Impressionism

March 25, 2010

I would have to say that overall I like impressionism.  I was a little leery at first, but the art style grew on me.   I found some of the subject matter to be a bit trite.  I much prefer the subject matter of the neoclassical or the realists.  However neo classicalism and realism lack feeling.  To make my point I chose Winslow Homer’s “Prisoners from the Front”.

I prefer the detail and intense accuracy of Homer’s work, but after viewing the impressionists, “Prisoners from the Front” seemed hollow.   The soldiers while well defined and perfect, are just standing there. They do not seem to belong to the background, or perhaps the background does not belong to them.  I feel as if they were cut and pasted into the work.  To contrast Homer’s painting I chose John Singer Sargent’s “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.

Sargent’s painting seems to me to blend the background, foreground and subject into one unifying entity.  The paper lanterns seem to be part of the subject as well as the action verb.  The two girls seem to be surrounded in what I would call light of Faery.  I do see strong correlations with the people of the Side and the orange lanterns decoration style of the garden. .  This is clear contrast to the perfect soldiers of Homer.

Dance at the Moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir does not seem to fit the style mold of impressionism  as clearly as other works even by Renoir.  The party guests still seem to have a lot of the detail and defined characteristics of earlier art styles.  The flow and continuation of the party is what earns the painting its spot in impressionism.   All the guests seem to be part of the same continuity.

Not all impressionistic art was to my liking though.  Particularly Claude Monet’s “Impression Sunrise”.

In my opinion it is just a blurring of grey.  It is subject less (I do not think that mist is a true subject).   As a first step in a new style the painting has to be given some grace.   To me it seemed as if the focus was on blending the background with the foreground. Not with incorporating any subject into the painting.  However this same type of blending is what I appreciate in other works.

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2 Responses to “Impressionism”

  1. Rianna Says:

    I would have to agree that Impression Sunrise did not do anything special for me either. While I did enjoy other works of art that had similar styles of painting to me this piece seems to be kind of boring. On the other hand, a piece that to me is somewhat similar is Starry, Starry Night, which I really enjoy. The color scheme is amazing and capturing.
    Otherwise, your blog was very interesting and informative of your opinion. I enjoyed the different paintings with your opinion as to the differences and your likes.

  2. Brandon Knelsen Says:

    I thought you did a great job on your blog post. You did a great job stating your likes and dislikes on the Impressionism era. I agree with a lot of what you said but I actually liked Monet’s “Impression Sunrise” and liked how it was different than other eras with the sketchy lines, loose brush strokes, and the dabs of color that blended together. I personally liked a couple of the other styles more than impressionist style of art but I did enjoy it more once I became more familiar with it. You gave great detail in your post and did an excellent job overall.

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