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Impressionist Art Prints and Posters
- American Impressionist
- French Impressionist
- Naive/Primitive (post-impressionist)
- Symbolist (post-impressionist)
Relaxing the boundary between subject and background, an Impressionist painting often resembles a snapshot, as if accidentally captured. Explore works from the period and create a soothing atmosphere in your home.
Impressionism was a revolutionary 19th-century art movement originally developed in France in the early 1860s. Breaking all former rules of academic painting, the Impressionists rejected previous portrayals of historical or religious-themed subjects in favour of a new way of painting landscapes and scenes of everyday life. Claude Monet's Impression, Sunrise painting was singled out in giving rise to the name of the movement in 1874.
By painting "en plein air", or outside in the open air, the Impressionist found they could capture momentary and transient effects of sunlight. Based on this practice of working on finished canvases outdoors as opposed to simply making preliminary sketches, the artists became more aware of light and its changing qualities.
Other characteristics of the Impressionist movement include thin rapid brush strokes broken in separate dabs and open compositions with emphasis on ordinary subject matter, particularly movement. Colours were not smoothly blended or shaded resulting in an effect of intense colour vibrations.
The Impressionist movement was introduced to Britain in 1863 by American artist James McNeil Whistler when he settled in London. His peers that took immediately to the movement include John Singer Sargent and Philip Wilson Steer. In the second half of the 19th century, a group of Italian painters in Tuscany identified as The Macchiaiolis were also active in employing similar impressionistic techniques within their work. Leaders of this Italian movement include Giovanni Fattori and Silvestro Lega.Photography which was rapidly gaining popularity in that time became another source of inspiration for the Impressionism movement.