Impressionism

Between 1860 and 1870 a group of painters in France rebelled against the prevailing academic view of the art of painting. Free from rules and traditions, they wanted to render reality as they observed it on the spot: this entailed working quickly, because the sun could disappear behind the clouds at any moment. These ‘impressionists’ (from the French word impression) strove to depict light convincingly. They captured their impressions using an innovative painting technique with loose, short brushstrokes. Famous Impressionists are Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Camille Pissaro. In the Netherlands, their manner of working influenced the painters of the Hague School and Amsterdam School.

Movements deriving from Impressionism are Neo-Impressionism or Pointillism – in which an image is built up with dots of colour – and the more symbolic and subjective Post-Impressionism, to which Vincent van Gogh is counted.

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