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Home > Resources > Glossary > Definitions - I > Impressionism

Impressionism

A painting technique in which the artist concentrates on the changing effects of light and color. Often this style can be characterized by its use of discontinuous brush strokes and heavy impasto. Depicts the natural appearances of objects by means of dabs or strokes of primary unmixed colors in order to stimulate actual reflected light.The impressionist style of painting is characterized chiefly by concentration on the general impression produced by a scene or object and the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.  An art movement founded in France in the last third of the 19th century. Impressionist artists sought to break up light into its component colors and render its ephemeral play on various objects. The artist's vision was intensely centered on light and the ways it transforms the visible world. This style of painting is characterized by short brush strokes of bright colors used to recreate visual impressions of the subject and to capture the light, climate and atmosphere of the subject at a specific moment in time. The chosen colors represent light which is broken down into its spectrum components and recombined by the eyes into another color when viewed at a distance (an optical mixture). The term was first used in 1874 by a journalist ridiculing a landscape by Monet called Impression - Sunrise.

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