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Key Artistic Developments

             In the late 1800's began the movement of Impressionism, which is where I will begin and inclusive through to Cubism in the early 1900's. Discussing in detail the events which lead to these developments and the ideas of the artists, and the public reactions at the time.
             The Impressionist group was first formed around 1870 in France by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frederic Bazille due to their shared discontent with academic teaching. So they began their own group also later joined by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cezanne, Berthe Morisot, Armand Guillaumin, Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet. They were given the name Impressionists after Monet's painting Impression:Sunrise. It was the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War, the set-up of the Third Republic of France, and the Siege of Paris. These events enormously impacted the lives of the artists just beginning in their movement. Monet, Degas and Renoir enlisted, and Bazille was killed in action at only 29. Meanwhile Monet and Pissarro escaped to England where they met Paul Derand-Ruel, the Parisian art dealer. After the War, as things returned to somewhat calm, so did the world of the Impressionists as they regularly met at cafés (Café Guerbois most often) and studios to discuss their shared thoughts on art. The Impressionists beliefs were to paint from nature, "plein-air- painting, to paint the reflected light, not grey or black shadows but in the colours of the object/s causing those shadows. They wanted to escape the principles of the previous Romanticism, that the importance of art is to communicate the emotional excitement of the artist and that the recording of nature is secondary. They believed the opposite to this. In the casualty of the Impressionist group the techniques held to be characteristic of them were not uniformly practised by all Impressionists, unlike the formalism of academic training.

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