The style of Impressionism, which was in essence born in 1874 in France, ushered in a new era of visual arts that changed the way many viewed art and evaluated it. In comparison to the Romantic and Realist painters that preceded them, painters of the Impressionist style took a drastic approach at depicting real subjects with real lighting and effects in a different matter than seen before. It’s this fact alone that I think intrigues me the most about this particular art style.
Critics of the style believed at first that these painters looked unfinished and attributed their worth to little more than a sketch or impression, giving the style its name. (Samu Impressionism). However, after time passed, more people began to look at Impressionistic paintings in a different light. Not only did people look at the subjects in the paintings, typically upper class goings on and other pleasant moments, but at the work and technique an individual painter used to create their work. Detail was not a necessary facet of Impressionism, but the fact that many different painters found different levels of detail shows how versatile and awe-inspiring many of these works are.
In comparison to previous art styles, which I covered in previous posts, I think of the styles together as a camera changing focus. As you focus the camera forward toward something, you see a more detailed image and can see much farther. When we finally focus the image perfectly, we arrive at what most would consider the Romantic/Realist styles. Focus the camera just a little more and we set the focal point past the image, which may not look blurry and not as detailed, but we technically are looking much deeper. This is Impressionism to me.