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Impressionism (According to Wikipedia) is:

Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.

So, 1870's - 1880's. Then I just came across this oil sketch by Constable which was done in 1810 (so around 60 years earlier). It looks so modern!

SandroJulianna[Deleted User]anwesha


  • Yes - Art labels my friend,..Bet you could find cubism, realism, etc etc  all before they where given a label by know it all,... i like his sketch though
  • edited June 2020
    Constable really was ahead of his time as a landscapist. The sketch above reminds me of Monet's early work. I wonder what the French impressionists knew of Constable's work and if they learned from him. 

    When I was young we had a framed reproduction of Constable's The Hay Wain on the wall and when I visited England in my twenties and drove into the countryside I remember thinking, yes, Constable got it right - the colour and the light - that's how rural England looks.

    I think Constable was probably the first to paint real English landscapes in their true colours and without nymphs, ruined temples and other classical allusions. His were landscapes ordinary English folk would have instantly recognised.

    The reproduction we had on our wall never failed to delight afresh each time I returned to look at it. Even though its gentle greens and soft light were nothing like the dry inland Australian landscape we inhabited it resonated with me because it clearly represented a real and beautiful landscape that one might one day visit and enjoy in person.
    Julianna[Deleted User]
  • If they can represent flesh like that in silly-putty, play-doh or mud pies they've got my attention. the fact that these old-world sculptors worked without benefit of photography is mind boggling. look at the veins in the hands and arm.
  • edited August 2020
    @BOB73 I feel that lofty art impresses me a lot less now. Although I still look at them only all the time, I feel love in more down to earth things!
  • Richard, that is an incredible find!  Thank you for posting it.  I could have been given a thousand guesses and I would have never imagined that was by Constable!  wow
  • edited September 2020
    @KaustavM @dencal I have to disagree -- the masters and their lofty subjects set a high bar from a technical and spiritual perspective that all artists should aspire to.  The Constable painting is beautiful, but it is not at the level of a Giotto or a Raphael.
    The modernist takeover of art schools and the art establishment has already dumbed things down to a great extent, so in opposition to that, we should go out of our way to exalt the greatest works of the past, even if most of us (myself included), prefer to paint or collect more mundane subjects.

  • @Csontvary I disagree too! 👍 we're now on the same boat isn't it? I'll clarify my point of view though. 
    I'm a landscape artist! That's what keeps me awake at night! To me my Raphael, Poussin, Giotto are Rembrandt, Rubens, Constable, Turner, Monet & Co. (Oh God no! Not those! 🤮).
    Unfortunately, I'm not trained in an academy. So, I'll remain a bad artist throughout my life perhaps. But, I'm more into lesser things like trees, grass, light, hills, fields, the sea, '..cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside' etc.
    To me, it's a matter of my preference rather than the greatness. These artists still continue to motivate me to remain an artist despite all the odds over a long period of time. I do love the old masters beyond measure; I mumble about them to my wife almost everyday; copy their work but I'm like one of those guys who are lurking in the bushes for scene hunting and getting too much sun!  :p
  • in reality and in my opinion "with all due respect to all other views" more than %99 of all artist's views of impressionism is wrong in the sense that they simply refer to "good realism" as Impressionism. when people see a piece that looks either photographic or an absolute rendering of a hundred percent observation of what the painter has seen, they refer to that as realism which it really isn't. there are other names for that. Hence once one sees a few loose strokes a bulb begins to blink in the head screaming "Impressionism." and of course it has nothing to do with impressionism at all. in order to better understand all of this however one needs to study many other side contextual issues which mostly can not be sought through books and names but through first-hand work and experience. 
    [Deleted User]
  • I agree with @shahin historically realism had to to with representing non academic work, work that represented real people doing what real people do.  I believe the first time Realism was applied to a painting it had to do with a scene of stone cutters.
  • @GTO 'Realism' term was perhaps used first time by Courbet but actually there were many 'realist' paintings that were done much earlier than Courbet. Velasquez, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and most importantly the Dutch artists also painted real life. I even feel that the Arnofini and some other portraits by Van Eyck are also realist works in content as well as in style. Van Eyck was perhaps 400 years before his time! 
  • @kaustavM I was referring to the realist movement in the mid 1800’s.  But yeah I do like the renaissance paintings, especially Van Eyck.  His portrait of Arnolfini is loaded with symbolism and the painting skills are off the hook.
  • @Cstontvary and @kaustavM

    As a novice with no training I tend to view great art as something which comes from great artists and which is effective at communicating/causing an intended experience in the viewer.  A great artist is one who paints from a certain inner conviction and authenticity which is immune to the temptations of "dumbing down" as well as immune to the temptations of second guessing and second hand comparisons to styles of the great masters.  In a sense modernity for modernity's sake "because critics" or "great works" for greatness-sake because "someone long ago said so", are both flawed.

    Works stand on their own with no backstory, explanation, or history lesson, and if you can look with fresh eyes on a work, with humanity, openness, and a willingness to understand what the artist is saying and seeing or asking you to experience by what you are seeing... then you can see whether the modern or the great master has succeeded, how, and in what ways.

    There is no doubt many greats and moderns painted from an urgent sense of authenticity, whose primary purpose was not to emulate any other artist or style but to recreate what they see or experience in the world in the eye, mind, and soul of a viewer. 

    Perhaps the paint is meant to represent the object only and it is hoped that it reproduces the effect it has on the artist, or perhaps an attempt is made to infuse the effect it has on the artist into the work, others may be more interested in portraying the effect itself, only hinting at the objects and such which produced them, others still might wish to directly create the experience from fictional or abstract forms. Is the artist attempting to evoke an emotional response which is cognitive, moral, or something more akin to a feeling or sensation?  Is it a sense of nostalgia, a sense of movement, a reproduction of the subjective experience of the peaceful smells and sounds of a meadow?

    There is likely no single means by which these different goals are to be achieved, because they are so different. 

    Great art is great for being effective and authentic and it comes in a myriad of forms and styles.  To my mind only disingenuous art, uninspired mimicry, and purposeless passionless art, is bad art.. and in fact might not even constitute art at all.  What do you call soulless communication between souls which communicates nothing?

    Just the humble opinion of a novice with no training.

  • Oh! This is really beautiful- i have been watching and reading up on a lot of interdisciplinary movements too and about how expressionism as an art movement affected the theatrical acting movement- it is extremely fascinating
  • Impressionism was heavily influenced by Constable, Courbet and Turner. Mostly it was a product of the industrial revolution and the rise of middle class and personal freedom that followed. Tubed paints, manufactured brushes, easels and the publishing of M. E. Chevereul's The Principles of Colors and Their Application to the Arts. Awakened a curiosity in artists that hasn't stopped to this day. Thank goodness.

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