art history meme | 3/5 movements: Impressionism
Claude Monet’s Impression, Sunrise exhibited in 1874, gave the Impressionist movement its name when the critic Louis Leroy accused it of being a sketch or “impression,” not a finished painting. It demonstrates the techniques many of the independent artists adopted: short, broken brushstrokes that barely convey forms, pure unblended colors, and an emphasis on the effects of light. Rather than neutral white, grays, and blacks, Impressionists often rendered shadows and highlights in color. The artists’ loose brushwork gives an effect of spontaneity and effortlessness that masks their often carefully constructed compositions, such as in Alfred Sisley’s 1878 Allée of Chestnut Trees. This seemingly casual style became widely accepted, even in the official Salon, as the new language with which to depict modern life.