25.8.09

Who Made an Impression on Monet?

When Monet was a student, one of his teachers left such a negative impression that he and his friends left school to create the genesis of the impressionist movement. Who was that teacher?

"The Walk, Woman with a Parasol" by Claude Monet National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C.


Today, we see the influence of impressionist movement (the movement named after a critic's negative description of one of Monet's paintings) ? just about everywhere. But who impressed the impressionists? Who did they reject?

Monet's anti-inspiration was his teacher Charles Gleyre of Atelier Suisse...."http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/art.asp?aid=230

Yet Monet, before meeting Gleyre had already been inspired by Eugene Boudin

(see Boudin's painting to the left, compared to Monet's painting above) http://www.eugeneboudin.org/ who was a primarily self taught painter who worked from life but also studied at the Louve and was connected with a group of painters called the Barbizon School

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbizon_school

As you peruse the links and look at the artwork, ask yourself:

"Does a movement in art exist before it is given a name?"

Does that movement become more or less valid when others respond to it and start doing it themselves? (and for how long?)


While Monet is one of the best known Impressionist artists, students interested in this form of art and it's place in history would also benefit from understanding the influences of some of his friends and contemporaries:

Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille (all of which studied with Charles Gleyre) who were later joined by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, and Armand Guillaumin(later) and finally Cézanne, Berthe Morisot, and Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Manet ... even others including Eugene Boudin, Monet's early influence.

I have intentionally left out many interesting points in history to encourage you to click/investigate these links and come to your own conclusions.

So wether you love or hate impressionist art - whether you think it's exciting, historically significant, evocative or trite ... at least now you have a link for your students to consider the influences on Monet - who is undoubtedly one of the impressionist movements' best known artists.