Impressionism (influences from/to)

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French Realists played an important part in initiating the redefinition of art, painted with stark realism and honesty and hailed as free from the constrictions of academic history and religious painting. Realists turned away from literary subjects to the natural world. It was however the Impressionists who challenged ideas of those artists more bourgeois. Influenced by the Realist style in terms of subject matter; impressionists were overly concerned, not in capturing the scene realistically, but interested more in nature and the fleeting natural effects of light. With the invention of paint tubes, painting straight from life, to best capture this, was made possible, rather than sketching outside to then produce a finished composition in the studio as was standard practice in the past. Boudin was one of the first artists to advocate painting in the open air, an idea that he introduced to Claud Monet. This was one of the earliest influences on Impressionism.

The nucleus of the Impressionist group was formed in the early 1860s by Monet, Renoir and Sisley, who met as students and enjoyed painting in the open air - one of the hallmarks of impressionism. 'Impressionist': coined on the first of eight group exhibitions was used, first abusively however to describe Claude Monet's painting 'Impression: Sunrise' (1872).

Their styles were diverse, but all experimented with effects of light and movement created with distinct brushstrokes and fragments of colour juxtaposed on the canvas rather than mixed on the pallet.

Prevalent, especially in Monet's work, disinterested with painting the realities of modern life; his interests lay in the play of light. Monet's few paintings of interiors and his images of city life are merely an excuse to study light in a different environment. His Paintings are shimmering with mingling colours and reflections, achieved by covering the...