Impressionism is an art movement that uses relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, clear colors, ordinary subject matter an open composition and lays emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its different qualities and unusual visual angles. In this post, we will be considering the most famous paintings of impressionism
Impressionism started in France with a group of Paris based artists and their independent exhibitions made it popular between 1870-1880.
Before this art movement came to being, most works of art were created in a studio. Impressionists changed the norm by breaking the rules and often painting outdoors, thereby taking note of realistic scenes of modern life.
Impressionism encountered a lot of criticism when it first started, though it later gathered a following and led to an analogous movement in music and literature known as impressionist media and impressionist literature.
A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte By Georges Seurat.
This work, painted in 1884 is George Seurat’s most famous work. It is composed of a number of Parisians at a park on the banks of river Seine. It is an oil painting as well as a pointillist painting and was inspired by the painter’s observation of the world around him.
It is a clear picture of a typical outing for Parisians at the time. Umbrellas and trees provided the required shade and while facing the river, the people appear to have found an escape from the city life regardless of the activity they’re engaged in.
This work of art which has found its permanent residence at the art institute if Chicago, is arguably the most celebrated work of pointillism.
Woman Reading by Edouard Manet
Woman Reading is a painting produced by Edouard Manet in 1879. This painting is located at The Art Institute of Chicago, USA which was reserved by them in 2000. This painting shows a woman sitting in a cafe holding the journal with both of her hands.
Impression Sunrise by Claude Monet
Impression Sunrise is a painting produced by Claude Monet in 1872. This painting is most famous for its portrayal of the harbor and port of Le Havre, hometown of the french painter. A ship is shown sailing in the sea while the sun is shown with different color contrast. This is one of the most sought after and famous impressionist paintings
The Large Bathers by Paul Cézanne
The Large Bathers is a painting produced by Paul Cézanne between 1898 and 1905. This painting is the largest ones of all the Bather series painting that the French artist had developed. Other names were given to this painting like Big bathers to distinguish among other painting in the series.
Irises by Vincent van Gogh
Irises is a painting produced by Vincent van Gogh in 1889. The Dutch artist died in 1890 so this painting including other series as well were his last work. It is known that this painting was influenced by Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints.
The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
The Starry Night is created by Vincent Van Gogh in June 1889 is an oil on canvas painting that fully describes the view of the artist from the east of his asylum room through the window at night. It has its permanent residence at the Museum of modern art in New York. It is one of Van Gogh’s most celebrated works, it is surprising seeing that the artist regarded it as a failure.
Starry Night Over the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh
Starry Night Over the Rhone is a painting produced by Vincent van Gogh in 1888. This painting is regarded as one of the famous works of Vincent. The scene depicts the Aries of nighttime. The Dutch artist painted it on the River Rhone at a spot of the river bank.
Young Woman Sewing in a Garden by Mary Cassat
Young Woman Sewing in a Garden is a painting produced by Mary Cassat in 1886. The American painter is known for including family and friends often women and children and their daily private life into her paintings.
Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre Auguste Renoir
Luncheon of the Boating Party is a painting produced by Pierre Auguste Renoir between 1880 and 1881, and remains as one of the famous impressionist paintings ever made. This painting was exhibited at The Seventh Impressionist Exhibition show in 1882 where it was identified as one of the best paintings by three critics.
The Floor Scrapers by Gustave Caillebotte
The Floor Scrapers is a painting produced by Gustave Caillebotte in 1875. The Floor strippers was the other name given to this painting. The french artist painting this painting in his family home. This painting was the first who showed urban class working in homes.
Paris Street Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte
Paris Street Rainy Day is a painting produced by Gustave Caillebotte in 1877.
This one is a large oil painting created in 1877 by Gustave Caillebotte and has been considered to be his best-known work. It shows a number of people passing through place de Dublin which was then known as the Carrefour de Moscou. Caillebotte had many friends who had toured the path of impressionism and although this work is classified as an impressionist painting, it stands out due to its realism and dependence on line rather than broad brush strokes.
Observing this piece closely makes it clear that Gustave had an interest in photography, as the pictures in the foreground seem to be ‘out of focus’, and those in the mid-distance have relatively sharp edges while those in the background happen to be progressively distinct.
Olympia by Edouard Manet
Olympia is a painting produced by Edouard Manet in 1863. This painting by the french artist was exhibited exactly after two years at Paris Salon in 1865. This painting shows a nude woman lying on a bed while a black servant brought flowers for her.
A Bar at the Folies Bergere by Edouard Manet
Another famous impressionist painting – A bar at the Folies Bergere is a painting produced by Edouard Manet in 1882. This work by the french artist was regarded as the last major work which was exhibited at the Paris salon in 1882. It depicts a scene of a bar in Paris from the Folies Bergere nightclub.
This painting is considered to be Edouard Manet’s last major work as it was created just a year before he died of syphilis at 51. Painted in 1882, and exhibited at the annual fine arts exhibition that same year. It shows a scene in a night club called Folies- Bergere in Paris. The painting was originally a possession of Emmanuel Chabrier, a close friend of Manet but is now a resident at the Courtauld Gallery in London. Manet made a number of preparatory sketches at the bar, but the final work was painted in his studio.
Water Lily Pond by Claude Monet
The Water Lily Pond is a painting produced by Claude Monet in 1899 and remains to be one of the favourites and famous impressionist paintings. This painting was painted in 18 different canvases by the french painter. The french painter developed many series in his last 30 years and Water Lily Pond was one of them.
The Yellow Christ by Paul Gauguin
The Yellow Christ is a painting produced by Paul Gauguin in 1889. The original french name of this painting was Le Christ jaune which was painted in Pont-Aven. The Green Christ Crucifixion is considered as one of the key works of Symbolism.
A holiday at Mentone by Charles Conder
A holiday at Mentone is a painting produced by Charles Conder in 1888. This painting by the Australian artist was exhibited at Victorian Artists Society Spring in 1888. The scene in this painting depicts a bright and sunny day from a beach in Melbourne suburb of Mentone.
The Card Players by Paul Cezanne
The Card Players is a painting produced by Paul Cezanne between 1894 and 1895. Five other paintings were created during 1890 and 1895 by the french artist. Provencal peasants daily life is shown as they are smoking pipes and playing cards.
This is a series of impressionist paintings by French artist Paul Cezzane. There are five paintings in the series with the paintings varying in size and number of players. The artist took a number of studies before embarking on creating the card players’ series. It is worthy of note that none of the card players were betting men. One of the paintings was sold to the Royal Family of Qatar and estimated to have been sold at $250million. It had the highest price ever of painting until 2017. The paintings in the card players series do not share a single home and are dispersed all over the world.
Poppy Fields near Argenteuil by Claude Monet
Poppy fields near Argenteuil is a painting produced by Claude Monet in 1873. The subject shown in this painting was painted two years earlier by the french artist in Poppies near Argenteuil. In this painting, poppies are gently moving in the breeze.
Bathers at Asnieres by Georges Seurat
Bathers at Asnieres is a painting produced by Georges Seurat in 1884. The french painter was only twenty four years old when he made Bathers at Asnieres. The scene in this painting is four miles from center of the Paris.
The Cradle by Berthe Morisot
The Cradle is a painting produced by Berthe Morisot in 1872. This painting was exhibited at Impressionist exhibition and with this exhibition, Berthe Morisot was the first woman who had exhibited her paintings at Impressionist in 1874.
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? by Paul Gauguin
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? is a painting produced by Paul Gauguin between 1897 and 1898. The original title of this painting is in French as “D’où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous” which is inscribed on the top left corner of this painting. This remains one of the famous impressionist paintings ever made.
The Grand Canal of Venice by Edouard Manet
The Grand Canal of Venice is a painting produced by Edouard Manet in 1875. This painting by the french artist is also known by the name Blue Venice. The work in this painting is regarded as the most famous and dashingly Impressionist artworks of Edouard Manet life.
Boating by Edouard Manet
Boating is a painting produced by Edouard Manet in 1874. The french painter painted this painting across The Seine at Argenteuil. This painting was exhibited at the Salon in 1879 and mary cassatt also made a similar painting named as The Boating Party in 1894.
The Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet
This is a painting by French impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir. It was included in the seventh Impressionist exhibition in 1882 and was recognized as the best painting in the show. The painting captured an atmosphere of merriment, where Renoir and friends shared food, wine and small talk on a balcony overlooking the Seine at a restaurant in Chatou.
The painting gives a clear picture of how the french society changed between the 18th and 19th centuries. It takes permanent resident in the Philips Collection in Washington after being purchased by Duncan Philips. Worthy of note in this painting, are the richness of form, the fluidity of brush strokes and a flickering light.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Pierre Seurat
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is a painting produced by Georges Pierre Seurat between 1884 and 1886. It is one of the most famous works of the French painter. This painting is a wonderful example of the pointillist technique which was executed on a large canvas.
Woman with a Parasol by Claude Monet
Woman with a Parasol is one of the famous impressionist paintings by Claude Monet that captures his wife strolling along with their son on a windy summer day, it is a painting of an everyday family scene, it captures a brief moment while he spent some quality time with his family.
It conveys the feeling of a family outing rather than a formal portrait and suggests that it might have been done in a single session spanning several hours and that Monet’s wife and son, interrupted their stroll to enable him to capture the moment.
The effects of the wind and the direction of sunlight cannot be mistaken in this painting. The painting is also referred to as the stroll and was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Mellon and was later donated to the National Gallery of art.
So you’ve been hearing about the concept of impressionism and have had absolutely no idea about it, I’m sure you know a lot about it now. The aspect of impressionist art is one that promises so much fun and creativity while allowing you to relate with everyday scenes and occurrences. The only thing you have to do is to take note of color schemes and the usage of lines and lightning as well. If you’ve been trying to delve into this area, now is the time.
It is difficult to list down a specific set of famous impressionist paintings, but these works are the most loved ones by people from around the world.
Do you want to read 15 Most Famous Paintings by Claude Monet