A French art movement of the late 19th century, the Impressionists left a large body of work that is much appreciated by the public today. Working between 1860 and 1900, artists such as Cezanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Pissarro and Caillebotte are associated with the movement in one form or another. Anti-academic in a formal sense, the artists had to create salons and other venues as a means of selling these often controversial art pieces.
Taking its title from the Monet painting entitled Impression, Sunrise, Impressionism was initially lambasted for its lack of formal execution. The paintings are normally landscapes or scenes depicting modern life and rely on the perception of the scene rather than the details. This emphasis on the moment encouraged artists to render the same scene during different times of the year and even during different times of the day.
Impressionism has its roots in French landscape painting and realism and was developed by artists with formal training that chose to reject most of its doctrine. Initially experimenting with darker colors, the color palate got much lighter and normally included creamy pastels. The impact of the Impressionist movement is broad because it “combined new approaches to formal issues while remaining a naturalist art” (Seiberlig). The technique, color palate or subject matter was experimented with by students of the Impressionists, many of whom came to develop equally notable movements.
Seiberling, Grace. “Impressionism,” in Oxford Art Online.