Art Quiz: The Answer is Impressionism

You knew this one, of course. Being both a musician and now an artist, I’m quite familiar with impressionism. I’ve always found it interesting that my “favorites” in music and my “favorites” in art run parallel, although maybe that’s not really so strange.

I grew up loving Debussy, Ravel, Respighi, Scriabin, and Delius — to name only a few of the composers whose works I enjoy. One of my most favorite pieces to perform is Debussy’s hauntingly beautiful Reverie:

I hope you’ll listen to this beautiful composition.

We’re here though to discuss impressionism in art. Notable names include: Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Auguste Renoir. There are, of course, many others. If you browse through this blog a bit, you’ll find that I’ve written about many of these impressionist artists and about the art movement itself.

A quick definition of Impressionism is this:

 “…a style of painting developed in the last third of the 19th century, characterized chiefly by short brush strokes of bright colors in immediate juxtaposition to represent the effect of light on objects.”

Themes developed in Impressionism included “genre” paintings — scenes of ordinary people going about their everyday lives. Impressionist paintings typically feature bold brushstrokes, and quick “impressions” of a scene.

Camille Pissarro offered this advice to landscape painters on the Impressionist style:

Work at the same time on sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on an equal basis…Don’t be afraid of putting on color…Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression.

The following, although not by Pissarro, is one of my favorite Impressionist landscapes. It is Poplars on the Epte, painted in 1891 by Claude Monet.

Poplars on the Epte 1891 Claude Monet 1840-1926 Presented by the Art Fund 1926 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N04183

Although Impressionism began in France and is most closely associated with that country, it did spread. You’ll find “impressionist” works by British and American artists.

If you’re interested in this time period of art history and want to know more about the artists from this movement, I recommend “The Private Lives of the Impressionists” by Sue Roe, and I’m grateful to fellow blogger Hilda Rogers for sharing the book with me. It’s definitely worth reading. It really brings the Impressionist artists to life as real people with real thoughts, feelings, desires, and problems.

I’ve certainly enjoyed re-visiting some of my favorite composers and favorite artists today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look back in time, as well.

9 Comments

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and for sharing your blog. I visited, followed, and found it delightful! I love the Paul Simon quote. I’m looking forward to visiting often and reading your posts. Best wishes as part of this awesome “blogaverse”.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting thought! I’ve done a bit of “art meditation” and I’m listened to background music a bit — but not all at the same time, and not with thoughts of a particular scene or subject. Something new for me to explore! Thank you for the suggestions. BTW, what are some of your favorite Debussy pieces? He’s always been a favorite composer.

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  1. Claire De Lune of course. Steve Halpern is also a wonderful musical source here. In my opinion, the meditation must blend in well behind the scenes. It’s not a concert you are looking for.

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    1. I used to have a lot of Steve Halpern’s cassette tapes. That’s a day that’s long gone. Of course, Claire de Lune is a favorite Debussy piece. It’s easy to “get lost” in such beautiful music.

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      1. Are you familiar with Rudy Adrian? He’s a musician from New Zealand. A lot of his work is available on YouTube, so I sometimes listen to him. I also have a lot of “New Age” and/or “Space Music”-themed stations on Pandora.

        I really enjoy listening to nature sounds, the sound of rain, ocean waves, and a bit of thunder. Add in a few windchimes and I’m content. 🙂

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