Aside from the style of painting radically changing, the subject matter too is taking on a whole new meaning. These artists were painting modern scenes and they were no longer romanticizing the past. Yet today, so much of the population idealizes these images because now they do romanticize the past! But let’s stop and think about hard it must have been to create beautiful, valid art on everyday scenes. Wherever you are right now, take a look at your surroundings. Have a camera? Take a snapshot. Post it here, and let’s try and figure out how they could qualify as a proper subject matter for a painting!
Unit 6: Impressionism
Romanticism came to an end in Europe as intellectual pursuits gained momentum. Instead of creating idealized images of perfection, artists strove to present images of the modern world, including paintings of every class and their conditions of life. Impressionism rose out of this trend to capture the realities of society, and took it one step further by literally painting what was before their eyes. Their work has an immediate, painterly freshness that was strongly criticized at the time. Post-Impressionism continues these modern ideas by calling out the evils of the modern world, and striving to formalize the Impressionist process into a validated art form.
- Discover how realist painters turn the art world on its head by using contemporary social conditions as inspiration for their work, and refusing to follow the Academy standards of creating past historical events.
- Examine the Impressionist movement, named so by a critic who claimed their art was sketchy and unfinished.
- Interpret the new approach to painting and how this modern style places importance not only on modern subjects, but also bold colors, natural outdoor light and atmosphere, and abstract compositional qualities discovered through photographic sources.
- Identify the shift from the images representing an immediate interpretation of everyday life, to a spiritual assessment of the evils that come out of an industrialized society.
- Examine the Post-Impressionists worked to validate the innovations in painting, and makes their images worthy of museums, collectors, and critics.