Early Modern Art
The Impressionists
Salon des Refuse’s
• The Salon des Refusés, French for “exhibition of
rejects”, is generally an exhibition of works rejected by
the jury of the official Paris Salon, but the term is most
famously used to refer to the Salon des Refusés of 1863.
• It should be taken into account that during this time,
Paris was a breeding ground for artist of all forms, poets,
artists, sculptors, etc. Paris was the place to be, and the
capital of the art world, any artist that wanted to be
recognized, at that time, was required to have exhibited
in a Salon, or gone to school in France. Being accepted
into these Salons was a matter of survival for some
artist; reputations and careers could be started or
broken, based solely on the acceptance into these
“Exhibition of the Rejects”
• As early as the 1830’s, Paris art galleries had
mounted small-scale, private exhibitions of
works rejected by the Salon jurors. The
clamorous event of 1863 was actually
sponsored by the French government. In that
year, artists protested the Salon jury’s rejection
of more than 3,000 works, far more than usual.
"Wishing to let the public judge the legitimacy of
these complaints," said an official notice,
Emperor Napoléon III decreed that the rejected
artists could exhibit their works in an annex to
the regular Salon.
“Exhibition of the Rejects”
• Many critics and the public ridiculed the refusés, which
included such now-famous paintings as Édouard
Manet's Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur
l’herbe) and James McNeill Whistler's Girl in White. But
the critical attention also legitimized the emerging avantgarde in painting. Encouraged by Manet, the
Impressionists successfully exhibited their works outside
the Salon beginning in 1874. Subsequent Salons des
Refusés were mounted in Paris in 1874, 1875, and 1886,
by which time the prestige and influence of the Paris
Salon had waned.
Impressionism Overview
• Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include
visible brush strokes, open composition,
emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often
accentuating the effects of the passage of time),
ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of
movement as a crucial element of human
perception and experience, and unusual visual
angles. The emergence of Impressionism in the
visual arts was soon followed by analogous
movements in other media which became
known as Impressionist music and Impressionist
Impressionism Overview
• Radicals in their time, early Impressionists broke the
rules of academic painting. They began by giving
colours, freely brushed, primacy over line, drawing
inspiration from the work of painters such as Eugène
Delacroix. They also took the act of painting out of the
studio and into the modern world. Previously, still lifes
and portraits as well as landscapes had usually been
painted indoors. The Impressionists found that they
could capture the momentary and transient effects of
sunlight by painting en plein air. Painting realistic scenes
of modern life, they emphasized vivid overall effects
rather than details. They used short, "broken" brush
strokes of pure and unmixed colour, not smoothly
blended, as was customary, in order to achieve the effect
of intense colour vibration.
Impressionist techniques
• Short, thick strokes of paint are used to quickly capture the essence
of the subject, rather than its details. The paint is often applied
• Colours are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible,
creating a vibrant surface. The optical mixing of colours occurs in
the eye of the viewer.
• Grays and dark tones are produced by mixing complementary
colours. In pure Impressionism the use of black paint is avoided.
• Wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for successive
applications to dry, producing softer edges and an intermingling of
• Painting in the evening to get effets de soir - the shadowy effects of
the light in the evening or twilight.
Impressionist Techniques
• Impressionist paintings do not exploit the transparency of
thin paint films (glazes) which earlier artists built up
carefully to produce effects. The surface of an
Impressionist painting is typically opaque.
• The play of natural light is emphasized. Close attention
is paid to the reflection of colours from object to object.
• In paintings made en plein air (outdoors), shadows are
boldly painted with the blue of the sky as it is reflected
onto surfaces, giving a sense of freshness and openness
that was not captured in painting previously. (Blue
shadows on snow inspired the technique.)
Early Impressionism
• Édouard Manet (French pronunciation, 23 January 1832
– 30 April 1883, was a French painter. One of the first
nineteenth century artists to approach modern-life
subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from
Realism to Impressionism.
• His early masterworks The Luncheon on the Grass and
Olympia engendered great controversy, and served as
rallying points for the young painters who would create
Impressionism. Today these are considered watershed
paintings that mark the genesis of modern art.
Edouard Manet
The Holy Family, 1518
Louvre Museum Paris, France
Edouard Manet - Luncheon on the Grass.
Luncheon on the Grass
• Exhibited with other impressionist paintings at
the Salon des Refuses by Manet in 1863, this
painting earned the impressionists a great deal
of media attention. Whilst a nude in a classical
setting was considered acceptable, one in a
contemporary setting was not. Luncheon on the
Grass caused a public scandal and was
savaged by the critics.
Edouard Manet Olympia
• Though Manet's The Luncheon on the Grass (Le
déjeuner sur l'herbe) sparked controversy in 1863, his
Olympia stirred an even bigger uproar when it was first
exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon. Conservatives
condemned the work as "immoral" and "vulgar."
Journalist Antonin Proust later recalled, "If the canvas of
the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the
precautions that were taken by the administration."
However, the work had proponents as well. Émile Zola
quickly proclaimed it Manet's "masterpiece" and added,
"When other artists correct nature by painting Venus they
lie. Manet asked himself why he should lie. Why not tell
the truth?"
James Abbott McNeill Whistler
(July 11, 1834 – July 17, 1903)
• He was an American-born, British-based artist. Averse to
sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, he was a leading
proponent of the credo "art for art's sake". His famous signature
for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly
possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it
combined both aspects of his personality—his art was
characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was
combative. Finding a parallel between painting and music,
Whistler titled many of his paintings "arrangements",
"harmonies", and "nocturnes", emphasizing the primacy of tonal
harmony. His most famous painting is the iconic Whistle’s
Mother, the revered and oft parodied portrait of motherhood. A
wit, dandy, and shameless self-promoter, Whistler influenced the
art world and the broader culture of his time with his artistic
theories and his friendships with leading artists and writers.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler
• Painted in 1862 it is a portrait
of his Irish model and
girlfriend, Jo Hiffernan: The
White Girl (Symphony in White
No. 1). Shown in London first
and then in Paris, it provoked a
buzz of irrelevant
interpretation. The
expressionless young woman
in innocent white, standing on
a wolfskin with a lily in her
hand (that floral emblem of the
Aesthetic Movement), was
declared to be something
except what she actually was:
a model posing in Whistler's
studio to give him a pretext to
paint shades of white with
extreme virtuosity and subtlety.
The story was that there was
no story. It was Whistler's first
sally against the narrative
insistence in French and
(especially) British art, though
by no means the last.
Claude Monet
• Claude Oscar Monet (14 November 1840
– 5 December 1926) was a founder of
French impressionist painting, and the
most consistent and prolific practitioner of
the movement's philosophy of expressing
one's perceptions before nature, especially
as applied to plein-air (in the open air)
landscape painting. The term
Impressionism is derived from the title of
his painting Impression, Sunrise.
• Impressionism is a term that came to designate
the work of a diverse circle of artists who shared
a desire for artistic independence and an
allegiance to modern expression. Formed in the
last quarter of the 19th century, this small,
diverse group included Claude Monet, PierreAuguste Renoir, Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas,
Berthe Morisot, Paul Cézanne, and Camille
• Over the span of 12 years (1874-1886) these
artists mounted eight exhibitions, and
although they quickly became known as the
Impressionists, they never adopted an
official name. Their Impressionist styles
remained distinctive and diverse, but they
shared common goals in their rejection of
traditional academic ideals and their support
of a modernist vision based on the
experience of visual sensations and a
personal point of view.
Impression Sunrise
1872 Oil on canvas
• Haystacks is the title of a series of impressionist
paintings by Claude Monet. The primary subjects of all of
the paintings in the series are stacks of hay that have
been stacked in the field after the harvest season. The
title refers primarily to a twenty-five canvas series begun
the autumn of 1890 and continued through the following
spring, using that year's harvest. Some use a broader
definition of the title to refer to other paintings by Monet
with this same theme. The series is known for its
thematic use of repetition to show differences in
perception of light across various times of day, seasons,
and types of weather. The subjects were painted in fields
near Monet's home in Giverny, France.
Haystack Snow Effect: 1891
Haystacks at Giverny in The Evening Sun: 1888
Haystack, Sunset (1890/91)
Haystacks: End of Summer
Haystacks on a Foggy Morning
Water Lilly Series
• Water Lilies (or Nympheas) is a series of
approximately 250 oil paintings by French
Impressionist Claude Monet (1840-1926).
The paintings depict Monet's flower
garden at Giverny and were the main
focus of Monet's artistic production during
the last thirty years of his life. Many of the
works were painted while Monet suffered
from cataracts.
Claude Monet - Water Lilies (1916)
Water Lily Pond
Water-Lilies, Evening Effect
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
• Auguste Renoir and Monet worked closely
together during the late 1860s, painting similar
scenes of popular river resorts and views of a
bustling Paris. Renoir was by nature more solid
than Monet, and while Monet fixed his attentions
on the ever-changing patterns of nature, Renoir
was particularly entranced by people and often
painted friends and lovers. His early work has a
quivering brightness that is gloriously satisfying
and fully responsive to what he is painting, as
well as to the effects of the light.
Le Moulin de la Galette (1876)
Le Moulin de la Galette (1876)
• The Moulin de la Galette was one of 21 works shown by
Renoir at the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877.
Every Sunday afternoon young people from the north of
Paris contributed in the dance-hall and in the courtyard
behind it in fine weather. Most of the figures in Renoir's
work, rather than being habitués of the Moulin were in
fact portraits of his friends, with the occasional
professional model posing for thin. The scene which
Renoir has painted in this work is not an authentic
representation of the clientele of the Moulin, but rather a
scrupulously organized series of portrait.
Luncheon of the Boating Party
Luncheon of the Boating Party
• The painting depicts a group of Renoir's friends relaxing
on a balcony at the Maison Fournaise along the Seine
river in Chatou, France. The painter and art patron,
Gustave Caillebotte, is seated in the lower right. Renoir's
future wife, Aline Charigot, is in the foreground playing
with a small dog. In this painting Renoir has captured a
great deal of light. As you can see the main focus of light
is coming from the large opening in the balcony, beside
the large singleted man in the hat. The singlets of both
men in the foreground and the table-cloth both work
together to reflect this light and send it through the whole
Luncheon of the Boating Party,
• The painting captures an idyllic atmosphere as Renoir's
friends share food, wine, and conversation on a balcony
overlooking the Seine at the Maison Fournaise
restaurant in Chatou. Parisians flocked to the Maison
Fournaise to rent rowing skiffs, eat a good meal, or stay
the night.
• The painting also reflects the changing character of
French society in the mid- to late 19th century. The
restaurant welcomed customers of many classes,
including businessmen, society women, artists,
actresses, writers, critics, seamstresses, and shop girls.
This diverse group embodied a new, modern Parisian
• Degas did not fit nicely into the Impressionist definition.
His style was not that of short dabs and dashes in an
attempt to capture light. Instead he was lumped with the
Impressionists because they shared the same
philosophy: to move artistic expression towards
modernism. Contrary to his “fellow” impressionists,
Degas had never really wanted to be completely
detached from the past, and his artistic challenge was
always to build a link between the “old” and the “new”.
Out of the group, Degas was the strangest. His
contemporaries labeled him as eccentric and bizarre and
made no efforts to gain any sympathy either from
strangers or his critics.
Edgar Degas
• In the early 1870s the female ballet dancer
became his favorite theme. He sketched
from a live model in his studio and
combined poses into groupings that
depicted rehearsal and performance
scenes in which dancers on stage,
entering the stage, and resting or waiting
to perform are shown simultaneously and
in counterpoint, often from an oblique
angle of vision.
• The dancer/ballet images produced by Degas
combined all of his interests: the instantaneous
glimpse of figures in action; the indoor,
controlled lighting, often coming from below as
in foot-lights; and the view from peculiar vantage
points, such as from wings, balcony boxes, or
from below the stage. All of these features were
used by Degas to enhance his candid glimpses
of dancers working at their craft.
Degas Dancer Taking a Bow
Berthe Morisot
• Berthe Morisot was the third daughter of a
prominent and wealthy government official.
• The family moved to Paris in 1852, where her
father served as the Judicial Adviser to the
Auditor's Office. This powerful position, with its
high salary and important political associations,
allowed the Morisots to lead a privileged lifestyle
as members of the upper middle class.
Berthe Morisot
• Raised accordingly, Morisot and her sisters were
provided tutors for languages and literature and,
in 1857, art lessons. Morisot and her older sister
Edma quickly developed both a passion and a
high level of skill in drawing and painting.
Alongside her sister, Morisot copied
masterpieces at the Louvre and painted out of
doors under the direction of well-known
landscape painter Camille Corot. She first
exhibited her paintings at the prestigious annual
Salon in 1864, and her work was shown there
regularly through 1873.
Berthe Morisot
Mary Cassatt
• The daughter of an affluent Pittsburgh businessman,
whose French ancestry had endowed him with a passion
for that country, she studied art at the Pennsylvania
Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and then travelled
extensively in Europe, finally settling in Paris in 1874. In
that year she had a work accepted at the Salon and in
1877 made the acquaintance of Degas, with whom she
was to be on close terms throughout his life. His art and
ideas had a considerable influence on her own work; he
introduced her to the Impressionists and she participated
in the exhibitions of 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1886, refusing
to do so in 1882 when Degas did not.
Mary Cassatt
The Child's Bath Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt

Early Modern Art - Anderson County School District Five