Impressionism; Post-Impressionism Essay

674 Words Aug 30th, 2012 3 Pages
Impressionism
Impressionism as an historical art period is best described as a shift in thinking and focus. This paradigm shift, away from realism and toward individualism, began a centuries long transformation of self-expression in art as a whole. Impressionism is generally considered a French movement and is typically defined as spanning from approximately 1867 to 1886. Impressionism is best embodied by and was perhaps initiated by Claud Monet in such world-renowned works as Impressions: soleil levant which lent its name to the style and subsequently the art period as a whole.
Impressionism in its simplest form is characterized as an artist’s impression of an actual scene, using smaller than average painting strokes to help
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And, much like impressionism had done in its early years, expounded upon what was considered standard or acceptable subject matter.
Post-Impressionism is generally considered as having begun at sometime around 1880 and continuing even until now (as technically all forms/movements of art do). Perhaps the most easily recognizable post-impressionist art piece would be Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, crafted by the eccentric artist in 1889.
What Monet was to Impressionism Van Gogh became to post-impressionism; stand-outs amongst many artists who longed to break free of the traditionalist view of art as a primarily linear form.

Irrevocably Connected
Beyond the simple fact that one (post-impressionism) cannot have existed without the other (impressionism) the revolutionary technique shared by both movements; small, generally circular or curved strokes, brilliant colors, use of light, and subject matter that reached beyond the traditional scope ties them together in a unique and easily identifiable manner. One cannot view Monet’s Impressions: soleil levant and Van Gogh’s Starry Night without instantly seeing the undeniable similarities; both artists’ use of light and deliberate brush strokes leave the viewer with little doubt about the artistic movements from which they came. The differences in the movements actually stem from a more sociological standpoint; whereas impressionists were a tight knit fraternity bound together by their…