Impressionism - Art History


Within the framework of modernist searches in the field of fine arts, the place of the leader is occupied by painting. In the last third of the XIX century. in France there is a group of artists (Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edouard Degas, Edouard Manet, Camille Pizarro, Bertha Morisot, etc.), seeking to transform art, in particular painting. They do not receive recognition for a long time outside their circle, but eventually achieve their goals. The name of their group "Impressionists" was initially ironic, as if defining a frivolous approach, opposed to strict academicism. The term is taken from the title of the painting by Claude Monet Impression. Sunrise ("Impression. Soleil levant"), exhibited at an exhibition in 1874 among other paintings rejected by the Academy of Arts. This salon of rejected people had tremendous success, as well as the next seven exhibitions of this group until 1896.

Impressionists really changed art, and therefore the whole world. They developed the best traditions of European painting, enriching it with their subjective experience. Impressionism aesthetizes reality in its immediate features, the landscape in them becomes an active actor, ceasing to be the backdrop for the characters. Freshness of colors, elegance of color make their painting very charming. The perception of these pictures requires a certain perfection from the viewer. A sophisticated sense of color, experiments with color, the dynamics of optical constructions attract the viewer, organize his impressions of the paintings. Criticism of impressionism was based on the deviations of artists from the literal reflection of reality. It was not immediately understood that in their work there is more truth in the reflection of the real world than in naturalists.

Landscapes were written exclusively in the open air - continuing the tradition of barbizontsev , the Impressionists developed a system of laws plein air. In their landscapes depicted the everyday nature in all its liveliness, changeability, in the complex relations of nature and man. For completeness of color impression Impressionists use local colors, analytically decomposing complex shades into pure colors, mixing in the eye of the viewer. In this case, each of the artists had an individual manner of writing, techniques that create a certain effect of perception of the picture by the viewer. Volumetric forms in the pictures seem to dissolve in the light-air environment.

Some principles of compositional construction - the fluidity of forms, the transmission of instantaneous movement - in varying degrees affected in the sculpture of 1880-1910's. in the works of E. Degas, O. Rodin, P. Trubetskoi, A.C. Golubkina et al.

Claude Oscar Monet (1840-1926), whose work gave the name to the whole direction, was mostly a landscape painter, in his mature years he painted only landscapes. Refusing the academic demands for a smooth, gradual transition from light to shadow, Monet writes objects and figures as though blurred streams of light and air. He perfected this technique in the countryside and the city landscape, depicting blooming gardens, smoky stations, crowded Parisian boulevards.

Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841 -1918) started with Monet working together in the open air. This enriched both. Thanks to the bold use of color shadows and a dynamic brushstroke, the image of the light-and-air atmosphere acquires Renoir's wonderful reality. Renoir creates a number of amazing portraits, primarily women's. His Bathers outshine the sensual beauty of the women of Rubens. The transparency and warmth of the skin, the beauty of the models, the lively character of the French women are impressively and distinctively imprinted. Children in his paintings are touching, and serious. Animals are full of wisdom and indulgence towards people. "Woman with a cat", "Madame Charpentier with her children" - To that testimony. Renoir created a lot of images of the townspeople in multi-figured compositions: "Ball in the Moulin de la Galette", "Umbrellas", "Breakfast of the oarsmen" and others

Edgar Iler Germain Degas (1834-1917) is one of the most prominent impressionists. First of all, the painter, he is also the author of numerous sculptures. He worked as a graph. Degas is characterized by the search for the transmission of dramatic, intense movement. He enthusiastically draws jumps. A lot of images of dancers give us the charm of the Parisian ballet. Especially elegant are the paintings "Rehearsal of the ballet on stage", "Blue dancers", "The ballet star". Women in Degas paintings are shown mainly through the plastic of the whole figure. Degas do not flatter their models, they are not always beautiful, but they are necessarily interesting, characteristic, they remember for a long time.

Edouard Manet (1832-1883) - one of the founders of Impressionism. He received an academic art education, he knew the painting of old masters. Manet was authoritative among his younger colleagues as a professional. Eating hostile feelings towards artistic routine. Perhaps, that is why his paintings caused scandals, they shocked the public: "Olimpia", "Breakfast on the grass". In these paintings, the artist interpreted traditional stories in an innovative way. Manet did not participate in any contemporary exhibition of the Impressionists, but in the XX century. and these days in their retrospective exhibitions are necessarily represented.

The artist was also interested in everyday scenes, introducing a sophisticated observation in them. The best canvas of this period is the "Bar in the Folies-Bergeres". The foreground of the picture in the realistic tradition contrasts with the second plan. Before the viewer in the foreground is a friendly and somewhat detached barmaid, the second plan is a mirror behind her, in which the owner of the bar herself reflects, and the entire interior of the Folies-Berger, and visitors. Here everything looks blurry, almost unreal. Manet seems to unite his favorite tricks on one canvas.

Berthe Morisot (1841 -1895) - Fragonard's granddaughter, took painting lessons from Corot, then joined the Impressionists. The themes of Moriso are connected with happy stories of motherhood, walks in nature. Full of sun and light painting Bertha Morisot is elegant, joyful. Her paintings make a fair contribution to the idea of ​​the French women.

The Impressionists returned painting a leading position among other arts.

The next generation of Impressionists, called by a number of researchers Neo-Impressionists, and post-impressionists, was formed under the influence of the creators of this artistic direction. These include Cezanne, Sera, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Sisley and some other artists. They are characterized by a relatively late arrival in art, the lack of academic art education, the brightness of personal characteristics, a strong desire for self-expression, the search for new expressive means. This period of the Impressionists' work is completed by the activity of the "Nabi" group, focused on the development of achievements of the post-impressionists, but on the content of its activities already close to modernism.

When it comes to individuals of this scale, which we meet in the post-impressionist environment, we could not build any hierarchical schemes - they were all genius. But the practice of art criticism brings first place to Paul Cezanne (1839-1906). He came from a well-to-do family, where he was hoped for as a future financier, but Cezanne early began taking painting lessons, first at the drawing school in Aix-en-Provence, where he came from, later at the Suis Academy in Paris. He was friends with many impressionists, but especially closely - with Pizarro, whom he considered his mentor. Painting Impressionists did not satisfy Cezanne with his contemplation, amorphism, he wanted to convey the materiality of the world through the discovery and display of the structure of the subject environment. He legendarily worked on his canvases for a long time, achieving the desired effects. It was Cézanne who discovered that the structure of objects is always close to simple geometric forms, so he is still considered the founder of Cubism and constructivism. Figures of people, the silhouettes of trees and mountains and everything in the world are at Cezanne in a complex, unstable equilibrium. The masterpieces of the master include paintings "Girl at the piano", "Pierrot and Harlequin", "Playing cards", "Still life with gypsum cupid" and a lot of landscapes, which he wrote especially willingly in the late period of creativity.

Georges-Pierre Sera (1859-1891) - the founder of pointillism (from the point - the point), also called divisionism (from division - I share). Sulfur entered the history of painting as a man who brought to the logical end the idea of ​​a local color: the artist completely refuses to mix colors and forms his picturesque images from separate small multicolored strokes that disintegrate like fragments of a mosaic, if we look at the picture close, but acquire expressiveness and meaningful figurativeness , if you look at it from afar. His brushes belong to remarkably beautiful landscapes: "The Lighthouse in Honfleur", "Port-en-Bessen, outer harbor, tide", "Sunday day on the island of Gran Jatt". He lived a little, but without his ideas the face of the modern world would be different. Sere's attempt to build the coloring of paintings on a rigorous calculation was not entirely successful, because with the help of his technique the followers of Ser's ideas began to create brightly individual and emotional works.

Paul Signac (1863-1935) followed Sera as he sought to use science in his work on light, color and visual perception. He manages to transmit the thrill of life and the delightful beauty of nature. He managed to work in all conceivable genres and types of artistic activity. However, his landscapes are especially good: "Papal Palace in Avignon", "Pine in Saint Tropez", "Yellow boat of Venice" and others. Signac for many years was the permanent chairman of exhibitions held by the Society of Independent Artists.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), full name Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, representative of an aristocratic family with a difficult and strange fate, mythological figure during his lifetime, and later his image was replicated in films, books, legends. Diseases and injuries deform his body, deprive him of external attractiveness. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, having the opportunity to live in an aesthetically perfect environment and follow worthy academic models, sing the world of aristocracy, resolutely rejects this. He finds himself friends in the world of bohemia. His models - washerwomen and riders, prostitutes and variety stars - are brightly individual, internally free. Toulouse-Lautrec does not give his characters an assessment, he just talks about them. At the same time, with every year his artistic manner is improved, he acquires the possibility of transferring both complex human psychology and movement with rather meager means: many times he paints dances, galloping horses. In portraits of the Toulouse-Lautrec brush there is always an individual manner of character movement.

A special place is taken by the schedule of Toulouse-Lautrec. He created 30 advertising posters-posters. He is the first of the famous artists comes to this applied genre and sets it a very high artistic level. Toulouse-Lautrec, like all post-impressionists, was fond of Japanese engravings. And in his graphic works their influence is felt. The posters created by him attract high decorative.

The best works of the artist include the paintings "Salon of the institution in the street de Moulins", "Dance in the Moulin Rouge", "Justine Diel in the garden of Forest", "Clowness Sha-Yu-Kao", "Circus Fernando and many other works telling about this time with unparalleled convincingness.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) belongs to Holland and France at the same time. He received a theological education and honestly performed his duty to the flock, acting as a defender of the poor. The hopeless poverty with which Van Gogh faced as a preacher in a mining village, and the indifference of the churchmen to her lead Van Gogh's break with religion. He takes painting lessons in Brussels, Antwerp, The Hague. Early works are devoted to the life of the poorest layers. The gloomy colors of these paintings, the oppressive atmosphere - nothing foreshadows the feast of colors in the mature Van Gogh, but the power of expressing emotions is already talking about the artist's outstanding talent. Such is the mesmerizing picture of the "Eaters of the Potato".

Moving to Paris and getting acquainted with the Impressionist art opens Van Gogh new creative possibilities related to color. But the coloristic genius of the artist blossoms especially bright when acquainted with the nature of the south of France, when he moves to Arles. Here Van Gogh creates his best works: "Red Vineyards in Arles", "Starry Night", "Night Cafe in Arles", "Sunflowers". However, at the same time, Van Gogh's mental health begins to deteriorate. Arrival in Arles Gauguin plays a fatal role: two bright personalities quarrel, and this leads to an aggravation of the disease of Van Gogh. He and in the last year of his life continues to create masterpieces, remelting their suffering in high art. But his last works are full of death symbols, for example, "Bread field with crows". Van Gogh committed suicide. In all, he painted pictures for about five years. And during this time he became one of the greatest artists in the history of painting. His paintings are valued today at auctions fabulously high, especially representatives of Japan.

Paul Gauguin, full name - Paul Eugene Henri Gauguin (1848-1903) is another mythologized personality among the post-impressionists. In his youth he was a sailor, then - a successful stockbroker. He could afford to collect paintings, preferring the canvases of artists Barbizon school. He gradually mastered the desire for an independent search for artistic expression, turning into a passion that subordinated his whole life. Gauguin continues to travel in search of earnings (working on the construction of the Panama Canal) and simply by the attraction of the soul. For him, the framework of impressionism is becoming tight. Returning to Port Aven, Gauguin unites a group of artists, proclaiming "color synthetism." The forms of objects and figures in their works are simplified, the outlines, "forbidden" in impressionism, here polemical is prescribed black or dark blue, filling with bright color spots. An example of Gauguin's painting in this period is the painting "Vision after the Sermon." The struggle of Jacob with the angel ". But the exhibition of synthetics in 1889, failed, and Gauguin again leaves Europe in search of a more suitable reality for him. The artist finds it on the islands of Tahiti and Dominik - Polynesia gives Gauguin and the landscape appropriate to his fantasies, and wonderful sitters that fill his canvases from now on. Their exotic beauty, ease, simplicity of manners captivated Gauguin. There he creates the most remarkable of his works: "Are you jealous?", "Riders on the beach", "Where are we from?" Who are we? Where are we going? & Quot ;. However, detachment from civilization has led the hermit to a lamentable end, he dies in Atuona, on the Marquesas Islands, from poverty and disease. But his achievements in painting continue to impress humanity.

Post-impressionism began to split up into new groups. One of the most interesting was the "Nabi" group. (prophets), formed largely under the influence of creativity Gauguin. In it, the next generation of artists attracted decorative, static, freedom of color. However, they never resorted to direct imitation, they sought their own way - to the origins of Impressionism. The group existed in Paris in the 1890s-1905s. Its representatives created a kind of modernity, they easily went into the field of applied art, drawing sketches of carpets, interiors, theatrical scenery. P. Seryuzye, A. Denis, K. Russell, later P. Bonnard, E. Vuillard, A. Maillol formed the backbone of the group.

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) creates landscapes bright in color, for example, "Early Spring." Little Fauns & quot ;, "Landscape with a freight train", "Mediterranean Sea" (a three-part panel), "Dress", "Breakfast Room" and others. Bonnard is called the "Last Impressionist."

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) - painter, graphic artist and decorator. Experimented, paying tribute to Japanese engravings: "In bed", "Piano". Collaborated with leading theaters. Over the years, his work is monumental, Vuillard creates large-scale works, for example, for the palace of Shaye, in collaboration with Bonnard and Roussel, forms a theater foyer. At the end of his life he wrote mostly flower compositions, pleasing to the eye with an impressionistic color.

Maurice Denis (1870-1943) is a painter, an art historian. He had the nickname "Nabi of beautiful icons", associated with his fascination with Christianity, with murals of churches. Denis brings to his work elements of humor, stylization, sometimes allowing direct quoting of other people's images, quite in the spirit of postmodernity. This is the picture of "Cezanne's Congratulation", in the center of which the Cézanne painting "Still-life with a vase for fruit and a plate with a cookie" is reproduced. Touching and ingenious in color painting "Paradise". Denis created for the mansion IA. Morozov in Moscow murals "The History of Psyche", now stored in the Hermitage. Denis himself defined his work as neotraditionalism.

One can not help saying that Amadeo Modigliani and Maurice Utrillo have not joined any particular direction. To the short and bright life and creative destiny of Amadeo Modigliani (1884-1920), not recognized during the lifetime of the sculptor, painter, graphic artist, the bitter truth applies: "for that you are recognized, you must die. "

Born in Livorno, Modigliani came to Paris in 1906 as a twenty-two-year-old but already established master, having received his art education first in the sculptor's workshop Gabriel Mikeli, then from 1902 in the "Free School of Drawing with Nudity." at the Florentine Academy of Arts with painter Giovanni Fattori, whose name is associated with the Italian painting " " McKiaoli " (free writing in colorful spots), and in the" Free school nudity " ; Venetian Institute of Fine Arts. In Paris Modigliani (or, as his friends called him, Modi) took lessons at the Colarossi Academy of Painting. Modi fit into the bohemian atmosphere of the creative community of Montparnasian artists and poets who appreciated the genuinely great talent of the young Italian.

Possessing a unique painting style, an excellent draftsman, Modigliani nonetheless experienced the influence of Lautrec's graphics, Cezanne and Picasso's paintings, and as a sculptor (whom he thought himself to be primarily) absorbed both the classical antiquity and the strict laconism of the Egyptian reliefs, and the primitive of African sculptures, and the art of the Khmer.

Modigliani is considered the genius of the image of "nudity" - nude, however, at the first (and only) personal exhibition in the lifetime of 1918, these pictures caused the indignation of the Parisian public with their frank sensuality. His nudes and portraits (mostly female ones - Jeanne Ebutern, Beatrice Hastings, Elena Povolotskaya and many others), warm, saturated in color, reddish-sunny color and somewhat exaggerated, combine the rigidity of geometric proportions: narrow, slightly flat faces, swan neck, elongated figures, long hair - and plastic finesse: smooth lines give the pictures an amazing purity and lightness.

Pictures and drawings by Amadeo Modigliani were fully recognized by descendants - at world auctions connoisseurs pay for them such sums that the penniless artist could not even imagine, even knowing the true price to his creations.

Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955), which was recognized only decades after the start of the creative path - the true singer of Paris: the famous cathedrals, city streets, Seine embankments, Montmartre sees him as if "in pure form", he does not write people, deliberately highlighting only the tiniest details of the landscape. The manner of his writing is textured, he writes in color layers, experiments with foreign materials for painting (sand, moss), achieving an extremely accurate transfer of volumes and contours of the objective world. The paintings of Utrillo are full of light harmony and attract viewers some kind of mystery, which is hidden in simple at first glance landscapes.

In conclusion of the talk about post-impressionism, it should be emphasized that all artists of this trend were united by the idea of ​​the liberation of painting from the power of the literary text, from the role of interpreter of the text, and the finding of an independent aesthetic sense and content that is specific to it.

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