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Impressed by Impressionism (reposted from my other blog)

December 16, 2009

I am hooked on art history. I love reading about those times when people were so into art. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy reading Dan Brown. I really like art. Even if I am not an artist, I appreciate the beautiful things about visual arts.

My favorite art movement is the Impressionism. For those who aren’t familiar, Impressionism was a 19th century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists exhibiting their art publicly in the 1860s.

You could tell an impressionist art by the visible brush strokes, the open composition, the emphasis on light in its changing qualities, the ordinary subject matter, and the unusual visual angles.

Impressionists used short, thick strokes of paint to quickly capture the essence of the subject rather than its details. Colors are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible. Grays and dark tones are produced by mixing complementary colors. Wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for the applications to dry. This produces softer edges and intermingling of colors.

Other movements arranged their compositions in a way that the main subject commanded the viewer’s attention. With Impressionism, the boundary between subject and background was relaxed, so the effect often resembles a snapshot. It’s as if it is a part of a larger reality captured by chance.

The most popular artists during this movement were Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Their artworks were amazingly beautiful. People should see Monet’s Water Lilies. It makes you see the lilies in the pond, but if you look at the paintings closely, the brush strokes were just brush strokes, and they really do not form a lily at all. This is why I’m always amazed by Impressionism. It leaves a lot to the imagination because it captures the essence of the subject. It does not give away everything there is to see.

As in real life, we are all a part of a larger image, of a larger world. Yes, we are subjects or our own, but if we look at the world as it is, we are all only essences and our details are not at all revealed except only to those who really want to dig deeper. What is important is our essence and what we are made of. Little things make us all different, but we are all a part of the same artwork that was created by one Supreme Being.

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