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  • Terry Bonneville

Impressionism in Five Minutes

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

When: 1860 - 1886

Where: Paris

Key Artists: Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, JMW Turner, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne



Claude Monet is undoubtedly the most well-known impressionist painter, in fact the impressionism movement got its name from the Monet painting entitled Impression, soleil levant, from 1872!

Impression, soleil levant, Claude Monet, 1872
Impression, soleil levant, Claude Monet, 1872

Impressionism is well-known for bringing the creation of fine art out of the studio and into the open air, where the artists could react instinctively and with agility to the changing light conditions, creating paintings charged with emotional and, well, impressions of their surroundings, the likes of which simply couldn't be created from the confines of a studio, from reference sketches and studies.

Impressionist art shimmered with emotion and atmosphere and despite many of the most famous paintings from this period being reduced to decorations on consumer products such as bedspreads, confectionery boxes and cheap homeware prints, the impressionism movements remains one of the most revolutionary, fresh and exciting art periods in modern history.

Here are a few key works of Impressionism, to give you a flavour of the movement:


Starry Night over the Rhône, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Starry Night over the Rhône, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

Luncheon of the Boating Party, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1880-81
Luncheon of the Boating Party, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1880-81

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Edouard Manet, 1882
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Edouard Manet, 1882

The Water Lily Pond, Claude Monet, 1899
The Water Lily Pond, Claude Monet, 1899

The Card Players, Paul Cezanne, 1895
The Card Players, Paul Cezanne, 1895

Further Reading

This guide gives only a brief introduction to Impressionism - here are some great resources to dive into to find out more about this incredible art movement!






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