The Beauty of Impressionism

Impressionism was the time referred during the 19th century. Its characteristics can be defined as using “relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter [ . . ]” (Wikipedia). When viewing visual arts from this era, I found them to be very elegant and beautiful, which was probably due to the new use of delicate brush strokes in the paintings. I also enjoyed the use of color in the works. Bright colors were also a new characteristic in the impressionistic style that was not necessarily a huge part of art in other time periods; this was because of the new availability of certain colorful pigments. An example of a darker period of art could be the Gothic period. It was definitely not obvious that the paintings were indeed actually paintings because the lines and colors mixed so well together, no brush strokes were visible. It also seems as if there was a specific color scheme for the Gothic era, which included darker colors and reds.


Claude Monet, San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk, 1908-1912

I thought this piece to be a prime example of impressionism art. The colors are bright, yet hardly mixing – a characteristic of visual art during this era. Other characteristics displayed in this painting are the utilization of small brush strokes and light. Monet often had bright paintings because he “refused to use browns or earthtone paints. He used white, yellow, vermillion, blue, and green” (Totally History).

Other examples of Monet’s work during the impressionist period:

claude-monet-paintings-claude-monet-26520059-537-476claude-monet-sunflowersClaude_Monet_ 0005

 Irises in the Artists Garden at Giverny          Bouquet of Sunflowers              The Iris Garden at Giverny


Pierre Auguste Renoir, Landscape with Snow, 1875

Though Renoir did not use as vivid of colors as Monet did, his paintings still exemplified the use of visual art impressionism characteristics. Using the new, tiny brush stroke method to paint landscapes was a popular idea during this time, as demonstrated by both Monet and Renoir. This piece also plays with the use of lighting, coming from only one corner and shedding light upon the rest of the scene. It’s different from Monet’s style, but just as equally as beautiful in its own way.

A couple more examples from Renoir include:


             Children at the Beach, 1883                        By the Water, 1880

Personally, I loved the visual arts during this time period. The delicacy of the brush strokes, along with the use of vibrant colors, created a certain joy and warmth when viewing the pieces. Paintings of landscapes are one of my favorites and it seemed as if that was a popular thing to paint during impressionism, which is another reason why I found the time so fascinating and beautiful.

“Impressionism.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Oct. 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. <;.

“San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk by Monet – Facts about the Painting.”Totally History San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. <;.


3 thoughts on “The Beauty of Impressionism

  1. Impressionism for me wasn’t my favorite but I really like Monet and the choices you picked by him as well. The quote you put in sums up why I like Monet among the other impressionist artist is simply because he refused to use browns or earth tones and used very vibrant colors. Also I agree with you my favorite scenes that impressionist artist captured was the visual landscapes (some of them).


  2. I thought your description of the impressionism and your examples were good. You expressed your like for the impressionist paintings though I would have liked more information on your thoughts on the Gothic style. I liked the By the Water painting and thought the water in the background, the greenery, and the lighting conveyed the feeling of a nice, warm day. I feel like you could have expanded more on the Gothic art and how it compared to the impressionist style, as well as included a Gothic painting.


  3. Impressionist art can be somewhat like a strongly held opinion; if it is one you find worthwhile you wonder how someone else could feel differently and not love it as you do. Also, like opinions, what you value matters. I could easily see someone who absolutely loves Caravaggio having a hard time appreciating some of Monet’s work, and may simply see it as sloppy. My enjoyment of Impressionism is just as divisive even within the genre.


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