism

By Jojo Rita

Impressionism
Impressionism was a movement of art that
began in the 1870s in France, soon
spreading to all of Europe. It was initially
a movement in painting, a rebellion
against academic painting standards
(which had a strong basis in religious and
political themes). It included the likes of
Monet, Degas, and lesser known
impressionists such as Mary Cassatt and
Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Impressionism in Visual Art


Impressionist art/painting is marked by the
following:

relatively thin, yet visible brush strokes

open composition

emphasis on accurate depiction of light in


its changing qualities (passage of time)

ordinary subject matter

inclusion ofmovementas a crucial element


of human perception and experience

unusual visual angles

Impressionism in Literature
In literature, impressionism is often
defined as a work with a significant
lack of interpretation of the senses,
instead with a strong impression of
the senses
many of the same techniques used in
impressionist painting are employed in
impressionist writing

Virginia Woolf
DH Lawrence
Joseph Conrad

Knowing just a bit from what I told you,


take a few minutes to begin an
impressionist piece (poem, piece of
short fiction, anything)

Excerpt from To the


Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf
Well, we must wait for the future to show, said Mr. Bankes,
coming in from the terrace.
Its almost too dark to see, said Andrew, coming up from
the beach.
One can hardly tell which is the sea and which is the land,
said Prue.
Do we leave that light burning? said Lily as they took their
coats off indoors.
No, said Prue, not if every ones in.
Andrew, she called back, just put out the light in the hall.
One by one the lamps were extinguished, except that Mr.
Carmichael, who liked to lie awake a little reading Virgil, kept his
candle burning rather longer than the rest.
(continued)

So with the lamps all put out, the moon sunk, and a thin
rain drumming on the roof a downpouring of immense
darkness began. Nothing, it seemed, could survive the
flood, the profusion of darkness which, creeping in at
keyholes and crevices, stole round window blinds, came
into bedrooms, swallowed up here a jug and basin, there a
bowl of red and yellow dahlias, there the sharp edges and
firm bulk of a chest of drawers. Not only was furniture
confounded; there was scarcely anything left of body or
mind by which one could say, This is he or This is she.
Sometimes a hand was raised as if to clutch something or
ward off something, or somebody groaned, or somebody
laughed aloud as if sharing a joke with nothing.

Using what Ive shown you, continue your piece or


begin a new one if youd prefer. Any elements
you can focus on:
Quality of light related to time
Fine quality/texture in your language
Unusual angle of approach (perspective,
description)
Swift, subtle movement
Lack of interpretation, emphasis on impression