July 13th, we as an online magazine reach another milestone. Four whole years of bringing you articles on hundreds of topics relating to art history! To celebrate this birthday, members of our team contributed their thoughts on a particular art movement: Impressionism and the Impressionist artists.
The Paris-originated art movement began towards the end of the 19th century. Though it started in France, it was far-reaching in its influence on artists from all corners of the globe. The Impressionist artists preferred to paint outdoors and focused on aspects of everyday life and how the effects of sunlight rendered a subject; they were known to paint portraits, landscapes, and seascapes.
While the Impressionists held exhibits from 1874-onward, their art was not immediately loved by audiences; they were deemed radical because they did not follow academic painting. The distaste for the painting style was odd considering the esteem we hold for both the art and artists of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism in today’s art museums.
Our Impressions of the Impressionists
The Boulevard Montmartre at Night, Camille Pissarro
Bec Brownstone | Editor
Bec is an art nerd, bicycle enthusiast, cat mom, artist/crafter/maker from sunny Toronto, Canada.
I love the cool, dark blues and how they contrast with the bold yellows and oranges of the lights. Also Pissarro made many paintings of this scene at different times of day, year, and under different weather conditions. It’s interesting how each iteration has a completely unique color palette and atmosphere even though the subject matter is the same.
View of l’Hermitage through Trees, Pontoise, Camille Pissarro
Marina Kochetkova | Writer
One of my favorite paintings is View of l’Hermitage through Trees, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro. It is a view on Pontoise, a small and hilly village northwest of Paris. High-keyed color and short brushstrokes highlight fleeting qualities of light, the trees screen the view of a rural path and village behind. This village could be anywhere. That’s the beauty of this painting. Moreover, for me, it represents an ultimate retreat or a start of a journey. It’s like DailyArt, it helps to reveal hidden things and see them in a new light.
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Édouard Manet
Pema Domingo-Barker | Editor
Pema has studied studio art and art management and has been working in the arts as an educator and communicator since 2011. She constantly travels the world to visit museums
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère by Édouard Manet became my favorite impressionist painting after poring over it in my art history classes in college. I remember we examined this painting particularly in terms of depth and perspective, even though it isn’t perfect. Our professor also gave a little bit of a fun reveal to the class when we all discovered it was a mirror in the background of the painting rather than a straight-on depiction of the scene itself.
Revisiting it again today, the overall mix of liveliness in the background of the bar scene and the gloominess in the barmaid’s face still appeals to me. Plus there are more elements to discover as you continue to gaze at the piece, including the boring patron the barmaid seems to be chatting with as well as the green shoes in the top left corner.
The Dance Class (La Classe de Danse), Edgar Degas
Marta Wiktoria Bryll | Social Media Manager
Marta is the person behind DailyArt Magazine’s social media, which means that she can happily devote some time in her workweek to browsing art history memes. You gotta stay on top! In her personal time, she’s probably sunbathing with her two guinea pigs on her tiny balcony in Tel Aviv.
One of my jobs in DailyArt Magazine is cross-checking articles before they get published… and that’s how I know I was the last one to add their text. I blame Degas. When I heard about this project, I immediately knew I’m gonna choose his ballet paintings. But… one?!
I’m in love with the whole series, mainly because I’m in love with ballet too. When I look at Degas’s pieces, I can hear the classical music, I can hear the sound of pointe shoes on the wooden floor. I can easily guess what are the dancers feeling, just by looking at their poses. For a short while I’m there – inside a magical impression. Why did I choose this one as a representative? It’s a nice memory – when I took art history in high school, this painting was on the cover of my huge notebook. The ballet teacher always reminded me of one of my teachers, a huge lover of jazz and dadaism.
Regattas at Argenteuil, Claude Monet
Soledad Castillo Jara | Writer
Political scientist with a strong passion for Art History. Great admirer of Vermeer and Velázquez. Researcher and amateur painter of still lives.
One feels immersed in the scene, enjoying natural light and a promenade by the river. That particular feeling takes me back to the time when I traveled from Paris to Normandy to visit Monet’s house and tomb. That journey was a sort of pilgrimage that I made in an attempt to experience what Monet could have felt by living and working in such awe-inspiring surroundings. I felt startled by the beauty of the French countryside. And it was in front of a pair of sailboats like the ones in this painting that I understood -and even shared- the desire to capture and transmit the impression of so unique an instant.
Haystacks/Meules, Claude Monet
Zuzanna Stanska | Founder/CEO/Writer
Art Historian, founder and CEO of DailyArtMagazine.com and DailyArt mobile app. But to be honest, her greatest accomplishment is being the owner of Pimpek the Cat.
My friends and coworkers know that recently I’ve become obsessed with Monet’s Haystacks. It started when I saw one painting of the series at Monet’s exhibition in the Albertina Museum in Vienna. It swept me out of my feet. I’ve never seen this particular Haystacks live, but the light, its atmosphere of the end of the summer, the thick brush strokes leave me breathless. It is one of Monet’s paintings that when you look at it, you may not recognize what it presents, it is so abstract. I could look at it endlessly. It is absolutely understood why in 2019 it was sold for $110.7 million and broke the record for the most expensive Impressionist artwork ever sold at auction.
Child in a Red Apron, Berthe Morisot
Candy Bedworth | Writer
Candy lives in a remote part of Wales with her partner, two kids and two cats. Writing for DailyArt Magazine is an absolute treat!
It’s so difficult to pick just one Morisot, The Cradle is perhaps her most well-known painting, but I think this may be my favorite. Child in a Red Apron is of Julie, Berthe’s daughter, looking out onto a snowy landscape. At first glance, it is little more than a sketch, hastily composed, with blurred and abbreviated strokes. But in fact all the detail we need is right here.
Woman with a Parasol in a Garden, Auguste Renoir
Yasmin Ozkan | Writer
Yasmin is an English and American and Creative Writing graduate with an interest in art history. Working within the industry, she enjoys visiting exhibitions and writing about her favorites.
Renoir’s Woman with a Parasol in a Garden embodies so many of the things we love about Impressionism; the transient lighting, beautiful natural scenes, vibrant colors, and spontaneous brush strokes. The piece really comes to life when you encounter it, as if you stood witnessing this fleeting moment between the two mysterious figures enshrouded by the garden. Personally, I love the bursts of color that make the flowers. The lilacs and reds remind me of an enchanted fairy garden that’s inviting you to get lost in it.
Path Leading Through Tall Grass, Auguste Renoir
Kate Wojtczak | Editor-in-Chief
Kate is the DailyArt Magazine Editor-in-Chief since 2018. Last year she finished her PhD in art history. She has worked as an editor, writer, stylist and academic teacher. She’s an adamant traveller and loves to visit museums and galleries.
It wasn’t an easy choice! On one hand, there are so many beautiful Impressionist paintings, on the other as an editor of DailyArt Magazine I have already seen so many of them so many times… Then I remembered this one. I saw it at the Wanderlust exhibition in 2018, in Berlin. I am a traveller and I have a soft spot for landscapes. This painting resembles warm and lazy summer days. Contemplating it feels like holidays. It’s a Renoir and evidence that this lately discredited by some artist actually could paint!
The Boating Party, Mary Cassatt
Rachel Witte | Writer
Rachel has been writing for DailyArt since 2018. She buys too many note-books; and spends a good amount of time at coffee shops while raising her two girls.
My earliest memories in art class are learning of the Impressionist artists and overall Impressionism movement. I have always loved the paintings of Mary Cassatt, among others. They are calming and beautiful; and now that I am a mother, her paintings of women and children hold far more meaning for me. This particular painting is a personal favorite because of the colors Cassatt used, the yellows and blues, and the way the male figure is almost projecting off the canvas.
Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, Mary Cassatt
Anastasia Manioudaki | Writer
Anastasia enjoys writing about the past in order to understand the future. She is a published author, art journalist and exhibition curator. She reads way too many books, evident in naming her dog, Alba and her cat, Mr. Darcy.
The Impressionists understood that life is a series of moments. Mary Cassatt’s Little Girl in a Blue Armchair encapsulates the spirit of impressionism in an instant in the life of a child. I love this painting for its vivid brushwork but mostly due to its realistic representation of childhood. Formerly, children were usually portrayed like mini adults. On the contrary, Cassatt’s little girl, all dressed up in her Sunday best, is sprawled in the armchair in a moment of boredom or exhaustion. She and her little dog are enjoying a moment of repast away from the grownups and their rules. We can almost imagine her mother exclaiming: “Don’t sit like that, you’ll ruin your dress!”
Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte
Matthew Vazquez | Editor
Matthew is an educator by day and student by night. His days are busy but he enjoys reading, singing, and viewing artwork in his free time.
The light in this piece is suggested to reflect a winter afternoon in the Paris streets. The season complements the piece’s representation of a quiet day filled with people going about their regular day. At first look, the couple placed center-right takes the viewer’s primary attention. The beautiful detail of these figures dressed in modern Paris fashion, such as the woman’s delicate veil and stylish fur-lined coat, gives even viewers today a glimpse into the upper-class milieu of the 19th century. Arguably the most captivating aspect of this piece, however, is the isolated beauty of each person painted in the background. Meant to capture modern Paris, Caillebotte created a scene of great movement, but devoid of much social interaction. As an introvert myself, this picturesque scene of people meandering through the streets in determined near-solitude is both appealing and deeply comforting
Almond Blossom, Vincent van Gogh
Elizaveta Ermakova | Writer
A Russian historian herself, Elizaveta has a soft spot for Art. Trying to get as many people as possible to become art lovers in every city she goes to !
I am sure that many paintings of the Impressionists give you the feeling of calmness. You feel like the world is stopping and you just stand there and watch its great beauty, smell the flowers or the seaside. This painting makes me forget that I am now sitting in noisy Moscow with the smell of my morning coffee and piles of work routine. Instead I can feel the light warm wind of southern France when I look at Almond blossom.
This painting is a symbol and carries a deep subtext. Almond branches bloom very early, portend spring, and mark the beginning of a new life. The turquoise sky looks bright and carefree, not a single cloud overshadows this beautiful spring day. In the letter to his brother, Van Gogh said that this is his first work which he is rightly proud of.
Celia Thaxter’s Garden, Childe Hassaam
Alexandra Kiely | Writer
Alexandra Kiely believes that enjoying the art of the past is the closest she can get to time travel, only much safer. She has been writing for DailyArt Magazine since 2017. When she’s not being an art historian, she can usually be found ice skating and dancing.
Hassam spent summers staying at Thaxter’s Appledore Island cottage in the 1890s, when her home, her garden, and the Isles of Shoals featured in many of his paintings. I especially love this one for the contrast the cheerful red poppies and bright blue ocean. It always hits me like a refreshing summertime breeze when I encounter it in the Met.
Young Woman on the Beach, Walberswick, Philip Wilson Steer
Sarah Mills | Writer
Sarah studied Music and History of Art and has been writing for Daily Art since 2016. She works as a graphic artist/illustrator, and has a Gothic heart (likes black, skulls, horror movies and names cats after Dracula characters). Being undeniably visual, she feels directly connected by art and music to the people of the past and therefore their experiences and feelings.
I think that this is my favorite Impressionist piece because it perfectly represents a quiet day out by the sea. Steer has used a beautiful silvery finish in order to capture the sunlight as it hits the water and bounces up through parts of the woman’s dress. I love that she is holding her hat on to secure it against the breeze that is blowing her hair forwards. She sits in a relaxed way, her legs casually crossed and her other hand resting on her knee. Maybe she has closed eyes for a moment to take in the fresh sea air and listen to the sound of the gentle waves. It’s so beautiful and evocative, perfectly crystallizing all the things I love about the seaside into one painting.
Monument to Balzac, Auguste Rodin
Ledys Chemin| Writer
Ledys has been writing for DailyArt since May, and she has loved every minute of it 🙂 She also enjoys writing picture books, reading, learning languages, traveling with her family, and sharing her love of history and art with her three kids
Impressionism is the art term I remember most from Elementary School. I loved the way Impressionists could reach beyond the reality of what was in front of them as they sought for the “essence” of the world; the way the bright color palettes and loose brush strokes made me feel.
As I grew and learned more, I was thrilled to discover that Impressionism was more than a technique, or the art of color, or even a style. Impressionist artists differed widely in their techniques and their approach to their subjects, so there had to be another unifying factor and, when I found it, the whole movement took even more significance for me. I learned that what Impressionism strove to capture was light, movement, spontaneity, and impermanence. With this in mind, a whole new world of art and feeling opened up to me.
In a very Impressionist-inspired stroke of genius, Rodin decided to give us Balzac in the act of creation itself, while wearing the robe that he was said to have always worn when he was writing. There! Rodin’s sculpture may not have looked like all the other sculptures that people were used to seeing. Maybe it was not even beautiful, in the way that people traditionally define beauty. But, nobody could say that it did not capture Balzac. And that is why I like it the most.
Camels, Amrita Sher-Gil
Urvi Chheda | Writer
Urvi has been associated with Daily art since 2019. She runs, treks, climbs and is sincerely counting on learning new things. She recently got introduced to improv comedy and ancient Indian martial art form called Kalaripayattu. But art is her foremost passion.
Amrita Shergill has been one of my favourite woman artists. Not only do I dig her works but also her undaunting personality. It was her sheer courage to arrive in India and study and get inspiration from the indigenous culture.
Be sure to visit us the last week of July when we focus on many more Impressionist artists and art works!