1.5.1.2 Impressionism I (1860-1873)

Forward to 1.5.1.2 Impressionism II (1874-1897) – Forward to 1.5.1.3 Post Impressionism I (1880-1892)
Back to 1.5.1.1 Aesthetic Movement (1860-1895) – Back to 1.5 Modern Art Index (1860-1930)

QUICK VIEWS:
Gates of Hell, Rodin
Dejeuner sur L’Herbe, Manet
Olympia, Manet
Dead Toreador, Manet
Sleepers, Courbet
Women in the Garden, Monet
Family Reunion, Bazille
Young Boy with a Cat, Renoir
The Balcony, Manet
Grenouilliere, Monet
Despair, Perraud
Studio in rue de la Condamine, Bazille
Foxhill, Pissarro

Beach at Trouville, Monet
Canal St Martin, Sisley
Arrangement in Grey and Black, Whistler

Dancing Class, Degas
Nocturne Blue and Silver, Whistler
Nocturne in Black and Gold, Whistler
Berthe Morisot, Manet
The Cradle, Morisot
Chemin de la Machine, Louveciennes, Sisley
Cotton Office in New Orleans, Degas
Poppy Field, Monet
Impression, Sunrise, Monet
House of the Hanged Man, Cézanne

Impressionism was developed by Claude Monet and other Paris-based artists from the early 1860s. Though the process of painting on the spot can be said to have been pioneered in Britain by John Constable in around 1813–17 through his desire to paint nature in a realistic way.

Instead of painting in a studio, the impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by working quickly, in front of their subjects, in the open air (en plein air) rather than in a studio. This resulted in a greater awareness of light and colour and the shifting pattern of the natural scene. Brushwork became rapid and broken into separate dabs in order to render the fleeting quality of light.

The first group exhibition was in Paris in 1874 and included work by Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Paul Cezanne. The work shown was greeted with derision with Monet’s Impression, Sunrise particularly singled out for ridicule and giving its name (used by critics as an insult) to the movement. Seven further exhibitions were then held at intervals until 1886.

Other core artists of impressionism were Camille Pissarro and Berthe Morisot with Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet also often associated with the movement.

Although originating in France, impressionism had great influence overseas. Core British impressionists included Walter Richard Sickert and Wilson Steer. [Source: tate.org.uk]

1512-10


Image source: Wikimedia commons
The Gates of Hell occupied a unique place in Rodin’s oeuvre. Working feverishly on this project for several years, he created over 200 figures and groups that formed a breeding ground for ideas which he drew on for the rest of his working life.

He had hoped to exhibit his Gates at the 1889 Exposition Universelle, but was probably too busy to finish them, the sculptor stopped working on them circa 1890.

He did, however, express his desire to complete them on several occasions. In 1900, he decided to finally unveil them at his first solo exhibition in Paris. But they were shown in a fragmentary state, since he had given up the idea of mounting the figures that stood out the most – the individual figures cast separately from the main structure – because he thought they produced too strong an effect of contrast with the background.

In 1907, The Gates almost saw the day in a luxury bronze and marble version to be erected in the Musée du Luxembourg, which housed works purchased by the French state from contemporary artists.

Not until 1917 did Léonce Bénédite, the Musée Rodin’s first curator, manage to persuade the sculptor to allow him to reconstruct his masterpiece in order to have it cast in bronze. Rodin died before seeing the result of all these long years of effort.

Cast made by Fonderie Alexis Rudier in 1928 for the museum collections.
[Source: musee-rodin.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Gates of Hell1860-1917BronzeSculpture
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Rodin, Auguste (François Auguste René)1840-1917, aged 77French sculptor ParisImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-11

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France600 x 400 x 100  
 Rejected by the jury of the 1863 Salon, Manet exhibited Le déjeuner sur l’herbe under the title Le Bain at the Salon des Refusés where it became the principal attraction, generating both laughter and scandal.

Yet in Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, Manet was paying tribute to Europe’s artistic heritage, borrowing his subject from the Concert champêtre – a painting by Titian attributed at the time to Giorgione (Louvre) – and taking his inspiration for the composition of the central group from the Marcantonio Raimondi engraving after Raphael‘s Judgement of Paris. But the classical references were counterbalanced by Manet’s boldness. The presence of a nude woman among clothed men is justified neither by mythological nor allegorical precedents. This, and the contemporary dress, rendered the strange and almost unreal scene obscene in the eyes of the public of the day. Manet himself jokingly nicknamed his painting #la partie carrée’.

It can perhaps be considered as the departure point for Modern Art.
[Source: m.musee-orsay.fr]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Dejeuner sur l’Herbe, Le1862-3Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Manet, Édouard1832-1883, aged 51French painter ParisImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-12

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France208 x 264  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
With Olympia, Manet reworked the traditional theme of the female nude, using a strong, uncompromising technique. Both the subject matter and its depiction explain the scandal caused by this painting at the 1865 Salon.

Even though Manet quoted numerous formal and iconographic references, such as Titian’s Venus of Urbino, Goya‘s Maja desnuda, and the Grande Odalisque with her black slave, already handled by Ingres among others, the picture portrays the cold and prosaic reality of a truly contemporary subject.

Venus has become a prostitute, challenging the viewer with her calculating look. This profanation of the idealized nude, the very foundation of academic tradition, provoked a violent reaction. Critics attacked the ‘yellow-bellied odalisque’ whose modernity was nevertheless defended by a small group of Manet’s contemporaries with Zola at their head.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Olympia1863Oil/CanvasPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Manet, Édouard1832-1883, aged 51French painter ParisImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-13

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France131 x 90  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
 This painting was produced during a period in which Manet was strongly influenced by Spanish themes and painters such as Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya and bullfighting.

On 14 September 1865, Manet wrote to Baudelaire:
‘One of the most beautiful, most curious and most terrible spectacles one can see is a bull hunt. On my return, I hope to put on canvas the brilliant, flickering and at the same time dramatic appearance of the corrida I attended’.

Among his other his paintings on the theme are The Matador Saluting and The Bullfight.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Dead Toreador, The1864Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Manet, Édouard1832-1883, aged 51French painter ParisImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-14

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC USA76 x 153  
Courbet, who paved the way for Realism in the mid-19th century, remained on the fringes of official art thanks to the support of a few collectors. He asserted his originality through his depictions of women in particular. Nudes with lifelike flesh shocked visitors to the Salon who were used to the white, smooth nymphs of academic painting. This painting, one of Courbet’s masterpieces, is emblematic of the world of reverie and bliss of the painter who jubilantly celebrated the beauty of the body.

Painted specially for the Turkish emissary Khalil-Bey, The Sleepers directly entered a private collection, without having to face the censure of the Salon. This type of transaction would be repeated with the delivery of the highly confidential Origin of the World to the same collector (Paris, Musée d’Orsay).

Khalil-Bey assembled a fine set of paintings from his own century. He bought works by Delacroix, Chassériau and Rousseau with discernment, often through the intermediary of the dealer Durand-Ruel. The collector acquired Ingres’ ultimate masterpiece, The Turkish Bath (Paris, Louvre Museum), and was particularly interested in Courbet as a painter of women and sensuality. 
[Source: petitpalais.paris.fr]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Sleepers (Le Sommeil)1866Oil/CanvasPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Courbet, Jean Désiré Gustave1819-1877, aged 58French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-15

Petit Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris, France135 x 200  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
In 1866, Claude Monet started painting a large picture in the garden of the property he was renting in the Paris suburbs. He faced a twofold challenge: firstly, working in the open-air, which meant lowering the canvas into a trench by means of a pulley so he could work on the upper part without changing his viewpoint; and secondly, working on a large format usually used for historical compositions.

But his real aim was elsewhere: finding how to fit figures into a landscape and give the impression that the air and light moved around them.
Monet found a solution by painting the shadows, coloured light, patches of sunshine filtering through the foliage, and pale reflections glowing in the gloom.

The faces are left vague and cannot be considered portraits. Camille, the artist’s companion, posed for the three figures on the left. Monet has skilfully rendered the white of the dresses, anchoring them firmly in the structure of the composition – a symphony of greens and browns – provided by the central tree and the path.

Finished in the studio, the painting was refused by the jury of the 1867 Salon which, apart from the lack of subject and narrative, deplored the visible brushstrokes which it regarded as a sign of carelessness and incompleteness. One of the members of the jury declared: Too many young people think of nothing but continuing in this abominable direction. It is high time to protect them and save art!
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Women in the Garden1866-7Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Monet, Claude1840-1926, aged 86French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-16

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France255 x 205  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Before his early death in battle during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, Frédéric Bazille was close to Renoir and Monet, particularly admiring their open-air paintings. During a summer holiday in the family home at Méric, near Montpellier, he worked on this motif in a fairly large painting showing ten of his close family gathered on the terrace, and adding himself at the far left of the painting.

The strong contrasts show Bazille’s liking for the light of the South of France. The group is in the shade of a large tree, which accentuates the bright colours of the landscape and the sky. The light filtered by the foliage enhances the pale clothes, contrasting with the dark note of the jackets, a shawl or an apron.

Unlike Monet’s large canvas Women in the Garden (above), which Bazille had recently bought, each figure is also a portrait and almost all are looking towards the spectator as if at a camera. As a result, although it is a group portrait of family life, the postures are rather stiff. The execution seems restrained and Bazille reworked the canvas extensively during the winter and returned to it again a year later after it was shown in the Salon, replacing little dogs with a contrived still life.

These hesitations and compromises probably explain why his painting was accepted by the Salon in 1868 while Monet’s more daring compositions were refused. Bazille was surprised by this, modestly writing that the jury had accepted him I don’t know how, probably by mistake.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Family Reunion1867Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bazille, Frédéric1841-1870, aged 29French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-17

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France152 x 230  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The Young Boy with the Cat has not given up all its secrets. This male nude has no equivalent in Renoir’s work. The identity of the model seen from the back cuddling the cat is unknown. His sly glance at the spectator remains mysterious. The scene does not seem to have any mythological reference.

Renoir painted it in 1868, a turning point for the artist who was still at the beginning of his career. After being refused at the Salons of 1866 and 1867, he had at last tasted success with a large female portrait in the open air, Lise with a Parasol, now in the Folkwang Museum, Essen.

The second half of the 1860s was also the time of his comradeship with Bazille, Sisley and Monet. They were all deeply marked by the example of their glorious elders, Courbet and Manet, whose influence can be seen in the realistic treatment and the cold colour harmonies of The Young Boy with the Cat.

The painting was bought in a public auction in 1992 and was a timely addition to the collections of the Musee d’Orsay, where Renoir’s early years are poorly represented.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Young Boy with a Cat1868Oil/CanvasPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Renoir, Pierre-Auguste 1841-1919, aged 78French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-18

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France123 x 66  
When Manet painted this piece, scenes of bourgeois life were in vogue. Yet The Balcony went against the conventions of the day. All the subjects were close acquaintances of the artist, especially Berthe Morisot who here, pictured sitting in the foreground, makes her first appearance in Manet’s work, and who went on to become one of his favourite models.

The painting tells no story or anecdote; the protagonists are frozen, as if isolated in an interior dream, evidence that Manet was freeing himself from academic constraints, despite the obvious reference to Goya’s Majas at the Balcony.

At its presentation at the 1869 Salon, this enigmatic group portrait was overwhelmingly misunderstood. ‘Close the shutters!’ was the sarcastic reaction of the caricaturist Cham while another critic attacked ‘this gross art’ and Manet who ‘lowered himself to the point of being in competition with the painters of the building trade’.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Balcony, The1868Oil/CanvasPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Manet, Édouard1832-1883, aged 51French painter ParisImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-19

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France170 x 124  
During the summer of 1869, Monet and Renoir set up their easels at La Grenouillère, a boating and bathing resort on the Seine River, not far from Paris.

Monet noted on September 25, ‘I do have a dream, a painting, the baths of La Grenouillère, for which I have made some bad sketches, but it is only a dream. Renoir, who has just spent two months here, also wants to do this painting’.

Among their various depictions of the subject, this composition closely resembles one by Renoir in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.
[Source: metmuseum.org]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Bain à la Grenouillère1869Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Monet, Claude1840-1926, aged 86French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-20

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY USA75 x 100  

Image source: european-peopl-history.com
Perraud’s works, even at their most classical, afford a glimpse of Romantic anguish.

This statue was unanimously admired in plaster at the 1861 Salon and then in marble at the 1869 Salon. The piece struck them as a ‘giant step’ in the evolution of sculpture.

This figure, seated on the ground, according to a well-established convention, is intended to be an allegory of the tragic condition of human existence. The figure is without any accessories, and allows the viewer complete freedom of interpretation.
[Source: wga.hu]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Despair1869MarbleSculpture
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Perraud, Jean-Joseph1819-1876, aged 57French sculptor ParisImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-21

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France108 (h)  
Born into a notable family in Montpellier, Bazille moved to Paris in 1862 to study medicine, before turning to painting. While at Charles Gleyre’s studio, he became friends with Monet, Renoir and Sisley who shared his admiration for Manet.

Bazille’s Studio allows a glimpse of the relationships and intimacy uniting these precursor artists.
The scene is set in the studio in the rue de la Condamine which Bazille shared with Renoir from January 1st 1868 to May 15th 1870. Bazille is in the centre, a palette in his hand. But as he wrote in a letter to his father: ‘Manet painted me in’. One can in fact see Manet’s vigorous style in the tall, slim figure of the young man.

And indeed, Manet, wearing a hat, is looking at the canvas placed on the easel. On the right, Edmond Maître, a friend of Bazille, is seated at the piano. Above him, a still life by Monet is a reminder that Bazille helped him financially by buying his work.

The three characters on the left are more difficult to identify – possibly Monet, Renoir or even Zacharie Astruc…

By surrounding Manet and his admirers with some of his paintings that were refused by the Salon, such as The Toilette (Montpellier, Musée Fabre) above the sofa, and Fisherman with a Net (Zürich, Fondation Rau) higher up on the left, and even more realistically Renoir’s ‘landscape with two people’ rejected at the 1866 Salon (the large, framed canvas to the right of the window), Bazille is expressing his criticism of the Academy, and affirming his own vision of art.

His death in combat some months later, during the Franco-Prussian war, made this work a moving testament.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Studio in rue de la Condamine1870Oil/CanvasStill Life
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bazille, Frédéric1841-1870, aged 29French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-22

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France48x 65  

Image source: nationalgallery.org.uk
This is one of twelve surviving pictures that Camille Pissarro made while in self-imposed exile in south London from late 1870 to mid-1871 during the Franco-Prussian war.

Perhaps the first picture he painted while in London, it is one of the more rural scenes of the group and is similar to landscapes he had been painting near his home to the west of Paris.

It’s still possible to identify the site today – the road at Fox Hill retains its slight bend. However, Pissarro was perhaps more interested in the atmospheric effects of the light and weather than in precise topography, and the painting may have been first exhibited in London with the title Effet de neige (Snow Effect).

The picture has the appearance of having been painted quickly on site in the open air, as Pissarro worked rapidly and energetically, but it was completed in several stages.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Foxhill, Upper Norwood1870Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Pissarro, Camille1830-1903, aged 72French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-23

National Gallery, London UK35 x 46  
Monet’s earlier paintings of the Normandy coast had emphasised it as a working seascape, peopled with fishermen who had to contend with a cold climate, choppy seas and stormy skies.

But this painting and the eight others he made in the summer of 1870 show it as a holiday destination, with wide sandy beaches, bracing air and impressive seaside architecture. Monet painted it during the weeks he spent at Trouville with his wife Camille and their son Jean.

Camille and a female companion are shown in close-up, their figures apparently casually arranged and cropped by the picture frame, rather like a snapshot. Grains of sand embedded in the paint reveal that the canvas was painted at least partly on the spot. Facial features and costume details are dashed in briefly with flat strokes of paint: the main focus here is on the play of light and shade.

Bright sunlight is conveyed in bold strokes of brilliant white, and the women shade their faces with parasols.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]

Image source: nationalgallery.org.uk
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Beach at Trouville, The1870Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Monet, Claude1840-1926, aged 86French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-24

Wadsworth Athenaeium, 00 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103, USA38 x 47  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Paintings of Paris by the Impressionists were numerous in the period shortly preceding the Franco-Prussian War and the years immediately following. In keeping with their general aims, in general they were not topographical in approach, nor did they seek out older or more picturesque views of the city for their historical or romantic interest. They added to their feeling for nature – as expressed in trees, sky and river – the animation belonging to a metropolis which in some measure provided all these things.

Monet and Renoir especially applied themselves to a rendering of the movement of crowds against the background of the boulevards. Sisley was not so bold as they in the inclusion of human beings but his sensitiveness to atmosphere is apparent in so delightful an evocation of Paris as this view, one of two he exhibited at the Salon of 1870.
[Source: visual-arts-cork.com]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Canal St Martin1870Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Sisley, Alfred1839-1899, aged 59French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-25

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France50 x 65  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, also called Portrait of the Artist’s Mother is a reminder, if only through its double title, of the stylisation to which Whistler soon submitted the realistic aesthetic of his early years.

The portrait’s psychological acuity is powerfully conveyed by the deliberately pared down composition. The work, in its linear austerity and chromatic rigour dominated by neutral tones, was a continuation of Whistler’s experimentation with prints, to which View of the Thames hanging on the wall is an allusion.

The painting, bought by the French state in 1891, is now one of the most famous works by an American artist outside the United States.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother [Whistler’s Mother]1871OilPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Whistler, James McNeill1834-1903, aged 69American painter LondonImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-26

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France144 x 162  
This work and its variant in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, represent the most ambitious paintings Degas devoted to the theme of the dance.

Some twenty-four women, ballerinas and their mothers, wait while a dancer executes an ‘attitude’ for her examination. Jules Perrot, a famous ballet master, conducts the class.

The imaginary scene is set in a rehearsal room in the old Paris Opéra, which had recently burned to the ground. On the wall beside the mirror, a poster for Rossini’s Guillaume Tell pays tribute to the singer Jean-Baptiste Faure, who commissioned the picture and lent it to the 1876 Impressionist exhibition.
[Source: metmuseum.org]

Image source: metmuseum.org
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
The Dancing Class / Classe de Dansec1870OilHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Degas, Edgar 1834-1917, aged 83French painter ParisImpressionsim
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-27

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France85 x 75  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Painted in August 1871, this is the first of Whistler’s Nocturnes. In these works Whistler aimed to convey a sense of the beauty and tranquility of the Thames by night. It was Frederick Leyland who first used the name ‘nocturne’ to describe Whistler’s moonlit scenes. It aptly suggests the notion of a night scene, but with musical associations. The expression was quickly adopted by Whistler, who later explained,

By using the word ‘nocturne’ I wished to indicate an artistic interest alone, divesting the picture of any outside anecdotal interest which might have been otherwise attached to it. A nocturne is an arrangement of line, form and colour first. [Source: tate.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Nocturne: Blue and Silver, Chelsea1871Oil/WdLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Whistler, James McNeill1834-1903, aged 69American painter  Impressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-28

Tate Galleries, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG UK50 x 61  
This work, which is a depiction of a fireworks display in London’s Cremorne Gardens, is probably Whistler’s most infamous painting.

It was the central issue of a libel suit that involved the art critic John Ruskin and the artist. Ruskin had publicly slandered the work by making the statement, I have seen, and heard, much of cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.

Whistler won the libel suit; however, he was awarded only the token damages of one farthing. This is one of Whistler’s many ‘Nocturnes’, which are characterized by a moody atmosphere, a subtle palette, and overall tonalist qualities.
[Source: dia.org]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket1872-7Oil/WdAbstract
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Whistler, James McNeill1834-1903, aged 69American painter LondonImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-29

Detroit Institute of Art, 5203 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202, USA60 x 47  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Manet was profoundly marked by the Franco-Prussian war and the Commune, throughout which he had remained in Paris, serving in the garde nationale, and unable to paint.

Towards the end of 1871, he resumed his work taking up his former models including Berthe Morisot, a young painter with whom he shared a deep friendship and who would marry one of his brothers a few months later.

Rather than using the uniform light he often employed in his portraits, Manet chose here to light his model vividly from the side so that Berthe Morisot’s face seems to be all light and shadow. Here represented with black eyes (in fact they were green), she is dressed all in black, with a matching hat, no doubt better to enhance her ‘Spanish’ beauty remarked on since her first appearance in Manet’s work in 1869.

This strange and spellbinding portrait was rapidly considered by his friends to be one of the artist’s masterpieces. Paul Valery also praised it in his 1932 foreword to the catalogue of the Orangerie retrospective. I do not rank anything in Manet’s work higher than a certain portrait of Berthe Morisot dated 1872.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets1872Oil/CanvasPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Manet, Édouard1832-1883, aged 51French painter ParisImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-30

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France56 x 41  
Image source: Wikimedia commonsUndeniably Berthe Morisot’s most famous painting, The Cradle was painted in Paris in 1872. It shows one of the artist’s sisters, Edma, watching over her sleeping daughter, Blanche. It is the first image of motherhood, later one of her favourite subjects, to appear in Morisot’s work.

The mother’s gaze, her bent left arm, a mirror image of the child’s arm, and the baby’s closed eyes form a diagonal line which is further accentuated by the movement of the curtain in the background. This diagonal links the mother to her child. Edma’s gesture, drawing the net curtain of the cradle between the spectator and the baby, further reinforces the feeling of intimacy and protective love expressed in the painting.

Berthe Morisot showed The Cradle at the Impressionist exhibition of 1874—the first woman to exhibit with the group. The painting was scarcely noticed although important critics commented on its grace and elegance.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Cradle, The1872Oil/CanvasGenre Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Morisot, Berthe1841-1895, aged 54French painter ParisImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-31

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France56 x 46  
The road disappearing into the distance is one of Sisley’s favourite themes. It often links the foreground with the background, and helps ‘pierce’ the space, resulting in some very successful perspective effects.

Here, the illusion of three-dimensional space is particularly spectacular thanks to the road stretching into the distance, perpendicular to the surface of the painting. The row of trees gives rhythm to the composition, and accentuates the impression of depth, whilst an interplay of lines is achieved through the vertical trunks, echoed by the horizontal lines of the shadows.

The slight rise in the road is used to create a vanishing point slightly off centre, and to obtain a plunging view over the sunlit background. This structure allows the painter to organise the space in his landscape, while maintaining the tiers of the different planes.

Finally, as was often the case, Sisley humanises his landscape by introducing a few small figures in the style of Jongkind.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]

Image source: musee-orsay.fr
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Chemin de la Machine, Louveciennes1873Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Sisley, Alfred1839-1899, aged 59French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-32

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France54 x 73  
Degas depicts the moment when his uncle Michel Musson’s cotton brokerage business went bankrupt in an economic crash, according to Michael McMahon of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The firm was swamped by the postwar growth of the much larger Cotton Exchange.

In the painting, Musson is seen examining raw cotton for its quality while Degas’ brother Rene reads The Daily Picayune. It carried the bankruptcy news. Another brother, Achille, rests against a window wall at left while others, including Musson’s partners, go about their business.
[Source: edgar-degas.net]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Cotton Office in New Orleans1873Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Degas, Edgar 1834-1917, aged 83French painter ParisImpressionsim
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-33

Musée des beaux-arts de Pau, Rue Mathieu Lalanne, 64000 Pau, France73 x 92  

Image source: claude-monet.com
Claude Monet painted The Poppy Field in 1873 on his return from the United Kingdom when he settled in Argenteuil with his family until 1878. It was a time that provided the artist with great fulfillment as a painter, despite the failing health of Camille.

Paul Durand-Ruel, Monet’s art dealer, helped support him during this time, where he found great comfort from the picturesque landscapes that surrounded him and provided him with plenty of subject matter from which to choose. It was a time that Monet’s Plein air works would develop, and this particular painting was shown at the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874.

This beautifully depicted summer’s day is captured in all its glory with the vibrant poppies complementing the wispy clouds in a clear blue sky. In the landscape, a mother and child pair (probably the artist’s wife, Camille, and their son Jean) in the foreground and another in the background are merely a pretext for drawing the diagonal line that structures the painting. Two separate color zones are established, one dominated by red, the other by a bluish-green.
[Source: claude-monet.com]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Poppy Field (Argenteuil)1873Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Monet, Claude1840-1926, aged 86French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-34

Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France54 x 74  
 This famous painting, Impression, Sunrise, was created from a scene in the port of Le Havre.

Monet depicts a mist, which provides a hazy background to the piece set in the French harbour. The orange and yellow hues contrast brilliantly with the dark vessels, where little, if any detail is immediately visible to the audience. It is a striking and candid work that shows the smaller boats in the foreground almost being propelled along by the movement of the water. This has, once again, been achieved by separate brushstrokes that also show various colours ‘sparkling’ on the sea.
[Source: claude-monet.com]

Image source: claude-monet.com
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Impression, Sunrise1873Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Monet, Claude1840-1926, aged 86French painterImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): 1512-35

Musée Marmottan Monet, 2 Rue Louis Boilly, 75016 Paris, France48 x 63  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The ‘Hanged Man’s House’ was one of the three canvases that Cézanne presented at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874.

The influence of his friend Camille Pissarro, with whom he regularly worked in the region of Pontoise and Auvers-sur-Oise, is clearly perceptible. Compared to his early works, Cézanne has used the pale colours and broken brushstrokes of the Impressionists. He has also given up dramatic or literary themes for a simple, even commonplace subject. It reveals Cézanne’s peculiar brand of Impressionism.

The composition of the canvas is complicated. There are several strong axes leading away from a central point: a path which climbs to the left; another which leads down towards the centre of the painting; a bank curving away to the right; the branches of the trees angling off to the top of the painting. The planes are close set. The thickness of the grainy brushstrokes seems to ‘plaster’ the painting. The lack of people, the stiff, austere vegetation, and the cool colours help to create a strong sense of solitude.

Although the painting puzzled the critics when it was first shown, it was nonetheless the first that Cézanne managed to sell to a collector.
[Source: musee-orsay.fr]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
House of the Hanged Man Auvers-sur-Oise, The1873Oil/CanvasLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Cézanne, Paul1839-1906, aged 67French painter Aix-en-ProvenceImpressionism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):  
Musée d’Orsay,  Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France55 x 66  

Forward to 1.5.1.2 Impressionism II (1874-1897) – Forward to 1.5.1.3 Post Impressionism I (1880-1892)
Back to 1.5.1.1 Aesthetic Movement (1860-1895) – Back to 1.5 Modern Art Index (1860-1930)

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