I’ve found that I enjoy impressionism, especially those of landscapes. I really enjoyed Garden At Giverny, it’s vibrant colors and use of light makes it a beautiful piece to look at. Impressionists were interested in the laws of optics and I think that’s one reason I enjoy the art produced.

Garden At Giverny, 1900, Claude Monet

I’m not too fond of portraits or impressionist’s paintings of people. These types of paintings seems blurry and out of focus, I think when you have a person’s face involved you want to see it clearly. To me, these paintings don’t seem to play with light as much as landscapes do.

Girl with a hoop, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. 1885

However, people used in the background or as part of the scene seems to work well. I particularly like Le bateau atelier by claude Monet. The man in the painting is more like a shadow and the emphasis is not on his face which is why his vagueness works.

Le bateau atelier by Claude Monet


~ by Rebekah Telfer on March 26, 2010.

11 Responses to “Impressionism”

  1. It’s interesting that you enjoy Impressionist landscapes but not the portraits. I, too, LOVE the Garden at Giverny. The colors are extraordinary. I enjoyed your comparison of portrait to landscape in Impressionism, but how do you think Impressionism compares with other styles of the Romantic era or other eras? Impressionism somehow seems to put me in the surroundings as though it isn’t a painting. The work that you provided, Le bateau, makes me feel like I’m on river on a dreary day and I can almost feel the slightly chilled morning weather. You did a wonderful job on your post and I enjoyed how you presented you opinions. I wasn’t expecting someone to like one style of Impressionism and dislike another. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I agree with your analysis about Impressionism. I too think the landscapes look like they are alive, with the light seemingly moving through the picture with the thick brushstrokes. In addition, I must say that the way that people are painted is one of the reasons Impressionism is not my favorite era. Which era, if any, do you prefer over Impressionism? While you did not compare Impressionism to another era, your analysis of the artwork was well done. Good job!

  3. I absolutly agree with your feelings on Impressionist Portraits. The people have that ” I took too much cough medicine” look. I hadn’t really critiqued portraits when I went thorugh for my blog so I hadn’t thought about it until now. Personally I think blurring every thing was over use of the new optical tools. I also agree with you on how blurring adds to a background and gives it substance.

  4. Lemontulip: To me I think Impressionism seems to be in motion while being painted versus the paintings from an era such as realist paintings which seem stand still.
    Dionk20: I prefer realist paintings (at least their portraits) over impressionists portraits. For me its really hard to say I like a style because I tend to pick and choose from each style paintings I like.
    Thanks for the comments.

  5. I really liked this blog Bekah.
    You stated all factual information and clearly expressed your feelings about impressionism and used works to cite examples. I feel the same way you do, i prefer works of landscapes with people in the background. And i feel that portraits are either blurry, or they seem obscured somehow else. I do wish you would have compared your feelings of impressionism to another era of art but good job on the blog!

  6. I love the paintings you showed. With few words you were able to make a good point and make me take a good look at the paintings. I would agree with you that most painters arent going to be able to give a good painting of a person when that is the main subject. They are better off as using them in the back ground. The paintings in the past were really amazing because they were so detailed and in that instance humans were great subjects. I also really like the gardin pictures, they are beautiful and vibrant.

  7. I really like the paintings you chose to illustrate your points. The first landscape painting is gorgeous. The use of light and colors in this piece is really breathtaking. I think that the actual painting seems blurry to me, much like you think the portrait is blurry in the facial features. I like this idea and then I don’t. But when applying the idea that Impressionism is an artist’s way of capturing a moment in time as capture by them, it does make sense that details would not be concise and crystal clear. The Impressionistic paintings remind me of a memory of a dream after you wake up. The specific details are vague, but most of what happened seems fresh.

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  11. I think you, and some others who have commented here have missed the point about impressionist portraits.

    If anything the skill of the impressionist artist is stretched to the hilt when doing portraits and there is a definite purpose to this madness

    Perhaps you should check out these examples and the writeup accompanying it. Maybe it introduces a new point of view

    Impressionist Portraits – Oxymorons by John Singer Sargent

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