First seen in the mid-19th century, impressionist art captured the immediate impression of scenery or moment, communicated by the artist using light, reflection and separated colours.
The capturing of light was done using short brushstrokes done quickly and freely, making the painting appear rough and messy to some.
Impressionist art was looked at with disdain by art critics, as it was commonly accepted that any serious artist would minimize brush strokes and create a glossy, refined painting, not something with visible dots, blobs and smears.
During the first Impressionist art exhibition in 1874, the conservative painters and critics saw this kind of art as unfinished and unprofessional, turning the word ‘impressionist’ into a derogatory term.
In 1874, the group of artists who drew in the rough and messy ‘impressionist’ style clubbed together in France and pooled their resources, promoting their art in their very own exhibition.
French critics, who were used to the official, acceptable exhibitions, were further perplexed at the audacity and how the limits of art were pushed beyond recognition.
Impressionist art was a shift from mythology, historical events and other kinds of 'epic' paintings towards street life in Paris, contemporary life, rural leisure life, and other new places that were never explored by painters before.
The mixing of colours captured the shifting of light, with innovative use of saturation, mixing, and broken colours, giving a vivid intensity to the same.
Most of the impressionist artists lived in Paris, France during the late 19th century and were friends, often meeting at Café Guerbois.
These groundbreaking artists like Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-August Renoir, Camille Pissarro and many others, left an indelible mark on art.
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