Highlights of Impressionism
This breathtaking display from Amgueddfa Cymru's renowned collection includes works by Manet, Monet, Boudin, Pissarro, Sisley, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas, Rodin and those dubbed the ‘British Impressionists’.
Impressionism opened artists’ eyes to modernity, revealing a world full of light and atmosphere.
The informal subjects, bright colours and loose techniques caused outcry at first, but would eventually have an international impact.
The original Impressionists were a group of young French artists frustrated with the old-fashioned principles of academic art.
In 1874 they held their first independent exhibition which included works by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Paul Cézanne.
Initially many critics mocked their radical ideas. Their works portrayed modern life and the world around them. They painted quickly, often in the open air, to capture the ‘impression’ of a passing moment.
Sculptors also flouted academic standards by representing the realistic movements and imperfections of their models.
Auguste Rodin was one of the most influential. As well as producing lifelike figures, he used the physical qualities of his materials to express an emotional element.
Foreign artists flocked to France and the Paris art schools to experience and learn about these new techniques. Many British artists were profoundly affected by Impressionism.
Groups such as the New English Art Club were among those now recognised as the ‘British Impressionists’.