I’m not going to use this post to explain Impressionism, there is a whole lotta info on the interwebs that is yours for the asking. I think it certainly is worth investigating for yourself. In fact, let me Google that for you.
Impressionism is my favorite because of how it makes me feel when I look at it. Yup, that’s it pure and simple. That is what art is supposed to do isn’t it? Regardless of if it’s a good feeling or a bad feeling, as long as it makes you feel something.
The first time I saw Monet’s Soleil Levant (Impressionist Sunrise) I fell in love with it. I was fortunate enough to be able to see the original painting which hangs in the Musée Marmottan, they sell prints branded by the museum and I purchased one, which now hands in Le Salon de Suzanne (my livingroom).
I’ve seen many reproductions and prints of it but the one I got at the museum was the same size and colors of the actual painting, which is small with muted colors. It’s not large, bright or cheery looking like a lot of the posters I have seen. The “happy’d up” version does nothing for me, but the original makes me feel a deep emotional, an almost longing that I can not explain. I feel this way when ever I spend more than a few minutes looking at it.
I’ve never really been able to paint in the style of Impressionism, I feel like I should give it a better go but at the same time I think that if it was something I was meant to do I’d have gotten into it already. Though, it never stops me from spending a few hours here and there just looking at it.
My other favorite Impressionist artists are Degas, Manet, Renoir and Cézanne. I don’t dislike any of them, those are just the ones I like most. Especially after being fortunate enough to visit several museums in Europe and actually get to see the original works they painted. As often the reproductions and prints are just not true to size and color.
I was also fortunate enough to be able to spend a day at Giverny, Monet’s estate. It was a big interesting house with nothing but ridiculously beautiful gardens surrounding it. Oh, and of course the famous lily pond and bridge that he loved to paint.
I could spend hours (and often have) just looking at paintings, looking up stuff about them and about the people who painted them or inspired them. Impressionist artists were like these crazy rock stars who did all these interesting or mind blowing things and time just let their stories fade into “painter from a long time ago whose paintings are mostly seen on hospital and doctor’s office walls”. Do a little investigating for yourself, I promise you that you won’t be disappointed… a little shocked and disturbed maybe, but not disappointed!
Au revoir a bientot!