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The Impressionist Movement

Path to the Birdbath by Stephanie Berry on Zatista.com

Impressionism. Not to turn into an Art History Lesson, but it was created by Parisian artists in 1874 and continues to be a popular painting style. It’s easy to see why, with its prominent brush strokes and sweet pastel colors (or bold, bright hues). The obvious brush strokes portray an ambiance of spontaneity and romanticism within the artist, which in turn translates as passion to the viewer, and creates a bit of intimacy between the painting, the painter, and the viewer.

Steeping Brilliance by Kit Hevron Mahoney on Zatista.com

The focus of impressionism tends to be nature, but not reality, not nature as we see it; impressionism conveys the sublime side of nature. The potential beauty of every forest, sunset, flower, park, and river is dramatized, and the expressive, short strokes easily allow the artist to create variations of light. Some popular artists you might know from the era include Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, all of whom also happened to be some of the founding members of Impressionism.

Wild Sweetness by Allan P. Friedlander on Zatista.com

“Impressionism” was given its name by seventeenth century art critic Louis Leroy, who claimed that the art displayed at an opening exhibit in 1874 were merely sketches, or “impressions”. But these paintings are far more than just impressions; they portray the beauty of nature, and what’s more, the beauty beyond nature. In the words of Claude Monet himself: “I am following Nature without being able to grasp her; I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

Mysterious Forest by Linda Yurgensen on Zatista.com This painting proves that the sublime side of nature isn’t just limited to just beauty, but also, mystery, and in turn, fear. This gorgeous painting invokes a sense of anxiety within the viewer, with the dark purple shadows cast by the trees, and the obvious vastness of the forest.

These Zatista artists not only create and celebrate the beauty that is Impressionism, but also pay tribute to the beauty of nature. Every artist creates his or her own reality, and though these paintings might not reflect what we see, they reflect what could be, what exists in the mind. And in some cases, the painting is meant to reflect the actual beauty of the scene, just in a more raw form: the brash brush strokes allow the viewer to experience the full effect of light and color within the landscape. Reality or not, these paintings convey the variations of beauty within nature and the emotions that it invokes within artists and viewers alike, something that few art forms are able to express.

Birthday Flowers by Inna Lazarev on Zatista.com

Lavender Fields Forever by Silvia Trujillo on Zatista.com

Texas Bluebonnets by Claudia Davis on Zatista.com

Blue Lagoon by June Johnson on Zatista.com

Corner Bouquet, White Table by Carol Steinberg on Zatista.com

Works Cited
Samu, Margaret. “Impressionism: Art and Modernity”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/imml/hd_imml.htm (October 2004)


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The Art of Impressionism
The focus of impressionism is on the eye of the beholder. The painter captures an object as if they took a glimpse of it, turning it into a work of art that can be pondered upon by many...