Many magazines, around 30 in Paris with a reader ship of 2 million nation wide. One paper (Le Charivari) employed over 200 artists for illustrations. One year (1874) Louis Leroy 62, well established in the French art world decided to submit a piece about an exhibition at a disused photographic studio. His writings were well read dispensing with what we would call middle management speak and the jargon of today. It was mounted by a group of artists mainly in their 30's calling themselves 'La Societe Anonyme (ltd Co) artists, engravers, sculpters etc. Cezanne, Degas, Monet, Berthe Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley. They did not want to be thought of as a group with a particular artistic style. There were lots of groups at the time 'The Somebodies' The So and So's, The 29ers. And once the critics would start talking about the 'new school, it would imediately sink without trace. Leroy had a problem. How to write a bout an exhibition he found bizare. He solved the problem by writing as if he was accompaning an elderly respected academic painter namely M Joseph Vincent. And this was what he wrote
At the sight of this astounding landscape the good man thought his spectacles were dirty . . . .'Good God' he said' 'what on earth is that!' Leroy titled the article 'The Exhibition of the Impressionists” Within a year the phrase spread to America where Henry James used it instead of the word 'perjorative' Virtually all the group hated the phrase 'impressionism'.
The First Impressionists Monet Camille Pissarro Degas Renoir Manet, Alfred Silsey Berthe Morisot Cezanne James Whistler Armand Guillaumin Felix Bracquemond Frederic Brazille Post Impressionists Van Gogh Signac Bonnard The later group Mary Cassatt Eugene Boudin Johan Barthold Jongkind Theodore Rousseau Eva Gonzales Gustave Caillebotte Suret