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:
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. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism>.
“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. <http://totallyhistory.com/san-giorgio-maggiore-at-dusk/>.