Art in the late nineteenth century Essay

Art in the late nineteenth century

            Impressionism took place in the year 1874 that evolved in almost all parts of Europe - Art in the late nineteenth century Essay introduction. It represented the industrial progress acceleration and the changes in the way of life . This movement is described as the representation of the artist’s real vision which is characterized by the visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities, ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. Before the founding of the movement, some artists wanted to delineate from the traditional methods. After the war of 1870, and the civil war “The Commune” in 1871, artists were working hard to follow their artistic revolutionary vision. By 1874, in an increasingly hostile atmosphere between the traditionalists and neo-impressionists, Monet and his friends formally formed a group and had an exhibition that displayed the impressionist style.  One of his works, “Impression: Sunrise” gave its name to the Impressionist movement ( “The Impressionist Movement and Its Greatest Painters”, 2004).

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            Furthermore, at the end of the Impressionist movement in 2886, the Post-Impressionism emerged. The Impressionists were able to successfully conquer a generation of skeptical critics before their movement ended. Moreover, the Impressionist school had indirectly challenged and inspired the Post-Impressionists, to venture into new artistic expression similar to the way they had (Respree, 2006). Vincent Van Gogh was one of the pioneers of this movement. In his painting, Peasant Woman Cooking by a Fireplace, he coarsely rendered images of Dutch peasant life depicted with rugged brush strokes and dark, earthy tones. More so, it shows his fascination with the working class, portrayed in the crude style of thickly applied dark pigments. Van Gogh was “convinced that in the long run to portray peasants in their coarseness gives better results than introducing conventional sweetness (Voorhies, 2004).

            Finally, expressionism is an artistic style in which the artist attempts to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him. He accomplishes his aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic application of formal elements (Art Industri Group). Edvard Munch was one of the artist that incorporated this style. The most famous of his paintings is The Scream (Art Industri Group). The composition, colors and dramatic use of perspective, the undulating curves of the landscape and hollow figure personify alienation and anxiety. Some say that The Scream reminds them of their humanity and let’s them know that it’s alright to vent out their feelings (Respree, 2006).

         Monet’s Impression: Sunrise, Van Gogh’s Peasant Woman Cooking by a Fireplace and Munch’s The Scream are representatives of the Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Expressionism Movement. These movements came about because artists were constantly yearning for change. They wanted to stray away from the traditional methods that limit their creativity. Their non-conformity led to a series movements that reflected their individuality and perception of art. Alongside with the development of art movements was the regressing social conditions wherein the masses or the middle class were greatly affected. This was the period of unemployment and political unrest that eventually resulted to World War I. However, in the three artworks that were mentioned above, there was only a subtle depiction of the social condition which were commonly visible in the subjects. With the use of varying brush strokes, colors and other elements, the painters were able to convey their emotions and insights towards the subject matter. In the case of  Monet’s Impression: Sunrise and Van Gogh’s Peasant Woman Cooking by a Fireplace, both used common activities or the lifestyle of the masses as their subject while Munch’s The Scream could be a portrayal of a peasant or middle class’ reaction to his status in the society. Through this, art was made more available to the lower class which then was rarely done by artists.

         In conclusion, these three movements showed the condition of the society that was at the brink of social unrest. More so, it is in the progression of these art movements that the society particularly the artists was boldly characterized as revolutionists.


Art Industri Group. Expressionism. Retrieved February 18, 2008, from   

Respree. (2006). Edvard Munch. Retrieved February 18, 2008 from,        +scstoreThe Impressionist Movement and Its Greatest Painters. (2004).

Respree. (2006 ). Post-impressionism. Retrieved February 18, 2008 from,      E+scstore

The Impressionist Movement and Its Greatest Painters. (2004). Impressionism, Modernity            and  Tradition. Retrieved February 18, 2008, from

The Impressionist Movement and Its Greatest Painters. (2004). Claude Monet. Retrieved February 18, 2008, from

Voorhies, James. (2004). Post-Impressionism.  In Timeline of Art History. New York: The            Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.


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