The Group of Artists known as the Impressionists not only made a distinct mark in history as it was the popular movement at the start of modern time. Their work was very distinct and different techniques were applied by each artist. This period could be regarded as the very beginning of Modern Art.
My fascination grew with Art in High School. I started reading art books and painting. I became so good the principal hung my artworks on the wall and was impressed. My fantasy came to an end, but my love of art still is an obsession. Who would have known that I would become an upscale Los Angeles Companion?
My Favorite Period of Art is The Impressionists 1860 -1905
Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent is a legendary figure and is one of the greatest painters ever lived. Vincent Van Gogh had a turbulent life. His art is brilliant and luminous. He painted a lot of countrysides and spent a lot of time in Holland which was the country he was from.
I remember seeing the portrait of his mother which he painted GREEN--I feel it was symbolic of his feelings toward her.His self-portrait was painted in 1887. Here he used slashing strokes of colors and pattern.
He evolved with more techniques when he moved to Paris. He explored the concept of Japanese prints because of their bold colors and close to nature themes. It was incredibly sad that his life ended in suicide. His lifestyle made this action almost inevitable. He was a complex and suffering personality. Still, he was persistent in his constant love of art. He was trying to express his feelings through his colors as he put them on canvas.
Los Angeles Museums that Feature the works of Van Gogh:
The Norton Simon
The One in Pasadena
Vincent Van Gogh's work really stands out at the Norton Simon Museum of Art. I was dazzled with his six paintings there, which included the painting of his Mother in Green colors. Shows how he felt about Mom, I guess.
The Los Angeles County Museum on Wilshire Blvd.
A request for private appointment to see the additional collection of drawings by the artists could be made I was told.
Manet came from an affluent family and was born in 1832. His father was the chief of personnel at the Ministry of Justice at the age of 34. His father wanted him to study law, but instead, Manet went to the Academie Suisse in the evenings. He then studied in the Louvre--his works speak for themselves.
His work has a significant impact on the development of Impressionism. His presence dominated the whole movement from 1860 until his death in 1883.
He painted the portrait of his sister-in-law "Portrait of Berthe Morisot 1872- In this portrait you see the effect of contrasting colors. Strong dark patterns are in her clothes and dress also the hat --he puts different variations of tonal value. Manet was a great painter but his greatness was only recognized by the establishment after his death.
Monet's was the most committed force of the impressionist movement. He was always developing newer and better means of expression.
In 1860 Claude Monet was involved in painting green scenery including many parks and gardens. Monet work was into contrasts. The colors were magnificent dark blue contrasted with yellows and some pastels. All the greens were modern colors. He also used chrome green and lemon yellow in his paintings which gave a laminating effect. Look at the painting "The terrace of Sante-Adresse, 1866 which is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You could see the full range of vibrant yellows and greens and the shadows cast by solid objects.
Edgar Degas was known for his temperament. His paintings were works in his studio and were figure paintings. Unlike other artists, he did not paint outdoor scenery but did portraits, figures, and interior scenes. Degas contributed to a great deal to the richness of impressionism.
Look at the painting " Dancing class" 1877 in Burrell Collection, Glasgow. The picture is full of detail and the dancers have a feeling of movement.
"Absinthe" 1876 seen in the Louvre, Paris.
Friends of Degas--Actress Ellen Andre and Marcelin Desboutin. Here Degas creates interest by his placing the subjects off center and creating interesting detail in the background. Most of his life Degas wanted to be an independent artist and said he did not involve himself in the impressionist movement. Yet he was clearly a great figure in the movement.