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Impressionism started in the 19th century as a movement among French artists. Impressionism is characterized by an artist’s attempt to capture a fleeting moment in time on the canvas. Claude Monet’s famous work Impression, Sunrise, from 1872, inspired the name of the artistic movement. Light plays an important role in Impressionist art, and loose brushstrokes are often used to convey movement and the feeling of being in an ephemeral moment. When Impressionism first came about, the artists painted en plein air, in order to be immersed in the scene they were painting so that they could best represent the light and its effects on natural surroundings. These artists were considered controversial at the time, as they painted outside and took no care of the academic rules of painting, using a thick and loose brushstroke style to convey moments in time. Although Impressionism mostly refers to the time it was produced in the late 19th century, artwork made using the style of Impressionism is considered Impressionist art today.


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