French Impressionism

Impressionism was the most important art movement of the 19th century, and its impact extended throughout the world until well into the 20th century. The Impressionist artists thought to capture the visual impression of a scene and the light effect.

Key dates 1865 to 1885.

History: In the early 1860s, four young painters—Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille discovered that they shared an interest in painting landscape and contemporary life rather than historical or mythological scenes. By painting in sunlight directly from nature, and making bold use of the vivid synthetic pigments, they began to develop a lighter and brighter manner of painting that further extended Realism of the Barbizon school. They were soon joined by Edouard Monet, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Armand Guillaumin, Edgas Degas, Berthe Morriset and Mary Cassat.

Impressionism is a precursor of various painting styles, including, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism and helped to bring in the era of Modern Art.

Other noted Impressionists include:
Maximilian Luce, Pierre Eugene Montezin, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond, Pierre Bonnard, Emile Bernard, Henry Manguin, Edouard Vuillard, Louis Valtant, Rene Suyssand, Marcel Dyf, Eugene Bodin, Paul Signac and others.

Main Fauvists:
Othon Friesz, Raoul Dufy, Maurice Vlaminck and Jean Dufy (Raoul’s younger brother).

Best known post Impressionists: Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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Barbizon School

The Barbizon school was active roughly from 1830 through 1870. It took its name from the village of Barbizon, France, near the Forest of Fontainebleau, where many of the artists gathered to paint en pleine air.

The main artists of the movement were:

Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet, Charles-François Daubigny; other members included Jules Dupré, Constant Troyon, Narcisse Virgilio Díaz, Henri Harpignies, Félix Ziem, François-Louis Français, Hippolyte Camille Delpy and others such as Paul Desire Troubillebert, Simon Alexandre Toudouze, Eugène Galien Laloue. One of the more famous artists associated with the movement was Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.

Several of the younger Impressionist painters visited Fontainebleau Forest to paint the landscape and study with the Barbizon painters including: Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille.

Most of the art pieces by the Barbizon artists are in collections of major museums around the world.

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19th and Early 20th Century American & European Paintings

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