Impressionism Discovers Monet

November 8, 2010

Known as one of the most significant movements in the history of Art, Impressionism first appeared in the 19th century. In the beginning, Impressionism was looked upon negatively because it was out of the “norm”. It provided a new look at the world focusing mostly on scenes such as landscapes and everyday life. Adding to the oddness of this type of painting, artists would paint in front of their scenes, witnessing them exactly as they were; painting their “first impression”. Before this time, painters would paint “studio” or indoors. Painting outside seemed very unusual. Impressionist painters loved playing with lighting, the mixture of colors and use of diverse brush strokes.

During this time an artist by the name of Claude Monet stood out as he defined Impressionism in his own way. He spent most of his life painting his favorite landscapes along with numerous subjects of his choice. Most of his works play with reflections on water, or the shadows he found in his scenes such as his painting La Grenouillere, (1869). In this painting Monet and Pierre Auguste Renoir discovered that shadows weren’t only black or brown, but they were colored based off of the things surrounding them.

He discovered other things about painting such as using some objects to focus on the subject of the painting allowing it to stand out more. The painting Water Lilies, (1915), shows how he used water and reflection to add to the flowers, making them the subject of the painting. In his later years he devoted his time painting scenes such as Water Lilies, showing his love for gardening and small bodies of water (lakes, ponds, etc.). It was in his last years that he created the paintings that he is mainly remembered by. Monet is one of the many artists that contributed to the Impressionist movement, but he tends to stand out more then others. When the word Impressionism is brought up, one of the first names that come to mind is Claude Monet.


by Andrea

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