The French Impressionists April 15, 1874, the first of eight exhibitions for a group of artists opened in Paris at 35 Boulevard des Capucines. It was in vacated rooms of the photographer, Nadar. The artists that exhibited in the show were called „rebels‟, „intransigents‟, „the Japanese painters‟ and „the actualists‟. The exhibiting artists were rejected by the Salon Juries. They formed a Cooperative Society of Artist– Painters. Thirty artists showed their work at that time. Among those were Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, Berthe Morisot, and Pissarro.11Pierre Courthion, The Impressionists, p. 3.
THE ACADEMY Up to this time the arts were in a type of control by the Academy that was taught at the E´cole des Beaux- Arts. It „asserted the choice of the laureates of competitions and the Salon jury‟.2Painters, the Salon, and Critics, 1848-1870http://www.musee-orsay.fr/fileadmin/mediatheque/integration_MO/PDF/Paintersenglish.pdf
The following is a brief overview of therequirements that the painters needed tomeet for the Academy:•“Respect the „hierarchy of genres” (which wasHistory Painting with religious, mythological orhistorical subjects, then came scenes ofeveryday life, portraits, then landscapes and theleast was still-lifes. The most important wouldbe displayed in large formats and the leastimportant would be in the small format style.•“Support the prevalence of drawing overcolour”•“Prefer the workshop to the open air”•“Make „finished‟ pieces”•“Imitate the elders, imitate nature”3 3IBIDhttp://www.musee- orsay.fr/fileadmin/mediatheque/integration_MO/PDF/Paintersenglish.pdf
When Louis Leroy saw Claude Monet‟s painting, “Impression, Sunrise”, he remarked : „What is this canvas trying to say?‟ „Impression, Sunrise‟, „Impression—I was certain of it. I kept telling myself that since I was impressed there had to be some impression in it. What freedom, what ease of workmanship. Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than that painting.‟44Courthion, Pierre, The Impressionists, pp. 3-4.
“Another critic of the period instructed those who wouldpaint in the new school: „Mix three quarts of black andwhite on canvas, rub yellow all over, add a few touchesof red and blue at random, and there you have it. AnImpression of springtime‟ ”.55Pierre Courthion, The Impressionists, p.4.
In “The Impressionists”, by Courthion Pierre, it describes the progression of artists‟ contributions that eventually resulted in the arrival of the Impressionists. Claude Lorrain (in the late 17th century), was the first to paint light at different hours of the day. He also studied the effects of light on water. Delacroix used color “filled with the fever of desire”. Turner used „torrents of light and color‟. Manet used sunlight and clarity to “reflect [his] own life and time.” 66Pierre Courthion, The Impressionists, p. 4.
The Impressionists were brandedsocialists, anarchists and dangerousrevolutionaries. They were deeplymisunderstood. With difficulty, RogerMarx managed to include them in theUniversal Exposition (World‟s Fair) of1900. When President Loubet arrived atthe hall he was greeted by Gerome, whobarred his entrance, exclaiming, „Don‟t goin, Mr. President, for there stands thedishonor of France.‟ To this mediocrepainter, “Manet was a scribbler, Monet afraud [and] Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley,…wereactual criminals who were corruptinginfluences on a generation of youngartists.”77Courthion, Pierre, The Impressionists, p. 6.
“But the tide was turning. At the same time AndrePerate gave Impressionism excellent reviews: „Tofragment rays of light, to seize the very palpitations ofthe air, to follow its flow around the object and toenvelope it in color; here is the enterprise ofImpressionism.‟ ”8 7Courthion, Pierre, The Impressionists, p. 6.
Claude Monet 1840 – 1926 Monet, Water Lilies, 1916-1919 Oil on Canvas, Musée Marmottan
Auguste RenoirDance at the Moulin de la Galette 1876, oil on canvas Musée dOrsay Auguste Renoir 1841 – 1919 Self Portrait
Edgar Degas Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917Self Portrait (Silver Print) The Rehearsal Onstage,1874? 1895 Pastel over brush-and-ink drawing
Berthe Morisot 1841 – 1895 Morisot, Berthe, 1841-1895 In the Dining Room,1886, oil on canvas National Gallery of Art
Edouard Manet, Olympia, 1863-1865, oil on canvas, 130.5 x 190 cm Musée dOrsay
American Art during 1860 to 1900 During these years, Europe had a greatinfluence on American Art. The majorAmerican Artists traveled to Europeand absorbed the knowledge they couldattain there. Paris became the mostimportant art center. With the influenceof European Art in America, otherpositive events occurred. Museums andart schools opened in American,including, the Metropolitan Museum ofArt in New York City (1870), theMassachusetts School of Art in Boston(1873), The Rhode Island School ofDesign in Providence (1877). Thirty-nine art schools were in operation in1882. Other specialized groups alsoimmerged such as the American Societyof Painter in Water Color (1866) andthe Society of American Etchers in1880.88Matthew Baigell, A Concise History of American Painting and Sculpture, pp. 122-123
The American Painters colors in their paintings became lighter and more colorful during 1870s. Americans, for the most part were wary of Impressionism when it first began. Impressionism in America was different than in Europe, as it was a “decorative mode rather than a technique to explore color relationships” 99Ibid. p. 124.
Another movement also arrived in America called the AmericanRenaisance. In Wayne Craven‟s book, American Art, History andCulture, he talks about the American Renaissance in art andArchitecture as being “…a spirit that was…more associated withEuropean culture, particularly that of the Renaissance andBaroque periods. American millionaires saw themselves as themodernday counterparts of European aristocracy, and wished tolive in homes that resembled sixteenth-century palaces of Italianprinces or seventeenth-century chateaux of French nobility.”10 10Wayne Craven, American Art, History and Culture, Boston.
Some of the American artists at this time either lived abroad for a number of years or were influenced by their visits there. Mary Cassatt, born in Pittsburgh, was taken to Europe while still a child. When going back to Pennsylvania, she studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy and in 1866 she returned to Paris and made it her home. She was considered the only American Artist in Europe to become a member of the European „Impressionists‟.1111Wayne Craven, American Art, History and Culture, Boston, p.347.
George Inness started his style of painting in the Hudson River School (a school in New York). After a trip to France in 1853, he was influenced by the Barbizon painters and began using the loose brushwork and softness in this style.1212Wayne Craven, American Art, History and Culture, Boston, p.332.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler was born an American but taken to Russia by his family where his father worked as a railroad engineer. He later settled in Paris and was influenced by Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet.1313Ibid. P.342.
Winslow Homer went to France and learned about the works of Courbet and Manet also. Their work was based on observation of nature with light on them. Homer became interested in painting subjects of women engaged in casual social activities, with effects of light upon the color and form. One of his favorite subjects was painting boys life styles of working, playing and leisure. 1414Ibid. p. 335.
Tomas Eakins art changed afterstudying in Europe also. He traveled toSpain and was influenced by the 16thand 17th century Baroque paintersDiego de Velazaquez and Jusepe deRivera. In Paris he was tutored by LeonBonnat . By the time Eakins returned toAmerica, he had brought with him hisnew themes in his paintings of outdooractivities such as rowing and sailing.1513Ibid. P. 339.
John Singer Sargent was born in Florence Italy. 1616Ibid. P. 345.
Some of the American Painters were interested in Japanese art. These painters began using the bright, arbitrary Japanese print colors, patterns and contours with simplified detail and loss of depth. Homer, La Farge, Whistler and Mary Cassatt were among these painters.17 Mary Cassatt had a collection of Japanese prints by Hokusai, Hiroshige, and Utamaro.1817Matthew Baigell, A Concise History of American Painting and Sculpture, p. 126,18Wayne Craven, American Art, History and Culture, Boston, p.347
American Artists such as Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran provided vital information about the western landscapes for the Eastern seaboard and which later contributed to the conservation movement and the creation of the National Park System.1919Ibid.p.126.
Two types of still lifepaintings becamepopular. One was theflower paintings andthe other objects. In the object category, was a type of „ultra-realistic‟ object painting called, trompe l‟oeil. William Michael Harnett was one of the most noted American to paint in the trompe l‟ oeil style.20 20ibid. p. 177.
Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, Exhibition gallery of the Louvre, 1833, Syracuse University. Art Collections.•Albert Bierstadt, American, Solingen 1830-1902 NewYork City, Sunrise on the Matterhorn, Paint, after 1875,Oil on canvas, 58 1/2 x 42 5/8 in. (148.6 x 108.3 cm),TheMetropolitan Museum of Art.•Mary Stevenson Cassatt, 1844-1926,The Bath, Prints, 1890-1899, Drypoint, softground etching and aquatintin color, 32.1 x 24.8 cm (12 5/8 x 9 3/4 in.), Museum of Fine Arts,Boston•Mary Cassatt, North American; American, 1845 - 1926, (artist),The Lamp, Prints, 1890-1891, drypoint, etching and aquatint, ARTstorCollection, The Cleveland Museum of Art CollectionCassatt, Mary, 1844-1926, Portrait of Cassatt (by Degas),c.1880-84, ARTstor Slide GalleryMary Cassatt (1844-1926), Mother Holding Her Child in Her Arms,Painting, c. 1890, oil on canvas, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts,Moscow, RussiaMary Cassatt, The Child‟s Bath, painting, 1893, oil on canvas, ArtInstitute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.Paul Cézanne, Castle and Village of Medan, painting, c. 1885,Art Focus (Zurich, Switzerland)Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire, painting, c. 1897,Baltimore Museum of Art
Gustave Caillebotte, A Paris Street, Rain, c. 1877, Art Institute ofChicago.Edgar Degas, Two Dancers Resting (Two Dancers in Blue, 1898,Musée d‟Orsay.Edgar Degas, Dancers On Stage, Pastel and gouache on paper, 1879,Fundacion Coleccion Thyssen-Bornemisza .Edgar Degas, The Rehersal On Stage, 1874?, The MetropolitanMuseum of Art.Eugene Delacroix, Tiger Hunt, 1854, Musée Orsay.Thomas Eakins, Starting Out After Rail, 1874 Museum of Fine Arts,Boston.Thomas Eakins, The Champion Single Sculls, 1871, The MetropolitanMuseum of Art .Susan MacDowell Eakins, Portrait of Thomas Eakins, 1920-25,Philadelphia Museum of Art.Thomas Gainsborough, Mrs. Charles Tudway, 1760-1765, BaltimoreMuseum of ArtWilliam Michael Harnett, Still Life-Violin and Music, 1888, TheMetropolitan Museum of Art.George Inness, The Mill Stream, about 1888, The Montclair ArtMuseumGeorge Inness, Delaware Water Gap, 1861, The Metropolitan Museumof Art.George Inness, Orange Road, Tarpon Springs, about 1893, TheIndianapolis Museum of Art.
Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series ofThirty-six Views of Mount Fuji), Edo period (1615-18Edo period (1615-1868), ca. 1830-3268), ca. 1830-32, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Toyohara Kunichika, Japanese, Album of Thirty-Two Triptychs ofPolychrome Woodblock Prints by Various Artists; Ichikawa Sadanji inKeian Taiheiki, Meiji period (1868-1912), ca. 1883-86. TheMetropolitan Museum of Art.Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Japanese, Princess Yaegaki, 19th century, TheMetropolitan Museum of Art.Claude Lorrain, Seaport at Sunset, c. 1639, Musée du Louvre.Éduard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, c. 1881-1882, CourtauldInstitute of Art, London, England, United KingdomÉduard Manet, Olympia, c. 1863-1865, Musée dOrsay.Moran, Thomas, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone river, c. 1893-1901,National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.).Berthe Morisot, Self Portrai, 1885, ARTstor Slide Gallery. Berthe Morisot, In the Dining Room, 1886, National Gallery of Art (U.S.) . Claude Monet, 1840 -1926, Poplars on the Bank of the Epte River, painting, c. 1891, Oil on canvas, 39 ½ x 25 11/16 inches Philadelphia Museum of Art. Claude Monet, 1840 -1926, Waterlilies, painting, c. 1906, 28 x 36, Ohara Bijutsukan. Claude Monet, 1840 -1926, Waterlilies, painting, c. 1906, 28 x 36, Ohara Bijutsukan.
Claude Monet, 1840 -1926, Waterlilies, painting, c. 1906, 28 x 36,Ohara Bijutsukan.Claude Monet, 1840 -1926, Waterlilies, painting, c. 1907, Art Stor SlideGalleryClaude Monet, 1840 -1926, Impression, Sunrise, c. 1872, 48 x 63 cm,Musée Marmottan, Paris.Claude Monet, 1840 -1926, Waterlilies at Giverny, painting, c. 1918,194 x 100 cm, Private Collection, Switzerland.Claude Monet, 1840 -1926, Nympheas (Waterlilies), painting, c. 1903,73 x 92, Musée MarmottanClaude Monet, 1840 -1926, Waterlilies, painting, c. 1916-1919, 150 x200, Musée Marmottan.Auguste Renoir, Dance at the Moulin de la Galette, c. 1876, MuséedOrsay.Auguste Renoir, Two Sisters (On the Terrace), c. 1881, Art Institute ofChicago.Auguste Renoir, Self-Portrait,1897, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.Sargent, John Singer, Resting, ca. 1875., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.Sargent, John Singer, Self Portrait, ca. 1886., The Detroit Institute of Arts.Sargent, John Singer, Acheson Sisters, ca. 1902., ARTstor Slide Gallery.
Sargent, John Singer, The Wyndham Sisters: Lady Elcho, Mrs. Adeane,and Mrs. Tennant, 1899., The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Joseph Mallord William Turner, European; British, 1775 - 1851, (artist),The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834,ca. 1835, The Cleveland Museum of Art.Whistler, James McNeill, Self-Portrait, c.1900,ARTstor Slide GalleryWhistler, James McNeill, Nocturne in Black and Gold, the Falling Rocket, c. 1875,Detroit Institute of Arts.Whistler, James McNeill, Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1 (Whistlers Mother), c. 1871,Musée dOrsay.Homer, Winslow, Photograph by Sarony New York, c.1880, ARTstor Slide Gallery.Homer, Winslow, The Herring Net, 1885, Art Institute of Chicago.Exposition, 35 Boulevard des Capucines, Catalog, http://cdn2.all-art.org/impressioniswm_chronicle/86a.jpg
BibliographyBaigell, Matthew, A Concise History of American Painting and Sculpture, Revised Edition, Icon Editionsan imprint of Harper and Row Publishers, c.1984.Courthion, Pierre, The Impressionists.Wayne Craven, American Art, History and Culture, Boston, c.2003.Painters, the Salon, and Critics, 1848-1870http://www.musee-orsay.fr/fileadmin/mediatheque/integration_MO/PDF/Paintersenglish.pdf